Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Handmade Christmas (and my first whole cloth quilt)

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I’ve wanted to learn to quilt for what seems like forever. This Christmas, with one week to spare, I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet. I made each of my children a whole cloth quilt (mostly because I had no time to make a proper quilt and partly because I was scared I’d mess it up) as an early Christmas gift. We took them with us on the long drive to Disney and now the quilts have been rightfully dubbed our “Road Trip” quilts.

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I really love the way they turned out. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken the time to photograph the finished quilts and it’s raining out. More pictures will come later. I’m most in love with Daniel’s quilt. I simply adore the fabric combo and colors. All of it was purchased at Hobby Lobby where you can print out a coupon online that’s good for 40% off (in-store purchases) most weeks. Oh, yes. I’m nothing if not frugal.

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I really enjoyed making my first two quilts, even if I was a bit pressed for time. I completed both quilts in less than one week. I finished the binding of my baby girl’s quilt on the oh-so-long trip down. I believe hand-finishing the binding was actually my most favorite part. Stress relief at it’s finest I tell you.

There was also a good bit of knitting done on this trip, but I only have one UFO to show for it. I’m still trying to get the hang of knitting, and I can’t tell you how many dropped stitches I’ve had to deal with. I should probably frog it and start over. It sits abandoned in my knitting basket for now.

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This is exactly what I felt like when I was halfway through marking the lines on Daniel’s quilt.

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And this is what I felt like when I finished. My mom gave me this cute pencil sharpener. I love it.

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Good gravy… that was a lot of marking!

In case you’re interested on getting started in quilting, here are some tutorials which helped me tremendously:

http://www.crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/ You’ll find links to picture tutorials of all the basics in Amanda Jean’s sidebar.

http://anyonecanquilt.typepad.com/my_weblog/machine-quilting-tutorial/ This is the method I used for basting - easy.

10 comments:

Berit said...

They look beautiful! So, you machine quilted them? Did you use a regular machine, or did you have to go for a long-arm one?

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Berit, I have a Kenmore sewing machine (not a long-arm version) and I love it. This is my machine:
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02019233000P

There were times during the quilting process when I thought having a long-arm would be soooo nice. But my little machine did the job. I had to keep the fabric rolled up on the inside of my machine, but it was workable. I really enjoyed the process. Thanks for asking!

Sue said...

Well done melissa, the quilt looks fantastic. I'm sure it's lovely and snuggly.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Thanks, Sue! It seems to be a favorite for all of us... even my baby girl (who got her own mama-made quilt) prefers this quilt.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Berit, it just hit me that I should mention I used a walking foot. I wouldn't have gotten anywhere without it!

Diane@Peaceful Acres Farm said...

Good job Melissa!!! In my past life I was a blue ribbon hand quilter so I know about markings! I still have 2 quilts that were starter many moons ago and I need to finish them for my big kids. But I really don't have any desire to hand quilt anymore....funny how that came and went with a car accident that ruined my hands, but I have many wall quilts and bed quilts to remember those younger years. Keep up the beautiful work. There is nothing more comforting than a comfy quilt. :)

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Diane, I appreciate the encouragement. I really enjoyed it. I was surprised that I enjoyed the hand-sewn binding so much. I expected to dread it. Now, I'm contemplating doing an entire quilt by hand. Yay, for you! What an accomplished quilter you are! I'd love to see you post some of your creations. : )

Ann said...

Well done Melissa! What a good idea to do the whole cloth ones for quickness. Even the whole cloth quilts take me ages because I keep procrastinating! This year I want to try hand quilting.

MAYBELLINE said...

Now for a very important question:
Where did your mom get that sharpener? It's great.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Maybelline, my mom is a nurse working for a private practice who sees tons of pharmacutical reps. You'd be amazed at the things they give her. And she usually passes them on to me. I have all manner of office supplies: highlighters, notepads, pencil sharpeners (of course!), and calendars. All of which are usually marketing some manner of drug for women's (usually reproductive) health. My wall calendar which advertises birth control pills is a hoot!