This is a small, crib-sized quilt that I was working on at our last Homemaker club meeting. I only had three strips pieced together then, and I laid them on my white fabric so you could see the look I was going for. Now, it’s all finished!
Perhaps I’m giving too much away by posting these pictures, though? 😉
A lot of hours went into the making of this, though I worked on it mostly in 20-30 minute snatches here and there. Sew a little while I wait for dinner to finish. Iron real quick while the children change into pajamas. Pin while the coffee’s brewing. The only long effort I put into it was the final top stitching and quilting, in the two hours I had between chores and church on this past Sunday morning. There are probably about twelve hours in it altogether, including the time it took for me to decide on and shop for the fabrics I wanted, but not including waiting for the UPS man to deliver them.
It’s a very simple design, based on a quilt I saw pictured on the cover of a book. Every colored square is different, chosen from the prints available in two different, but complimentary, Moda charm packs, which are just collections of 5” squares of the various prints in a fabric line. I always love Moda prints and the fabric quality is very good, which is why I chose them. The white is a premium muslin – inexpensive but crisp.
I pieced together the 5” colored squares with 2.5”x5” white strips using a quarter inch seam allowance. Then I added the long white strips in between each row, planning to rely on the quilting to give it a little more interest later.
Normally, I back my projects in a plain fabric like muslin, but because I used so much white muslin on the top, I purchased some coordinating yardage for the backing. I was originally going to try an official real-quilt binding, but I changed my mind at the last minute. Instead, I sewed the top, back and batting layers together right sides facing, so that I could turn them right side out and just top stitch. It’s a quick and easy method and it didn’t ruin the clean look I was going for.
For the quilting, I just stitched alongside each square on the muslin. It’s really simple quilting, but it also added a little extra design at the intersections, where the lines of stitching crossed.
I’ve made a few quilts now, from crib size to twin size, and I’ve never done anything fancier than this sort of simple stitch-in-the-ditch type quilting. And that’s okay! Quilts don’t have to be fancy, just pretty and warm.
What I really wanted to show you today, though, is my mistakes.See, I don’t own any fancy quilting equipment, not even a “walking” foot that’s supposed to feed the layers through the machine more smoothly! I own a very basic sewing machine and whatever presser feet it came with. So I do all my piecing and quilting with just a basic, all-purpose presser foot. Unfortunately, if I don’t go slow enough, my layers don’t feed through well and I end up with a bunch of super tiny stitches that shouldn’t have been. And I do get impatient rather often and try to speed things up by going too fast. There are about a half dozen spots like this one on my quilt. But I don’t think anyone else will notice.
And also, something went wrong in my measuring or with the consistency of my seam allowances, because my printed squares did not all line up properly once they were all sewn together. That would have been okay, except it threw off my quilting, resulting in some wonky squares at the intersections, especially on the right side. Somehow, the left side lined up better and there were fewer issues. Again, I don’t think anyone will look closely enough to notice, and after I wash it, I think it will be even less noticeable.
My point is that perfection is not the point of making things. It’s the process and the pleasure it brings to both the maker and the recipient. Will I try to do a better job next time? Yes! But I know that I will probably make some other error, and that I will never get it just right.
I say that if I can do it, you can do it, and I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true. I just try. I make mistakes and I accept that I will make mistakes and I try to learn from them, so as to do a better job next time, but I know that mistakes are part of learning. Seeing my mistakes in no way diminishes the pleasure I take in this little quilt of mine. And I can absolutely guarantee that the one for whom it was made will love it as much as I do.
That’s about as perfect as anything can get, don’t you think?
Next time, we’ll talk about choosing a design and selecting your fabric. Okay? This isn’t hard. Really. If I can do it, you can do it. 🙂