SIZE: ~ 48″ x 70″
FABRIC: mainly an IKEA Siffror duvet cover (bought with the purpose of making a quilt) then a mix from Jo-Ann with a couple from my LQS.
DESIGN: I made it up. I wanted to *showcase* the fussy-cut numbers and this was my solution.
PATCHWORK: machine pieced; rectangular wonky log cabin blocks on the front; pieced back.
QUILTING: by machine; meandering free motion.
BINDING: stripes pieced with leftover “solids” from top; machine sewn on front; stitched-in-the-ditch on front to attach back (very poorly done, but DONE!)
INSPIRED BY: this, this, and this created by stitchindye
FOR: the girls’ playroom
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Ah, it’s finally done! It has been almost done for awhile. One of my mother’s day gifts was to have a day mostly-uninterrupted so I could quilt this. This is the first larger quilt and only the second quilt I’ve quilted. I am definitely getting better at free motion quilting (FMQ).
I am happy with how this turned out. I really enjoyed the improvisation piecing portion of it. It was like painting with fabric; adding touches of color where they seemed fit.
My girls already like it and my oldest (3) claims it as her own; even treating it like it’s a hopscotch mat. I took a nap today with it and when she saw that I had used it, she wasn’t happy. She informed me that it was her blanket and I should use a different one.
I had wanted to use a full piece of the numbers fabric for the back (like this), but since I was backing/reinforcing the fabric with interfacing and my interfacing was only 23″ wide and I didn’t want to try and piece it, I did a pieced back.
When I quilted my first quilt (the doll version of this one) I felt like I was playing tug o’ war with the fabric as I was trying to move it under the presser foot. After that quilt I was dismayed because I thought I’d need to get a new machine if I wanted to continue with this new hobby of mine since I love the look of FMQ (my machine, on permanent loan from my mother-in-law, is about 30 years old and has no stitch length regulator or speed control but still works great). I didn’t see how I’d be able to (man) handle a larger quilt with my machine. Still, I continued on, deciding to give FMQ and my machine another shot.
For my next go ’round, I picked up some quilting gloves, hoping they’d make a difference, but I truly didn’t see how.
When I was about a quarter of the way through this quilt, I realized that FMQ was much easier than I remembered. Initially, I was giving myself all the credit, thinking I had improved that much between the first and second quilts. Granted, I still had to stop, cut threads and pick out stitches several times per bobbin. And the quilt gloves were helping, but they couldn’t be the only reason for the big change. Thinking more on why it seemed easier this time (were all of my settings the same? needle? thread?), I finally figured out it was the feed dogs. I had covered them the first time and this time I forgot to (I can’t lower mine, so I have a special cover plate instead).
My feed dog cover is a relatively thick piece of clear plastic. Seeing that it is easier for me to FMQ without the cover, I think it causes too much friction between the presser foot, fabric and plate so the fabric can’t move around easily — that’s why I was playing tug o’ war the first time. By not using it, my problem was solved! Now I feel capable of FMQ’ing with my machine and as my skills improve.
As I finished quilting this piece, I was able to get through at least one bobbin without having to stop, cut and pick out stitches! Huge improvement from where I started.
I quickly made my pieced mostly striped binding and sewed it to the front of the quilt, taking the suggestion from kelly mae to include some brown in my binding in the lower right on the front.
After being partially bound, my quilt sat and sat, waiting for my to hand sew the binding to the back. I was dreading the time it was going to take to complete the binding, so I just put it off and started two more quilts.
After a couple of weeks of this quilt sitting almost done, I decided I just needed to machine stitch the rest of the binding because otherwise it might never get done. The back of the binding looks terrible, but I’ve since figured out my problem and hope to do better next time. There’s no way I can hand sew on these bindings if I expect to complete the quilts I make and stay interested in my new hobby. Hand sewn doll quilt binding I can manage, but not larger than that. I’m much too slow hand sewing and my attention span is much too short.