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Monday, April 2, 2012

The first quilt I ever finished.

Time to show off a bit and show you my first completed quilt!

So I’m a bit obsessed with quilting and patchwork and at any given time have far too much fabric, as well as some half cut up bits and pieces of fabric and too many quilt tops in various stages for my own good. My guest room needs to be cleared (and this can take about an hour, just to move stuff out of there, so that guests can actually get to the bed!). We don't have visitors all that often, so really it's known as my craft room.
I wasn’t warned when I purchased fabric on an impulse to make my first quilt that this would become an all consuming addiction.  No one gave me any clue that soon, I wouldn't want to go through one day without sewing, selecting new quilts to make, sorting or buying more fabric.

But I’d like to show off some of the quilts that I have made and tell you all about them, while I try to complete another project...
So the first quilt that I completed (although it’s not the first that I started, and I’m sure that the previous comment will only be understood by someone who has also caught the quilting bug) was for my son. I started it in April 2009 and ended up finishing it in October 2009. Which I thought wasn’t all that bad going for someone who worked part time, looked after the home and all the other stuff that has to get done, decided half way through the quilt to order fabrics off of eBay (and wait and wait and wait) for them to arrive. Then as an impulse I’ve decided to make the quilt bigger so that it was more of a single bed sized quilt instead of just a baby sized ruggy. I justified this to myself as I was putting in a fair amount of time, money and effort and wanted the quilt to be something that my son got to keep on using as he grew, not something that ended up taking up more space in my already crowded linen cupboards and sat out of sight.
So the inspiration for this quilt is from a magazine, and although I did deviate from the instructions I will provide the details. Zoe Clifton. “On Four Wheels”. Patchwork & Stitching. Vol 9, No 7. Pages 20-23.

First up I had real difficulty finding boy fabrics (that I liked enough to have in the quilt) in a rural town and scoured five quilt shops within a 300km radius. Then I checked out what was available on eBay and actually ended up buying some licensed fabric that way and it worked out to be very reasonably priced.  
I managed to get Bob the Builder Fabric, The Simpsons Fabric, Thomas the Tank Engine Fabric, Cars Fabric and Buzz Light-year Fabrics all from various eBay sellers.
I then purchased the Green polka dot fabric from the new local Lindcraft store to make the borders to turn a quilt designed to be 125cm (49 inch) into a quilt that is now 119cms (46.5 inches)  across by  187cms (74 inches) long. So the quilt fits nicely on a king single bed.
The backing fabric was purchased from The Fabric Palette in Gladstone and I had to sew it side by side to fit. Knowing what I know now, I no longer use light colours as a backing fabric; but like I said it was the first quilt that I completed so I didn’t know any better.
The quilt was professionally quilted by a long arm quilter in the area in the stippling style. The thread used to quilt it is a variegated red, orange and yellow thread on top and on the back it’s a cream colour that blends in nicely to the backing.

The binding I made myself once the quilt came back from being quilted. I made the binding out of navy blue homespun fabric. The binding was sewn onto the quilt by machine and I finished it off by hand which took me two days of solid sewing in a busy household. From the top the binding appears to measure half an inch, but it was made from a 2.5inch strip, folded over and sewn onto the quilt, then folded and tacked on.

The sense of achievement that I felt making my son his first patchwork quilt made me feel so good, that I have been hooked from that moment on. I have since finished another four quilts and have another four quilt tops ready to be basted and then quilted, as well as several more beginnings of quilts. I'll keep you posted as to how they go...

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