Pages

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lessons learned from my first quilt

Well, here it is. The quilt I started 2 weeks ago is finished and ready to mail.

baby quilt 12

baby quilt 13

I kept a list of things I learned from this experience to keep in mind for future projects. (I also blogged about it here and here.) I am a beginner and these are just thoughts I’ve put together for my own benefit. If they help any other newbies out there, wonderful! If there are quilt pros out there that would like to chime in, all the better!

Part I – making decisions, piecing and borders

Take advantage of the wonderful tutorials online!

Don’t over think the process. Since I used a jelly roll I was somewhat limited and then I chose five possible design ideas and went from there. I also bought only three other pieces to use for the borders and the back. I’m horrible at making decisions, so it’s beneficial to me to set limits.

If a written pattern is not used, draw out what your design will be and do the math. How big will it be? How many blocks will it take? How wide do the borders need to be?

I didn’t prewash anything as it was all cotton and it washed and dried beautifully.

Precision is important! Make sure the seam allowances are uniform. It’s so much easier to match them up later. (This is not new to me as I’m a little picky about things like this anyway, but it’s good to keep in mind.)

I pressed my seams open for the blocks, but pressed in one direction for the borders. I finger pressed each block seam as it was sewn and then pressed it with the iron after I had a few piled up. For the longer seams, I pressed them flat first to set and then pressed to one side. I’m pretty sure all this varies depending on the design.

I made a temporary design wall from a white sheet and it was so helpful! I put the individual blocks up and arranged them until I was happy with it. Then I took pictures and saw things I didn’t notice at first glance and rearranged based on that.

I think I might like a mitered corner on the borders better than making it straight. That was another decision I didn’t want to fuss over.

This is getting very lengthy so come back tomorrow for Part II - Stippling and binding!

I added this to sew & tell at amylouwho's blog. Check it out!

27 comments:

  1. nice job, can't wait to see what you do with it next!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so pretty! I love that you even included a pieced strip on the back. My Grandma is a long-time quilter, and she recently confessed to me that she never prewashes her fabrics, either! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. great job. this is really lovely, and i will be using your advice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful quilt!! Wow, thank you for the tutorial!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your notes are such a great way to track what you liked and didn't like about your methods. This will make your next quilt project more smooth and fun too! This list gives us great things to think about too. Very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow.. it looks fantastic! I can't believe it only took you 2 weeks.. your so fast!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just love this quilt! Sew pretty and happy! Thanks for the tip on taking a picture first...I'm going to steal that one from you!

    Congratulations on your finishing such a sweet and beautiful quilt! *sigh* it can come live at my house anytime!

    Thanks for sharing! Have a happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks fantastic! I love sewing with fabric right off the bolt. I only wash it if there are colors that are likely to bleed or if some of the other fabric is already washed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a cheery little quilt - congratulations on your finish! I keep notes, too - I find it helpful when I have more than one project on the go, which is mostly!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great job!!! Oh, and I have learned that there should be no guilt in quilting. I never prewash. There ore other "rules" that I have broken with lots of fun and great results on the way. Have fun!!!!!
    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice work! My first quilt is still unfinished 5 years later. May your list of UFOs always stay short!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great, great job on this!! You have patience to make the tutorials; I admire that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very pretty quilt. I like how you listed what you learned from making this quilt. Some of those things are good to remember even for those more experienced quilters.

    ReplyDelete
  14. the quilt is beautiful. i am glad to read your helpful hints on this...and look forward to part 2

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love this fabric. The more I see it the more I am sure I need to get some! Love that you detailed out your lessons learned as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very pretty! Thanks for the sharing your list of hints.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love your quilt! It's bringing back a little piece of summer. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well done especially since you're a newbie quilter. Sounds like you've learnt a lot long the way. Everybody is bringing out some really pretty quilts this week for Sew 'n' tell. Such soft pretty colours in yours.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Very pretty quilt! I would never have guessed by looking at it, that you were new to quilting. You're a natural! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like the pinks and blues. It's funny how it took having a little girl to make me like pink again.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is beautiful! What a great job for your first quilt, way better than my first! :) I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your quilt is fabulous!!! You did an amazing job. I would not have guessed it is your first quilt. I love the choice of fabrics and pattern layout. I especially like the pieced back....something I am just now starting to try. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are a quick learner! It took me several months to be comfortable with my new quilting skills. Now, if I had the time (like not working full time) I could make a quilt in a day.....someday!! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is beautiful. I can't believe you're just beginning to quilt. I like how quilts look when you don't prewash.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love it! and I love lessons learned. I should write mine down too so I don't make the same mistakes twice.

    I love this hushabye fabric too, it's just so pretty.

    ReplyDelete

I love to reply to your comments, so if you are an 'Anonymous' commenter, please include a way for me to get in touch!