Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Big Quilt Post

Hmmm... I haven't updated for quite a while, largely because I've been utterly consumed by the most massive sewing project of my young life. I've made plenty of things before--skirts, formal dresses, shirts, doll clothes, stuffed animals, throw quilts--the list goes on. But never before had I attempted the holy grail of the sewing world (at least to my mind): the Queen Sized Quilt.

It's done!!! I've blogged about this quilt before, and then got off-track because I naively neglected to purchase a walking foot for the quilting portion of this project. I thought to myself, "How different can a walking foot be from a regular sewing foot?" So I blithely sewed onward with my usual garment foot... and then halfway through the first side of quilting realized that, um, EVERYTHING HAD SHIFTED. Duh. Because a sewing foot only has feed dogs on the bottom, and therefore pulls the backing through more quickly than the quilt top. Whereas a walking foot has feed dogs on the top as well, and hoists all those layers of fabric through there quite neatly and efficiently.

If you're ever going to make a quilt BUY A WALKING FOOT. Learn from my mistakes! Mine cost less than $20 and was a miracle. After I finally got the walking foot in the mail, I finished the rest of the quilting within a week, due to that perfect little gadget.

So, learning curve aside, I'm very pleased with how this project turned out. I love the sunny quality of the fabrics together, and the mixture of 30s/40s reproduction fabrics with more modern, graphic prints. Also, sleeping under a handmade quilt just feels entirely different. My grandmother made a pink quilt for me when I was thirteen or so, but it was a little too small for my queen sized bed. This fits just right and is the perfect light blanket for spring, summer, and fall. In the winter I'll be able to layer it over a down comforter.

The quilt back is an aqua colored king size sheet. Not too much more expensive than fabric by the yard, plus no worrying about piecing narrower widths of cotton together. I accidentally didn't buy enough of the binding fabric I intended to use, but I had this floral print in my stash (I think I was going to make a retro sundress out of it once upon a time) and I think it works quite nicely.

I gave my bed a little makeover to celebrate finishing this epic project. My new sheets are the "Shabby Chic" line from Target and weren't too pricy. Um, the sheep came from the Easter Bunny. I'm an adult, I promise! (I'm totally not).

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