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January 26, 2011

The Quilting Quest: Part 1

New Years Resolution numero doce was to learn how to quilt.  As this was also one of my 2010 New Years Resolutions, I felt like I had to get on it rather quickly.  I have no idea how to quilt, so I knew I needed something very simple as my first project.  After some research, I settled on the ragged squares quilt from Crazy Mom's Quilts.  My initial thought was that I would do one big blog post on my fabulous new quilt.  I have since realized that, uh, this is going to take me awhile.  Quilting is a time consuming hobby, so I am going to have break this into segments that I have so aptly titled my Quilting Quest.

STEP ONE:  Gather your fabrics.  I initially bought 13 different fabric quarters (pictured above).  I ended up having to go back to the store for three more.  So total, I have used 16 fabrics. Surprisingly, these are not that expensive.  I got mine for about $1.25 a piece at JoAnn fabric.

STEP TWO: Wash all the fabric so that it shrinks before you start sewing.  Iron as needed.

STEP 3:  Cut 30 squares of 9 inches, 6 inches, and 3 inches.  This takes forever.  I probably watched about four episodes of "Friday Night Lights" before I completed this part of the quest. As I don't know how to quilt, and my knowledge in sewing is limited, I just made a pattern of the squares out of paper, traced them with a thin marker on the back of the fabric (nothing too strong so the ink didn't soak through), and cut the pattern out.  I am sure there is a better way to to do this, but it worked for me.

STEP FOUR:  Figure out the pattern of of your quilt by laying the squares out one-by-one and making sure no two fabrics are right next to each other.  This is where I diverged a little bit from Amanda Jean.  She sewed together the squares first...but I don't know that it makes THAT big of a difference. However, after you have decided on your pattern make sure you gather then up in a way so you know where they go back down.  I took a digital photo just in case. 

I am currently in the process of sewing together the fabric top (that I will discuss in Quilting Quest: Part 2).  This is going to take me forever as I remembered how little patience I have for my sewing machine.  I also have to research how to baste a quilt.  Primarily because I don't actually know what that means, but also because how you baste your quilt is apparently a very controversial topic in the quilting world.

Anybody out there have any tips on basting a quilt? Should I sew or pin?
Anybody out there want to quilt along with me? 



Angela Noelle said...

I think you should try a nice butter and thyme mixture, probably every 30 minutes or so that it is in the oven. Or is that a different thing?

But for reals, I really like your fabrics!

Rachel said...

Your quilt is looking beautiful! Seriously...I love the colors and patterns! I'm even feeling a bit inspired...this might be a summer project for me and my sewing machine.

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

Wow, that's a big project!! I really loved the colors and fabric you picked, it's going to be fabulous :)

lifeofadoctorswife said...

I have no idea how to sew, but I wanted to say I love your quilt! So pretty! It's going to be fantastic when you're finished.

Miss M said...

Fun! I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes quilting:) I have one already going otherwise I may do it with you. I love Crazy Mom Quilts, she's awesome.

Hannah and Chad said...

oh my gosh melissa this is amazing!!! I love your color palette and design it's so fun!! this is one of my dreams and you are inspiring me to get a move on it!

Maureen said...

I am totally going to quilt along with you!!! (Maybe a little behind you.) I have been meaning to go fabric shopping lately and I will totally pick out some fat quarters so that I can get started on one!

One woman's love of food... said...

Soooo.....from an experienced quilter to the me if you have questions or need help! As to basting your quilt question. Basting a quilt is done once the quilt top is pieced together (the part you are working on) you measure it out, add four inches to each side, purchase batting, and enough fabric for the backing. Layer the top, batting, and backing together on a large table and use binder clips to keep the layers from moving. At this point I pin about 1-2 inches from where I'm actually going to quilt the layers together. You need to decide if you want to hand quilt it or machine quilt it though. How big are you aiming for? Lap size, twin size, queen size, etc? As the size might dictate which route to go. Good luck and HAVE FUN!

Emily said...

This is so fun! One of my 2011 projects is to learn how to use my sewing machine. Maybe by 2012 I can learn something about quilting... can't wait to see your progress!


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