I have finally finished my first ever patchwork quilt!

(66 Posts)

My first quilt

I made it using lots of my accumulated scrap fabrics (It has made a little dent to the mountain!) and backed it with a double flat sheet. MY quilting skills are nil so I just stitched in the ditch vertically (my squares didn't all line up perfectly horizontally, never mind, it looks ok for a first quilt). Even the binding I made out of lots of fabric scraps, so it is a missmatch of fabrics but it looks lovely to me!

I'd love some feedback, I know it' not a piece of art or anything and real quilters would do a far far better job, but I have got the quilting bug now so hopefully my next quilts will be neater!

I have learnt so much doing this. It was great fun, even if it took me 16 months of procrastination to actually finish it! grin

Marrow Sun 13-Jan-13 11:59:33

Wow! That's beautiful. I love it. You have inspired me to see what I can do!

tribpot Sun 13-Jan-13 11:59:40

Fantastic! Really great description of your process as well.

FlyOverTheMistletoe Sun 13-Jan-13 12:11:16

Its great. I loved reading your blog too, as you always had great ideas. So what is your next project ?

MrsApplepants Sun 13-Jan-13 12:17:17

I love it! Well done for sticking with it, quilts are huge projects!

Thank you!

Marrow I'm glad I inspired you! It was other bloggers who inspired me in the first place.

Tripbot glad my description made sense!

Glad you like my blog fly, my next project is actually not sewing, but papier mache, I am making a landscape with DS for him to play with his action figures on. Ambitious and labour intensive, let's hope we get round to finishing it!

yuleheart Sun 13-Jan-13 15:38:02

Well done, its lovely!

I also like that the long twiggy thing on the wall!!

bran Sun 13-Jan-13 15:50:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JollyToddles Sun 13-Jan-13 15:54:17

Wow, that is amazing, congratulations!

Well done OMDB. That's a really pretty quilt. I think I remember when you started it. I am very impressed you stuck with it. Just goes to show you don't have to use fancy techniques to make something attractive and functional.

Looking at the picture of you taping your backing to the floor, I am afraid that is the bit that puts me off slightly. Finding the space to lay it all out and then tack/baste it together is my least favourite bit. Up to that point and after it is much more fun! Well done for not giving up on that bit!

Wow! That is really, really beautiful - well done!

Thanks everyone!

BigBoobiesBertha I had to lift our bed off the floor (just a mattress actually, no bed frame) and prop it up on the wall in order to have the floor space to tape it to the floor and attach the other layers.

yuleheart the twiggy thing is a driftwood mobile my firend made me with wood she collected on the beach. I love it too!

bran Sun 13-Jan-13 20:04:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 13-Jan-13 20:15:32

Congratulations, it's gorgeous. I love the randomness of the layout and I love the colours, with the dark red squares and the blues. I love scrap quilts that are both scrap and harmonious - I go to the Quilt Museum in York a lot and yours feels like it belongs in the tradition of historical quilts, with people doing careful selection of randomly acquired fabrics.

Very slight wonkiness is fine. When I look at old quilts, the amount I love them has nothing to do with the technical skill.

I struggled with the pinning together the first time and came and cried on here and someone told me to do it on the kitchen table a bit at a time starting with the middle, so that's what I do and I find it much easier than spreading it out on the floor.

thehamburglar Sun 13-Jan-13 21:43:08

Well done, it looks amazing!

You have inspired me to chugg on and finish the quilt I am making for DD for her 2nd birthday. I've done the patchwork but the seams don't all match so perhaps I will try your method of just quilting along the vertical seams.

Stitchthis Sun 13-Jan-13 22:52:25


DeafLeopard Sun 13-Jan-13 22:55:38

That is fantastic OMDB

MammaTJ Mon 14-Jan-13 01:41:29


Lovely smile

I cheat with basting and use 505 spray.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Tue 15-Jan-13 14:23:10

I cheat too!

Bran and Tunip thanks for the tips, I was going to buy some curved safety pins but we are on a 'no spend' January so I just used what I had. Sami with the 505 spray, I saw it but couldn't justify the expense and wanted to try to make this quilt out of nothing.

Tunic I love old vintage quilts, so I am glaf you think mine has a similar feel to them!

stealthsquiggle Tue 15-Jan-13 18:46:48

Oh good - just what I needed. I made a quilt top (the world's simplest - a Jelly roll race type one) last night, just because I felt like it, but it came out really well so now I feel obliged to actually quilt the damned thing. I shall be back later to study instructions...

Stitchthis Tue 15-Jan-13 19:00:17

505 spray is the stuff of legend. I can't remember the last time I used pins. Mind you, it's been ages since I made quilts. I got to get back in again.

bran Tue 15-Jan-13 19:10:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 15-Jan-13 19:47:07

I think I'll give the magic spray a go next time!

You could always spray it then baste it with needle and thread, couldn't you?

AnyaKnowIt Tue 15-Jan-13 20:25:30

Wow, that is lovely

envy <--- Jealous face

stealthsquiggle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:46:14

Ok, so I have a quilt top (about 1/4 the size of the OP's, but never mind) and I am going to the US for work in a couple of weeks. What (apart from magic spray) do I need to put on my shopping list?

PoppyWearer Tue 15-Jan-13 21:52:01

Well done OP, looks stunning!

BTW, I am also going to be trying lots of your ideas from your blog. Namely the car mats and the butterflies.

UrsulaBuffay Tue 15-Jan-13 22:02:44

Schoolgirl question but do you have to wash the fabric to ensure it doesn't shrink/ can quilts be washed after they are made or can I just stitch a load of random types of fabric together?

UrsulaBuffay Tue 15-Jan-13 22:03:34

It looks beautiful btw! I have yet to even use my new mini sewing machine but do fancy using some of dds old clothes for a kiddie size quilt

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Tue 15-Jan-13 22:47:37

Stealth -- If you do any other sewing buy wonder tape <3 <3 it makes putting in zips a dream. Actually, what kind of sewing do you like to do and where are you going?


I like clover glass head pins, the really thin ones, nice and strong and you can iron over them. I also like clover seam rippers/quick unpicks. Also June Taylor fray block, the best one I have found


Get the app on your phone for Joann's coupons if you intend shopping there.

If you have room in your suitcase it might be worth buying a bolt of their woven iron on interfacing and or wonder under (buy name brand, I don't like Joann's own brand). I like the tricot knit one a lot too but don't use anywhere near as much YMMV.

stealthsquiggle Tue 15-Jan-13 22:57:34

California - and there bloody well better be a Joint Anns within reach.

I see lots of bags, very occasionally clothes, and a quilt top. Just the one. Yet to be quilted.

I can see I am going to have to pack a bare minimum amount of clothes for me, since the DC will expect me to bring back something other than sewing stuff hmm

stealthsquiggle Tue 15-Jan-13 22:58:07

sew, not see. Stoopid phone.

stealthsquiggle Tue 15-Jan-13 22:59:06

Thanks, BTW - I am making notes. And installing an app!

stealthsquiggle Wed 16-Jan-13 00:04:09

OMG that app. You can browse the whole shop. Guess what I will be doing in my meetings on the plane grin. They are missing a trick though, as I haven't found a way to build a shopping list /wish list on the app (probably just as well really)

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 03:48:58

Where in CA? I'm in CA.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 03:50:55

Sorry over my for hijacking your thread! Where are you in cambridge? We were there this summer smile

Stealth if I was going to America I would probably have to pay for extra baggage allowance through all the sewing stuff I bring back! Think I would probably buy quite a bit of fabric there!

I'm buying the 505 spray for my next quilt, it's final.

Poppy glad you like my blog, hope you do make the car rolls and butterflies!

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 07:38:26

over, I just use regular spray adhesive because I'm cheap. I wait for it to dry first so it doesn't gum up my needles. Try it on a small project first though if you hve some.

stealthsquiggle Wed 16-Jan-13 09:52:55

OMDB strictly baggage allowances are a PITA - I think I may be carrying everything heavy in hand baggage to get more fabric in grin. BTW you should definitely do your workshop idea - if there isn't a market in Cambridge, there isn't one anywhere. I also need to get a butterfly punch in the US so that I can pinch that idea too.

Bigbird - San Diego

stealthsquiggle Wed 16-Jan-13 10:33:52

strict, not strictly

<<hits phone>>

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 10:47:11

Ok I want to make one now. What do I do?

< sits down with pen and paper ready to e educated >

I have fabric an a sewing machine. smile

coldcomfortHeart Wed 16-Jan-13 14:14:00

Ursula you should really wash all fabric before using it (dull but important) as some things run or shrink more than others, and if you just went for it and then washed your quilt you might end up with some puckered, tight bits and bleeding fabrics, etc.

Using knit/jersey fabrics is something I've never done, and although I'm sure it's manageable you might want to do some research into the best way and use the appropriate sewing machine needles/presser feet.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 16-Jan-13 14:30:44

Prewash before cutting if you're using fabrics from different sources, yes.

Nobody do what I did and prewash a jelly roll, though blush

I think it would be hard to quilt with fabrics of different weights and stretchiness, though the Victorians mixed silks and velvets in their (vile IMO) crazy patchworks. Some people suggest that if you want to use jersey you should mount it onto a less stretchy woven cotton first. I might be inclined to do the main patchwork in firm cottons then applique on motifs from the stretchy stuff.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 14:41:22

Stealth, that is where I live smile

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 14:53:41

I don't usually prewash because I like my quilted things to have that puckery vintage look.

Fairyjen, I found I don't like making big quilted projects as they hurt my arms and shoulders trying to work the fabric through the machine so I make smaller projects, mainly table toppers and runners and lap quilts.

Stacked Coin quilts (images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=coin+quilt) are easy though, nothing much to line up but looks impressive.

I just did a faux cathedral window table runner and while the pressing was a complete pitn the sewing wasn't hard and I think it looks cool.

lljkk Wed 16-Jan-13 15:13:27

Ooh, well done to OP.
My machine is currently breaking needles at a rate of noughts so I have lost my nerve with using my walking foot. sad I only have binding to finish on one quilt until I work up my nerve to figure out & solve the needle-breaking problem, at least.

I tape to kitchen floor and tack thru layers there, it has worked quite well. Only up to about single bed size, though, don't know what I'd do for anything much larger.

stealthsquiggle Wed 16-Jan-13 16:59:06

Bigbird shock [ - I will actually be in Coronado, but for work rather than holiday - which is the best Jo Ann to escape to, do you think?

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 17:02:25

Point Loma.

If you have some time off perhaps we should go shopping together smile If you have time we should hit yardage town and beverly's too.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 16-Jan-13 17:07:55


http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/store/403 (good for high end quilt fabrics, flannels and interesting notions)

stealthsquiggle Wed 16-Jan-13 18:21:45

I am not sure yet when I will be able to get away - I may PM you nearer the time when I have an agenda grin

Oh wow, that's really impressive! Love it smile

DewDr0p Thu 17-Jan-13 13:54:20

OP your quilt is gorgeous - really lovely mix of colours.

congratulations, it looks lovely. It is a real labour of love isn't it!! I have just finished DD's quilt yesterday so know the feeling of achievement....it took me a year!

stealthsquiggle Thu 17-Jan-13 14:14:17

I am blown away by the sheer scale of your first quilt, OMDB. My "finished" quilt top is now in danger of being chopped up and turned into a stacked coin one to make it a big bigger (but would still only be single bed sized at most)

UrsulaBuffay Thu 17-Jan-13 14:14:46

Thanks smile so wash and then cut then sew. I'd have done it all back to front

UrsulaBuffay Thu 17-Jan-13 14:22:57

Thought of another stupid question - do you make a template for the squares and how big do you recommend?

bran Thu 17-Jan-13 16:51:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UrsulaBuffay Thu 17-Jan-13 18:01:12

Urgh scissors I haven't ever heard of the other... Iron?! >falls down dead<

TunipTheVegedude Thu 17-Jan-13 18:05:13

A rotary cutter, with cutting mat and ruler, is a wonderful thing. It makes your shapes so much neater and thus makes it easier to sew them straight. It's also way quicker if you're doing a lot. But for big squares you'll be fine with template and scissors.

UrsulaBuffay Thu 17-Jan-13 18:39:38

I will add it to my list ( have yet to even attempt using machine!)

fairyqueen Thu 17-Jan-13 18:58:29

I've just bought a sewing machine with the hope of learning quilting and yours is proper inspiration. Congrats.

Thanks for the lovely comments!

I would also recommend a rotary cutter if you are cutting squares or strips for quilting, I cut out 725 squares for my quilt, there is no way I could have had the patience to do that with scissors!

A rotary cutter is like a pizza cutter, but you use it with a cutting mat and ruler, and you can cut four or five layers of fabric at once so you can get a lot cut. Lines are perfectly straight too.

My squares were cut at 3.5 inches, so the finished squares when sewn together were 3 inches wide.

I only ever iron fabric for sewing too, never clothes! When the ironing board is out, that means a project is in progress! grin

toomuchpizza Sat 19-Jan-13 13:18:58

Well done - that's beautiful! I remember when you first blogged about it and it was around then that I decided I would do one too. I cheated and bought the fabric as I'm fairly new to sewing and my stash is nowhere near big enough yet! I finished it in time for Christmas and it's here if you fancy a look. I also used the stitch in the ditch method as my free motion quilting is not really up to scratch. I love the pocket effect from stitching in the ditch and think I actually prefer it to fancier designs.

I also recommend 505 and a rotary cutter. A quilting ruler is really handy too for all sorts of projects. I have a 6" x 12" one and it's been one of my best purchases.

roguepixie Sat 19-Jan-13 15:06:51

Wow, absolutely beautiful ... and a lovely blog too.

You have inspired me to try one myself. It's long been ambition but you have galvanised me to try.

toomuchpizza thank you! I am glad I inspired you and I love your quilt! I am not also following your blog, thanks for the link!

Rouge I am glad this has inspired you to give it a try too! It is very very satisfying.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now