Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Saturday "Crafternoon"--Quilting Style

When it comes to crafts, sometimes you've got to go big or go home. And that is exactly what I did when attempting my first quilt. Table runners? Baby quilts? Placemats? Nah...instead I go for the world's biggest quilt ever (in my mind anyway). First things first, I've never made an "actual" quilt. I sewed part of top with my mom when I was a kid, but never finished it. In college, I sewed a whole top, but made it into a duvet cover instead of actually quilting it. But when I came across 34 pre-cut 5" squares of Amy Butler's Midwest Modern fabric (as already mentioned...my favorites) for $10, I couldn't pass it up.

But what to do with 34 squares? I know...make a king-sized quilt! (Yes, there was more of a thought pattern there, but not one any sane person could follow.) After a visit to St. Vinny's, I found old bed sheets (and lots of them!) that went really well with the fabric. And that is where the "Humongous Happy Dance" quilt (as I'm now calling it) began. The gi-normous size happened because I'm bad with measuring. I figured if I wanted a queen-size quilt, I better plan for a king size just in case. But as it turns out, my math wasn't so far off. After finishing the top, it turned out to be the exact size I planned. D'oh!

Mandy, a friend at work and excellent quilter/seamstress (don't believe me...check out her Beanabine Etsy shop!), is expecting. We decided to do a trade...I'd knit her a baby sweater, and she'd help me back my quilt. This past Saturday, she, another work friend Tonya, and I got together for a Saturday "Crafternoon." Mandy showed me what to do, and I got started pinning while she and Tonya worked on their own quilts. Four hours and sore, raw fingers later, my entire quilt was pinned--yeah, almost 200-300 pins. Ouch!

I was going to sew buttons all over the quilt to hold it together, but I discovered that I HATE BUTTONS! It took me two hours to sew on 15 buttons. That’s ridiculous. And then I didn’t even like how they looked. It would’ve been great for a little girl quilt, but a big girl (i.e., me) quilt, it looked dumb. I switched to hand tying. Spent another few hours doing that only to realize I tied the quilt folded in half....yes, I am a moron. After all of that, I decided to machine quilt it. And WOW!!! That was SOOOOO much easier, and turned out nicer. It’s nothing fancy. I just used a swervey (sp?) stitch along the seams. Thanks Curvy for being up for the challenge!

Below are some pictures of the pinned quilt, the backing, and the room where we worked on all of this. The room was in the upstairs of Mill House Quilts in Waunakee. A very cool place. The quilts pictured below were hanging in the room. Once I get further along on my quilt, I'll post more pictures.

"Humongous Happy Dance"

A sea of pins (and sore fingers)

That's the backing for my quilt lying on five tables and still not fitting.

I found this flannel fabric at Walmart for $1/yd. I was so happy since I need 12 yds to back the quilt.

Mill House Quilts

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