Sunshine – My First Finish!

It’s official – I’ve finished my first quilt!  I chose my fabrics, cut and pieced everything for the top, basted, quilted and bound everything together.  I even made my own custom label!  I’m so excited to show it off!

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“Sunshine”
Quilt Stats:
Size: Approximately 40″ x 50″
Pattern: Derailed Quilt Pattern by FrivolousNecessity
Type of Quilting: Straight Line on my home machine
Date Finished: December 2013

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I’m so happy with how it turned out!  My binding is really even and I think my mitered corners look really good for my first time.

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And I love how the quilt label turned out!  I appliqued it onto my backing before I basted and quilted.  I’ll definitely be doing this for all of my quilts!

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I did straight line quilting on my home machine.  It isn’t perfectly straight but I think the lines look pretty good.  I did have one really crooked row that I ripped out and redid though (thank goodness for my seam ripper!).

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I even recruited my husband to help me get some full length photos of the front and back of the finished quilt.  Thanks honey!

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Since it is almost Christmas (and this quilt is a Christmas gift for my cousin’s new baby), I though it was only fitting to get some photos with a Christmas tree too!  This gorgeous (and giant!) tree is at our local shopping center.

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Look how giant those bows are! 🙂

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I can’t wait for my cousin to open this on Christmas!  It is all wrapped up and ready to take home for the holidays!

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Sewing the Top for the Baby Quilt

I can tell that I’m already getting hooked on this sewing thing.  I’ve had a busy last couple of weeks and didn’t really get a chance to get behind the sewing machine much and I sort of missed it!  I’ve realized that I find sewing to be relaxing and am enjoying adding it to my schedule and making it a new hobby.

I did get a chance this weekend to transfer my focus back to the baby quilt I’m making.  I finished all 180 of my HSTs for it a few weeks back but then set them aside and have been working on other things.

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Well I finally laid out all of those stacks of HSTs into the layout for my quilt top and have started working on sewing the rows together.  It was quite a process trying to evenly distribute the colors across the entire quilt and I had to move things around a few times before I was happy with it.  Thankfully I can leave it on the floor of our spare bedroom and just close the door to keep the dog from disturbing all the squares!

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It is kind of amazing to me how much all of those quarter inch seam allowances add up when you multiply them across the entire width of the quilt top.  Check out how much the rows shrink when sewn together!

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I’m really excited about how it is turning out so far!  What surprised you the most when you were working on your first quilt?

Planning My First Quilt

I decided that I wanted to learn how to quilt so that I could make a baby quilt for my cousin’s new baby girl.  Baby Allie already joined the family in July (she is so cute!) but the quilt I’m making will be her Christmas gift from me this year.

I have a pretty large extended family, especially on my dad’s side.  My dad has three sisters, all of whom married.  Then there are 10 cousins and 4 of those cousins are married now.  And some of the married cousins have had kids of their own now (we’re up to 5 so far).  So when we get everyone together for the holidays, we sometimes have up to 27 people running around!

We decided long ago that for holiday gift exchanges, we’d draw names out of a hat because there are way too many of us to buy for everyone.  This way, everyone is only buying for one other person.  My mom has been in charge of actually doing the drawing and making all the pairings for a long time now but she will occasionally “cheat” on the drawing if someone has a really good idea for a specific person and wants to be paired with them.  So I asked my mom to make sure I was chosen to buy for baby Allie this year!

I was really drawn to the Derailed Quilt Pattern by FrivolousNecessity for baby Allie.  I loved the use of pinks and yellows together which made it look girly but it also had a bit more pizzazz than many baby quilts I see.  I don’t know if I’m adventurous or simply crazy to start off with a quilt with so many half-square triangles (HST) but I guess we’ll see how it goes!

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So off to Jo-Ann Fabrics I went to try to find 9 different pink and yellow fabrics that would work well together.  I’ll be honest, the fabric buying process really intimidated me.  There are so many fabrics to choose from and I just didn’t know if I had the eye for telling what fabrics would look good together in a finished quilt.  I’d read all about making sure you had a mix of small, medium, and large scale patterns and having different shades of colors to give visual interest but I wasn’t so sure I could actually put it to practice.

After spending a long time digging through the racks, pulling way more fabrics than I needed and narrowing them down to my top 9, I came up with the below prints.  My color scheme expanded a little bit to be a mixture of pinks, yellows, and grays.

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I found a white on white polka dot fabric for my background (unfortunately I had a hard time capturing the white on white with the camera but hopefully you can see what I’m talking about).

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Lastly, I had to choose fabric for the backing and binding.  For my first quilt, I felt it would be easier to decide all of this ahead of time and just buy all of my fabric at once.  But I also didn’t want to have to try to coordinate any more fabrics into the mix so I decided to choose two of the fabrics from the front.  I’m using a white/pink/yellow floral pattern for the backing (left) and a soft pink polka dot print for the binding (right).

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Now I should have everything I need to start cutting out my pieces and sewing!  Wish me luck!

When making baby quilts, do you prefer pinks/blues or gender neutral color schemes?