Sunday, February 17, 2013

New tricks 4/26: Getting my quilt on

Oh my goodness. I think I just quilted.

I've been thinking about quilting for a little while but it's always seemed like such a mammoth task for an amateur hand-stitcher. Enter my version of a sampler - just a little piece to try my hand on, figuring out how things fit together and how in the hell I might actually stitch the thing. It's only doll-sized, so no wrangling reams of fabric or sore wrists.

I think the most difficult part was choosing the fabric, sorting through my fabric box and feeling completely inept about how to match patterns together. I looked online, I took photos of my fabric collection and emailed them to Angelface, I sat pieces side by side and switched them back and forth a million time. Finally I decided to just work with the dark blue 'oranges & leaves' fabric - use that as the springboard for putting together everything else. I'm still not 100% happy with the way it works all together, but I didn't have to buy anything new and Dear Boy doesn't care.

The quilting part was fairly easy. Instead of fancy patterns, I just stitched around the borders of all the squares, making it look all wrinkled. Okay, so I cheated a little bit. Instead of sandwiching the batting between a front and back piece, I used a piece of fleece to give it a bit of thickness and warmth and to save on hassle. Plus it's snuggly.

After picking the fabric, the binding was the next big worry - stitching, folding, pinning, turning, and re-folding, re-pinning and re-stitching. But look! I went and mitered and it worked! I pretty much followed the steps outlined in Diary of a Quilter's binding tutorial and, even though mine didn't look halfway as neat and steady as hers, when I folded those corners over, it just worked. Magic.

So am I ready to tackle an actual quilt, of proper blanket/bed proportions? I'm not sure. I'd like to be able to do something sizable by hand but just have the feeling it'd be one of those things that I'd plunge into, be immersed in a week or so then would leave it sitting on the arm of the couch for months while I regrouped. Harder to see the end point with such a big project. Plus, I have no clue what fabric I'd used. I'd want to buy an awesome new bundle of fabrics to make something for Dear Boy but that could just be plain expensive. Fabric don't come cheap at the moment. 

I'm keen, though. I think I'm able. Watch this space.

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