So I’ve been meaning to make a quilt for, what feels like, ages. I started one in my old house, 3-5 years ago. Those pieces are still in boxes. I started another one in my old house, again, still in boxes. Thus, it might have sounded counter intuitive to buy fabric online and start a new one last September. But that’s exactly what I did, inspired by a picture of a quilt I found on Pinterest (here). I searched for some cute fabrics, hoping that the white borders would ensure that they would not clash too much. In the end, I got enamoured by some fabrics with animals on, that were set to arrive at my house in a few weeks.
The fabrics came in packs with different prints and different colours. In the end I selected the prints that I liked the most together. The colour scheme was light blue and light grey with some yellow thrown in. From each piece of fabric (which was slightly smaller than a fat quarter), six pieces needed to be cut. The large rectangle was 41.5 x 19.5 cm (seam allowance 1.5 cm), the medium square was 19.5 x 19.5 cm and 4 small squares of 8.5 x 8.5 cm. Sashing was ripped from a white cotton at 5.5 cm wide.
I divided the fabrics in four groups and arranged them according to the same groups as the original quilt on a sheet. Some of the large rectangles needed to be turned sideways to fit the pattern, and since my fabric didn’t allow that, some are now orientated unexpectedly. Then I started sewing them all together. This whole cutting and putting down process took about a day (the picture I took dates it to 6 October). The sewing of the top took another day (7 October). Then I needed to decide on the backing, which was extremely difficult, but in the end I got a fabric from the internet with dinosaurs on that had very similar colours to the rest of the quilt. Then I waited for two months before doing anything else..
You see, there was a problem. The dinosaurs were not cut (or printed) on grain, which meant that when I trued up the edges, the fabric did not span the entirety of the quilt front. So I first needed to decide how to ‘lengthen’ the backing. It took until three days ago before I decided. Then I figured I would put a strip of white fabric in the middle. So I sewed that and then centered the strip along the middle of the quilt and sewed it down along the edges of the animal patches. This also determined how I would quilt the thing. It involved just sewing around the animal patches.
After two days of sewing, three-quarters of the patches had been sewn down. Since it was Saturday late afternoon, I figured I needed to find some binding, if I wanted to finish this thing in 2018. Off I went and I found a pillowcase in a light blue that I liked the colour of. Because I am the absolute worst at estimating how much bias tape comes out of a certain amount of fabric, I bought two more pillowcases. This morning I got up and went to make the bias tape. I decided to start with one pillowcase first. This was more than sufficient as it turned out. So now I have the resources to make enough bias tape to go to the moon and back, or so it feels when you are ironing it all..
Then I continued sewing down the remaining patches, having learnt from previous experience that trying to wrangle 1.5 meters of quilt under the arm of the sewing machine is horrible. Less pins were used at the same time, and smarter positioning of the quilt too. Next was sewing down the edges, trueing the sides and attaching the binding. As an extra touch I made a small tag with my name for the bottom seam. Some final hand sewing to get the corners to look nice and the skipped bits sewn down and the thing was done! All in 2018. I’m very happy with finally finishing a real quilt!