It has happened. I have completely finished my first ever real quilt. And it didn't even take me years to complete - which is what I thought would happen.
I got the instructions for my quilt from the tutorials of Cluck Cluck Sew which is one of my favorite quilting blogs. She calls it her Strip and Flip Quilt. It caught my eye because I think it's clever, modern and cool. Also, I knew I could sew strips together so I had a pretty good chance of being able to complete the quilt top. ;)
I started it around the first of February and completed the quilting and binding last week - so that's about 7 weeks which I think is pretty good for a beginner especially since I quilted and did the binding myself.
I used Simply Color by V and Co. for Moda (in jelly roll format) to do the strips which made it even easier since I didn't have to cut all those strips myself. I had also bought a layer cake of the same fabric because I loved this fabric so much. It's modern and fun but also bright and happy. So, when it came time to decide what to do for the backing, I decided to cut some of the layer cake squares in half (they come as 10 inch squares) and sew them into strips. I used the same white fabric on the back as I used for the vertical white strips on the front which was Moda Bella Solids in white. I love the way the back turned out and to be honest, I think I might like it better than the front.
This quilt is meant to be used and used well. It's going on my sofa so it will be used by me and my son on a regular basis to snuggle up when we are watching TV. That means it has to hold up to being washed in the washing machine regularly. I knew I needed to quilt it well in order for it to be able to do it's job. I wanted to do vertical stripes because I thought that would look so cool since the quilt has horizontal stripes. But, it was harder than I thought it would be.
When I first started, I used a ruler and Frixion pen to mark straight lines that I could follow but that didn't last long. Mostly because when you have this big wad of fabric in your lap and on your table and your trying to run it through the sewing machine in a straight line, it just doesn't work. Or at least it didn't work for me since this was my first quilt and I wasn't really prepared for how physical the quilting process is even though I had read blog after blog that told me it was physical and exhausting. Duh!
So, I basically gave up on the straight line idea. Instead, my lines are sorta straight but a little wonky. I think it's charming (that's my story and I'm sticking with it). If you look at the quilting up close, you can see that some of the lines stray off a bit. Some are mostly straight and some aren't even close to straight. I also gave up on the idea of my lines being the same width apart. It looks a lot cooler for them to be more random - also it was easier ;)
For the binding, I had planned to have a scrappy binding using the layer cake fabric cut into 2.5 inch strips and sewn end to end. My husband suggested the white binding because he felt the scrappy binding would be "too much" and would take away from the quilt instead of adding to it. I think he was right, so I went ahead and used the white.
It blends so well with the backing fabric that it looks like part of it.
So that's it. My first quilt. I am in love with it. It has gotten me even more excited about quilting. Now, all I want to do is cut little pieces of fabric up and sew them back together. I'll be taking this to my beginners quilting class that I am taking at my LQS for show and tell. I really hope they like it.