Yep. Me, Sarah, made a quilt. For years and years I’ve been adimently anti-quilting. I’ve had garment sewers’ snobbery, I guess. I just couldn’t imagine having the patience for all that cutting. And then the sewing all those little squares together. And then the actual quilting part–I couldn’t get my head around any of that. Well, on my trip to Pittsburgh for Quilt Market for work, Laurie–founder of the Fabric Shop Network–got me a wonderful quilt kit from Quilt Company (if you’re ever in western Pennsylvania, it’s definitely a shop worth visiting). Determined to not let my coworker, Mandi, finish her quilt from a similar, also awesome kit, before me, I got cracking on it and sewed the top up in no time. The reason it was so simple? Uh, because the Quilt Company had kindly cut everything in advance. How nifty! Seriously, I probably would never have made a quitl if that fussy, frustrating cutting wasn’t already taken care of for me.
I have to admit, it’s almost embarrassing to tell y’all how much stress the backing and the binding were for me. I was convinced that I would end up frustrated with the busy fabric I originally selected for the backing. I became obsessed with trying to line up the pattern vertically and horizontally and I could tell it was all going to end in tears, so I quit while I was ahead and headed back to Bolt for more assistance. They helped me pick out another, less complicated fabric for the backing–a very pretty Vicki Payne (whom I met at Quilt Market and was totally RAD–she told me I was “fashionable”) 60″ cotton canvas sateen that coordinated perfectly with my quilt top. For whatever reason, this fabric behaved itself and I even managed to quitl it (nothing elaborate, just stitched in the ditch) fairly easily–especially considering that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
The binding was kind of another story, though. I used the fabric that I had originally intended for my backing and it looked pretty cool. However, I just couldn’t get my head around attaching the binding, mitering the corners and all that stuff. This was further compounded by the fact that most quilt books tell you to hand sew the binding on–because of my tendonitis, I simply can’t do much hand stitching. Not to mention, I kind of hate to hand sew. I mean, I sew buttons on with the sewing machine… I was convinced that the ‘Quilt Mafia’ was going to come after me for not hand sewing my binding. It was dumb and irrational, but I was panicking.
(Uh, I guess a real quilter would have ironed their quilt before photographing it. Oops.)
Anyway, as you can see, after all that angsting, I was able to get my binding sewn own. This is really thanks to my wonderful pal Susan, who has an incredible book that describes an easy one-step binding that worked well. (I didn’t execute it that well, but that has a lot more to do with my tiredness than the actual method.)
I’m pretty proud of my quilt–flaws and all. I’ve actually started another quilt, believe it or not. It’s a simple design from the beautiful book Material Obsession (worth checking out just for the stunning photography) for my mom as a retirement present. While I don’t think quilting is something I’ll take up on a regular basis, it is a satisfying diversion from my usual garment and accesories sewing projects. Josh, on the other hand, has been bitten by the quilting bug. He went out an bought Denyse Schmidt’s gorgeous quilting book (another book that non-quilters would probably enjoy having on their shelves because of the inspiring designs and Denyse’s unique aesthetic). In fact, he’s currently in the midst of a massive quilting project himself–The Big Zig. It’s wild and awesome. In the meantime, he’s become very attached to the one I made…
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