Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Guest post: Making Zoe's baby quilt, or the fruits of March Madness

By: JEN [let the guest posts begin!]

Watching this many hours of NCAA college basketball has to have strong effects on a person. Each March I watch hundreds of people realize how far hard work and talent can take them. The glory of victory, the sting of defeat and grace in the effort. The magic of sports! It's all enormously compelling! It is my favourite sporting event, and every March I turn into a bit of a recluse as I take it all in.

What more natural response than to start a quilt? Right?

SO...I went to my piles of fabric, as yet untouched, and picked out 8 prints that I hoped would go together...this is the first quilt that I have done totally by myself, from fabric selection and design (I guess that's what one would call it!) to binding and tying etc, so I was a bit nervous that it would all make sense...

I ironed the fabrics and cut 3" squares according to my hot planning and math (pictured above). Then I laid the squares out so see what made sense, patterns-wise (below).

To my great delight, I stood up and saw that my 'lay the squares down in the same order' thing makes a pretty nice pattern! I liked how the dark and lighter ones spread out, and that dark yellow! A risk with hot results!

I picked the rows of squares up in order and sewed them together into strips. Then I pressed them and sewed them together! Ta da! Quilt top: DONE! It's not a buzzer-beating 3 point shot to take your team to the Sweet Sixteen, but it's pretty impressive anyway!

I pressed the quilt top (above)...this is when things really start coming together!

Next, I laid the quilt top out over a larger piece of fabric backing and some quilt batting. I pinned these three layers together so that I could tie and bind it without having the layers move around too much (/at all!).

The 3" squares are a really nice size. They make 2.5" squares once they're sewn up!

It really was coming together well, and QUICKLY! I have to admit, I was really excited when I got to this point....I mean, CHECK IT OUT! It looks like dessert to me, all bright and frothy...and my second try at cutting and sewing has yielded MUCH better results, corners-wise. They match up much better than quilt #1!

NOW, in my enthusiasm for the quilt binding fabric that I found in my stash (ALL of this fabric was in my stash...a proud achievement indeed!), I forgot that you are supposed to tie/quilt first, and THEN bind. I blindly forged ahead with seen below! Note the pins! Order of operations, ignored!

In order to bind, you cut fabric in strips (here 2.5" strips). Press the strips in half lengthwise, wrong side together. Pin the strips along the edge of the quilt so that all of the cut edges (the cut edges of the binding and the quilt itself) are together. Sew these layers together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

To finish the binding, you have to hand stitch (or at least, I hand stitched) the binding over the rough edges and onto the back side. Check out that delicious pale green gingham! Hot stuff!

Once the binding was on, I tied the quilt with cotton perle. I didn't tie on every corner since I thought that might be overkill. I think I was right!

I'm pretty new to quilting but tell me: HOW could I resist a hobby that lets me collect, iron, cut and combine these kinds of fabrics in order to make BLANKETS?! The truth is, I can't resist. I am sold!

So, to the new Hartley-Carter, enjoy this blanket! It was such a treat to make for you! And to Stephen Curry, sophomore sensation of Davidson College, congratulations to you and your team! You were a joy to watch this year, and I hope next March I will get to watch you raise the bar again...who knows what kind of quilting response I'll have by then!


sarah said...

i'm glad this mystical achievement is documented!

zoe said...

So fun to see the in process pictures! I love this quilt. Thanks Jen! And thanks NCAA. You rock.

Erin said...

"...and that dark yellow! A risk with hot results!"

My favourite line from this awesome post!