Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Handmade Holidays: My First Adult Size Quilt

Just before Thanksgiving I finished the first of my handmade Christmas gifts for the year! A quilt! A big one! For my nephew! The last quilt I made was crib size quilt for my niece so I still consider this one a "first" in that it's made for a much bigger bed. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty friggin' proud of this monster.


Backing up a bit, I first saw the picture below on Pinterest and loved the idea. I've always loved quilts that have different fabrics or blocks in them, but until I am a bit more skilled at piecing and tackling new block styles I figured utilizing a bunch of different fabrics was a good start.

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I'm not entirely sure when the ombre idea came into play, but here is my initial planning of the quilt. My measurements were WAYYYYYYY off. It's still definitely giant and will be fine on his bed, but I either totally screwed up my seam allowances or something. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably closer to 70" x 80" so large enough to cover the bed but not quite bedspread size.


This quilt was a combination of fabrics I already had and wanted to use up, plus a few new ones thrown in as well. I also purchased all the solid blue fabrics. Most of the patterned blue, the backside of the quilt, and the binding fabric I already had.



I know something people can look at their sketch, make stacks of triangles, and then just sew. I am not one of those people. I have to lay everything out and sew row by row or I will get so confused! I know there are a bunch of tricks like making a wall to design your layout on, but the floor works for me for now. Plus holy leg work out! It probably also helps that our pet doesn't live inside our apartment and we don't have children so I have the luxury of laying things all over the floor for periods of time.



At first, sewing was taking a really long time. I've been slowly working on this thing since the summer time. I had a cheap beginner's machine that I'd been doing all my work on and my skill had officially surpassed the machine. Fortunately, I found an awesome deal on a Janome on Craigslist in time for Christmas crafting. I seriously don't know how I would have finished this thing without using an (understandably) expensive quilt finishing service.

 Quilting the whole thing on my new machine took about 2 hours and a lot of tricky maneuvering on my part. I don't remember exactly how long the binding took. I was so stoked on my new machine that I decided to do one of the fancy stitches around the binding instead of just doing an invisible ladder stitch. I still had to ladder stitch the back, but I had fun adding in the extra stars.


 Now that I've made one big quilt, I definitely want to keep making more! It was such a labor of love so I've spent a little time since knocking out a few faster projects. Something about working on one thing for weeks all of the sudden makes it feel crazy to sew 4 quick things in a weekend. I have one more quilt I'd like to get done before Christmas, one to get done before the end of January, and one to get done before the end of March. And of course that's in addition to all the other sewing I want to do. Everything I have planned involves the half square triangle technique. I think after I finish the quilts I have planned, it'll be time to sign up for a quilting class to learn a new technique.


Thanks for peeking! What're you making for the holidays?

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