I Made My First Quilt Today

Although I’m not sure it actually counts as a quilt? I think it does, though — a quilt is just two or more layers of cloth with batting in the middle — it doesn’t *have* to be made up of lots of little pieces.

This is what’s called a ‘cheater’ quilt — all one piece of fabric on top (my “Starry Woods” pattern, in silver and green in small-scale on the top piece of fabric, and larger scale trees on the bottom piece), but patterned in squares, so if you sew along the lines, it looks like it’s been seamed together out of lots of pieces.

I think cheater quilts are probably a good way into quilt-making, which I’ve always found intimidating. Even with one this simple, I messed up some — I didn’t line up the three layers quite right (top layer, batting, bottom layer). I *thought* I had, but.

Frustratingly, the bottom layer of Minky (soft & lush Spoonflower fabric) scrunched up some while sewing, I think because I didn’t put in enough safety pins, because I was lazy, and I paid for that, because I ended up having to rip out a bunch of seams and then re-pin and sew them for it to look decent. If I had done it right from the start, I think the whole thing would only have taken me about an hour, start to finish. Well, maybe 90 minutes. Pretty cool.

If you’re interested in trying a cheater quilt yourself, Spoonflower will let you design one out of any fabrics you like — any that are gathered in a collection, that is (although I think you can just set up your own collection out of fabrics you like). I went for a very simple two-fabric pattern, but you could make every square out of a different fabric if you wanted. And then I did a solid pattern on the back, but you could do alternating squares there too, if you really wanted. Look for the ‘design-a-yard’ option on the site. The Spoonflower blog also has instructions — I’ll link to it below.

Finally, I realized that it would make more sense if I’d oriented everything 90 degrees — this is a single yard, and ends up sized for either a baby/toddler blanket or lap throw, and it’d make more sense with the pattern going lengthways rather than width ways. I’ll know for next time. It’s fine like this, esp. since I made this as a present for Anand (he loves things that are very very soft), and he will not care if the trees are facing the wrong direction sometimes.

I want to go back and use a wider binding — 1/2″ was not quite enough for me to easily get all the layers in, and some bits are wonky — I’m going to use a 1″ twill tape to re-do the binding, I think, for a sturdier end result, that can safely go through the wash. Live and learn. But for a first attempt, I’m really pleased with it.

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