About 4 months ago, I decided I wanted to make a quilt for Baby Olive. It took me awhile to get started because it is, indeed, my FIRST quilt and I was pretty nervous about how/where to start. I bought a book (I chose BHG's Complete Guide to Quilting for the great step-by-step pictures inside!), picked out an amazing PATTERN TUTORIAL from Little Birdie Secrets (finding this tutorial is what inspired me to want to make a baby quilt in the first place - it is SO cute and the instructions were AWESOME! -and very simple for a first-timer like me!-) and chose a color scheme (I decided on lime green, teal, and brown - I didn't want it to be too 'pastel-y, but wanted him to be able to grow with it)
It took me forever to pick out the fabric and even longer to figure out the square combinations. BUT- once I got started, piecing together the blocks went really smoothly and before too long (2 months...) I had almost completely finished the quilt top.
That's when things start to get hairy.
In my never-made-a-quilt-before ignorance, I -on a whim- decided that I should throw the quilt top (before adding the outside border) in the washing machine on the 'normal' cycle. When I came to pull it out, this is what I found:
It was a tangled, ripped, frayed, pulled-apart-at-the-seams mess.
I had myself a good long cry (I can blame hormones for that, right?!) and I was SO UPSET with myself for totally ruining 2 months worth of work in the time it takes for a spin cycle to complete. Seasoned quilters out there are probably wondering why in the world I would wash it at this point - especially on the normal cycle... to which I will plead 'pregnancy brain'. I'm still kicking myself for thinking that washing it before it was put together was a good idea... BUT that's how lessons are learned, right?! (why is it that I always seem to learn lessons like this the hard way?)
So, I dried the tears, chalked it up to a learning experience, and promptly drove to the fabric store to pick up more of the same fabric to make Quilt #2. Yep. The same day. I was more determined than ever to make this quilt happen. It took me less than 1 week to finish piecing together the top (did I mention that I was determined?) and after ordering a walking foot to fit my 1989 Kenmore sewing machine (which took a few weeks...) I was able to sandwich the quilt together, add the quilt lines and binding and VOILA! Quilt #2 turned out even BETTER than Quilt #1!
|The gathered block centers are my favorite part - they make the quilt so much fun and full of texture!|
|The border fabric is a white-on-white dots pattern - the perfect touch to an otherwise plain border |
(without making the design too busy)
|The backing fabric is 'minky' (THE softest fabric of all time) and it was great to work with because |
it didn't slip around too much and it doesn't shrink when washed!
Do all the blocks line up perfectly? No. Are all the quilting lines even? No way.
BUT- the quilt is overall square and VERY WELL SECURED (we don't want any repeat performances of the EPIC DISASTER above...). It has a heck of a lot of character and a really good story (of course, this is one of those stories that is only 'good' in hindsight).
This is a true labor of love that involved a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) and I'm proud to say that my first ever quilt will be my first gift to my first child. Pretty cool, I think. :)