Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Quilt In A Weekend

Like the title of the post says, I sewed an entire quilt in one weekend.  Granted, it was lap-size.  You know, the standard size for those lap throws you see for sale.  52" X 78"or some such thing.  I don't know the exact measurements, since I haven't measured it yet.  It's the first quilt I've ever sewn.  It's so colorful and cheerful!

What made this quilt come about is that I haven't seen a friend of mine in quite some time.  Months.  I missed her and we had always talked about doing some sewing together, since she is an avid quilter and I've always wanted to learn.  So I asked her if she minded if I stay for a weekend and we sew to our hearts' content and she said sure!

The weekend of the 13th and 14th I went to her house.  She showed me how her garden was faring, I got to eat delicious fresh-from-the-backyard, truly organic produce and we gabbed and gabbed.  It was fun!  Oh, and while gabbing, we sewed.

I love this batik fabric and the zoo animals!
This was a challenge for me.  You see, I bought a $600 sewing machine back in 2003.  I got it on sale for $400 and had every intention of using it to sew my baby girl some clothes, since Willow was only about two years old at the time.  But instead, I ended up trucking.  I never did get around to using the machine.  Not once.

So here it is, eight years later, and I'm looking at my machine, flummoxed.  I can't find the instructions and the cord is still in it's wrapper.  It's a brand new machine, essentially, but I don't remember the way the sales lady showed me how to use it.  My friend was a godsend.  She showed me how to thread the needle and fill up the bobbin and how to adjust the tension, replace the feet, what the different feet were for and even explained how the different stitches worked.

Did I mention I'm a complete novice?  I used my mom's machine back in high school to peg my jeans and to sew a robe costume back when I was in the drama club (and if memory serves, my mom did most of that), but that's about it.  I have never followed a pattern or anything like that.  Mom had shown me how to sew on a button ages ago, but that was about the extent of my sewing knowledge.

Note the uneven stitching.  Hey, it's a start!  

So my friend put me to work on a strip quilt.  It was super easy, since it just entailed sewing a bunch of random strips together.  They all had to be cut the the same length, but the width didn't matter much.  Variety actually is good for a quilt like this, anyway.  Too uniform, and I imagine it might look weird.  Anyhow, so I sewed and sewed and sewed and sewed.  We started about 3 or 4 pm on Saturday afternoon and worked until about 11pm, with about an hour break for dinner.  Then started up again the next morning around 9 or 10 and I stopped around 2:30.  By then, I had the front and the back done, the batting between them, and had quilted them together.  I still needed to patch a pair of shorts, so I started working on that while my friend sewed the only part she sewed on the whole thing.  She showed me how to attach the edging of the quilt.  I sewed everything else!  It was cool!  We had to leave by 4 because my friend had other appointments, so she wanted to make sure I could leave her house with the project pretty much sewn up (haha!  pun intended).

Anyhow, I still need to do a little bit of hand stitching around the edges, but I'm out of thread.  As soon as I can get to a store and buy some, I'll be finishing that little tidbit up.  But I'm so excited.  I made a quilt!  Me!  And it's beautiful!

I would really like to thank my friend for her patient coaching and for the use of her materials.  Thank you, thank you, you know who you are!! Love you bunches!

*I knew the moment I showed my dad the quilt, he would say, "Good!  Now you can come over to my house and sew some stuff for me!"  Sure enough, he did EXACTLY that!  I had to laugh.  He's already got his own sewing machine and can sew just fine, thank you very much.  :)  I love my dad.  He's so funny.


  1. Beautiful job Holly. Watch out, you'll get hooked. I'm planning to finish the bed quilt I started years ago soon as we settle into our new place. I finally have a proper bed to use it on so I want it before winter. It's a queen size crazy quilt made from old jeans.

  2. Oh, I know! The only reason I'm not sewing up a storm right now on a new project (I've already formulated about a dozen in my mind's eye) is that I don't have the dineros to buy the supplies. I foresee going to a bunch of yard sales before the year is out...