Project #1: A Crib Quilt for a Friend
Having once helped my mother make a quilt when I was about 11, I thought I was stepping into the game a step ahead of the beginner. Alright, let’s be honest, I thought I was already a bit of an expert. So when I approached this baby quilt ideas as a gift for a friend and a quick practice quilt before making quilts to sell on Etsy, I just dove in head first without a plan and a whole bunch of unsubstantiated confidence. I went to the fabric store with no idea what I would need and just bought random amounts of fabric based on guesses of what I would need (regret #1). I then did a Google search for images of modern quilt designs and decided to go with a ridiculously intricate first design that required me to piece together 260 three inch triangles (regret #2). Finally, I monumentally underestimated the difficulty of free motion quilting (regret #3). The result: I bit of a slapped together mess (Sorry Amanada, I really do owe you and baby girl another quilt). See for yourself:
Misaligned seams and horrendous tension problems aside, the quilt was not a complete disaster. It was just very “handmade” looking. The experience was quite humbling. I realized that I had a long way to go before 1) quilting anything to be given as a gift, and 2) made anything to sell. Next step: Practice, Practice, Practice.
Project #2: Family Christmas Stockings
For my next project, I decided to focus on something small and for personal use to practice getting my seams more consistent. I made these three stockings for my son’s first Christmas. They use a Christmas line by Robert Kaufman and I just traced a stocking I already had and looked at it’s assembly to figure out how to do it. Was this the best method? Probably not. But I do like how they came out. I think by the time I get them out in a few months I’ll finally be brave enough to hand embroidery our names on (and I’ll get better pictures of them when I do).
Projects #3 and #4: Practice Pillows
These two pillows are by no means two of my favorite things I’ve ever made. I just dug through my very small stash of fabric (from one month of quilting) and slapped together a few impromptu pillow covers for practice. I learned a lot about fabric selection and choosing the right quilting design to really accentuate the personality of the piece though. My seams by this point had become much more accurate and I was beginning to feel pretty comfortable with quilting (straight line quilting at least, though I was practicing free-motion a bit too at this point). I like the pillows pretty well, especially the back of each, but I would do things differently if I were to make them now.
So there you have it, my not so easy introduction to quilting. I learned a lot from these first few projects. For the other beginner quilters out there reading this, know that you will get much better, much faster than you think if you keep at it. Stay tuned for some much improved quilting projects and photographs.
Have a Question? Leave me a Comment.
Another Quilting Adventure by elizabeth lowe