At least a year ago I suddenly decided I wanted a sewing machine. The poor thing sat dormant for several months as I had no idea how to use it and didn't know quite where to start
. Then last summer my mum decided to take a machine quilting class and asked if I wanted to come with her as she believed quite a few people in the class were going to be new to quilting and some were even going to be new to sewing (like me). I took her up on the offer and the result can be seen below:
The finished article
(Sorry for the picture quality, I'm really not much of a photographer!)
I'm pretty pleased with it over all, although it was quite a steep learning curve and because I'm slightly pernickity I'm now pretty well versed with the seam ripper. Matching the points and getting the bias bits to work out was tricky, but the most ambitious part of the quilt was probably the free motion quilting. Free motion quilting is fun and I would encourage anybody who's curious about it to give it a go, but I would reccomend that you pay very close attention
to what you're doing while you're sewing...
...or you could end up with a problem like this!
Yep. That was probably the biggest mistake I made on this quilt. I was a little too
free and easy with my free motion and I ended up quilting some of the excess batting from one of the corners to the back of the quilt! My mum's first reaction was "Wall hanging!" but I had been pretty pleased with how the back was looking, up to that point and was really pretty disappointed that this fluffy stuff had wrecked it. After much pulling and prodding at the batting and contemplating quilting a patch of extra blue fabric on top, I took it in with me to a quilting shop. The picture above is after I hacked it away from the corner and tried snipping some of the excess away.
The back of the quilt now:
Unfortunately that batting had been sewn down really well
and the lady at the quilt shop said that the only way to really get rid of it that wouldn't show would be to rip out the quilting in that whole section and do it again. So that's what I ended up doing. It wasn't as painful to do as you might think.
So that's my quilt. I used this
site for my free motion references and would reccommend it to people who are wanting to try free motion, the videos are clear and quite easy to follow, there's loads of designs to choose from and the designs are ranked by level of difficulty. I used 'swirling feathers' in the blue background areas, 'lemonade' in the green border and the design in the outerborder is based on 'trailing spirals' I think, although it doesn't show up very well in these photos which is just as well because it's the design that worked the worst for me! For all the problems I had with free motion, I did enjoy it more than I enjoyed stitch in the ditch (which I attempted for the patterned diamonds) which I found trickier than I thought I would!
And here's a couple of close ups:
The fabrics in the four main diamonds are by Amy Butler. The colours aren't quite right here (a little too yellow I think) but they're really pretty fabrics.
A close up of one of the corners to show all the different quilting designs. Photo was taken before binding but after
my little batting disaster.
I learnt a lot through this project and found the class really helpful. It helped that the teacher was willing to explain different methods and wasn't at all strict with us. Our finished quilts were meant to have the blocks laid out like this:
But when I decided I wanted to lay mine out with a diamond pattern after playing around with the bocks, she gave me a lot of good advice on how to sew it.