06 November 2009

Something exciting is happening at our house! Well, many exciting things, but one of them has been very evident on my kitchen table for the last 24 hours.

I've never made a quilt before, but I really wanted to make one for our baby girl. (It helps to have nice, visual reminders that not only is there a baby living in my belly, but she's going to come home and live here with us!)

So I did a little research online and got some basic instructions for making log cabin squares. I figured that if they were 12"x12" squares, I could make a dozen of them and call it a baby quilt since that's about the size they make them at PB Kids.

So I set to work - figuring things out as I went.

I have to say that there are few things I adore more than being surrounded by beautiful colors and patterns. It's like therapy! (Color therapy's a thing, right?)

And then, there's the exactness of cutting fabric into precise sizes and shapes.
I love exactness!

And of course, I love the sense of accomplishment when it all comes together and works out sort of like I imagined. I love making nice, pretty things that look how they're supposed to!

But there's this one problem.

This is my first quilt.

And I'm not really sure what to do next.


(And by "help", I mean, I know there's supposed to be batting and backing, but what kind? Can I use minky, soft fabric for the batting? Should I make my own edging? Does quilting a soft, minky fabric look funny on the back side? Also, how do I actually "quilt" it? Just my machine and my choice of cotton thread in any color? Just follow the lines of the pattern? Do I just need to take it to a quilt shop or is this something I can do myself?)

That's what I mean by "HELP!"


Anonymous said...

I am absolutely no help here, not being crafty. But can I just say how much I LOVE the colors you have used? STUNNING!!!!! Good luck. I look forward to seeing the final product. x

Chatty Cricket said...

so, the batting goes between the quilted pieces and the backing, so it's sandwiched between the top and the bottom and you don't see it- the batting is only meant to give a little heft to the quilt. You can get batting at any quilting or fabric/sewing shop.

I would chose a coordinating cotton for the backing- I've never tried to quilt with minky, but it might be tricky? That's a good question.

for the binding you'll want to chose another fabric (probably a cotton) that coordinates with the top and the backing- I can look up some of my patterns and give you dimensions, but you may want to go into a quilt shop and ask them to show you how to do the binding (you start by sewing it onto the quilt after it's been "quilted" and then you hem stitch it around by hand)

and FINALLY, I've quilted both ways- myself (and I just did 4 straight lines- up and down and crosswise- on a yellow brick road pattern) with my own machine, and have had a quilt done professionally. You'll need someone with a long arm sewing machine to do a fancy quilting pattern. OR you could hand quilt it with thick cotton floss by knotting it in places. There must be a tutorial online.

Does any of this make sense?

I think the quilt is GORGEOUS!!

lcrr_khs said...

Minkee is a great backing.

Batting is optional, IMHO, if you are using minkee. If you need it to be warm (like we do here in Illinois), then by all means use a COTTON batting (polyester is not good for baby quilts in case of fire - trust me). Warm and Natural or Warm adn White can be bought at Joann's. However, Minkee is pretty warm and you may not need it.

Make a sandwich. Make sure everything is wrinkle free. Pin with safety pins every handwidth or so.

To quilt, you can just shove it under your machine and do big X's in each square. You do not have to be elaborate.

I quilt a lot and log cabins are my favorite. I'm giving you very basic instructions so that you can have a sense of success. Then you can get more elaborate as you go. I've been at it over 20 years and I still learn new stuff all the time. (And I'm only 39!)

Here's a link to guide you through the steps. You are at the point where you have a completed top. http://www.quilting101.com/making/quilt-sandwich-assembly.html

Please share pics!


Amy said...

My step-mom made us a quilt for my second daughter that's regular quilting fabric on the front and minkie on the back. I think you want to be sure to pre-shrink everything first - because if the quilting fabric (cotton?) shrinks more or less than the minkie after you've sewn it all together, you might end up with a mess.

My mom made both of my kids quilts that are a really soft flannel in various baby-themed prints on the front and minkie on the back.

My kids are 4 and 2 and they still love their soft quilts.

Katey said...

Here is a tutorial for doing the binding... it's super easy, anyone can do it!


Chelsa said...

i have no idea, but i think it's gorgeous and it makes me want to try it myself!

mandiegirl said...

I can hardly run my machine, so I'm no help, but just wanted to say how pretty it is! Love the variety! :)

rachel e. said...

My mom has been in hyper-quilting mode for a few years now. She puts the quilts together, buys the batting and backing, and takes it to a little old lady who quilts it for her and also adds the binding. I have put the binding on before myself and would pay to not have to do so again. Also, if you find a good quilter they can quilt cutes patterns for you. Just my two cents :-)

Gaia said...

Lovely colours, it is indeed therapy for me. My Grandma at 96 is still making blankets for us, but unfortunately the fabrics she has aren't so pretty & vibrant. :)

Cecilia said...

Do you have a walking foot on your machine? I just learned to quilt six months ago so I'm not expert, but it was very helpful when you are quilting the top, batting, and backing together. If you can find a quilt shop that offers classes and you have time, they can be very helpful too!

Jennifer said...

I'm of no help either; I just wanted to add that I think that colors/patterns you have chosen are beautiful!

laura said...

it is beautiful. you took a timeless design (log cabin) and made it modern! i lo0ve to use warm and natural batting for the inside of all of my quilts. you can get it at walmart. it is thin but warm and it is easier to quilt through, especially for your first one. i always take all of mine to the quilter now to let her do the quilting by machine. she can do so many designs which add so much to the quilts. it costs, but to me, it's worth it. have fun, and best wishes. laura

Ashleigh said...

I have NO idea, but it looks gorgeous!! :) Makes me want to learn to quilt!

Kaira said...

Beautiful work, Raechel. It is so pretty. I would use a nice cotton batting for the inner layer and a minky on the back would be fabulous. It would just make the quilt, in my opinion.

A nice cotton batting can be found at a local quilt shop.

Rachel said...

I have no idea how to answer your questions, but this is gorgeous!! Nice work so far. You picked great colors and patterns!

Cowen Family said...

I too taught myself to quilt. I have tried to do the actual quilting myself and after doing 3 king size before Christmas one year, I decided it was more worth my money and time to send the quilts to a professional quilter. I can quilt for 3 days on my machine and accomplish a 'stitch in the ditch' or small lines but never get the full effect that my quilter lady does with her amazing designs that she charges like $34 for a baby quilt. To me, it is WELL WORTH it!
IMHO in terms of the minky, I would not back it as your first quilt. Sewing with plush or minky is truly a learned task. Minky stretches easily, no matter how many times I have pinned it. It may become rather frustrating to you. I would suggest making a few burp clothes or little loveys with it before you tackle the quilt, so you have an idea of what it is like to sew with it.
Your quilt is beautiful! Congrats on all the blessings God is preparing you for!
I made my daughter a baby quilt that had frogs, butterflies and lady bugs in it. I sent it to my quilter who charges .02/sq inch and she quilted those things into the quilt and it is BEAUTIFUL! $35...can't beat that!

Anonymous said...

this may be a "duh" obvious thing, but if you use batting, make sure when you sandwich it between your front and back that the fronts of your fabric (the part you want to see when the quilt is done) are facing the batting, not facing out. Once you turn the quilt it will be right side out.

Also, I've always just tied my quilts with either yarn or floss. You could do yours at the corners of your largest squares and it will hold together nicely. I think the pattern you've created with the strips are very nice and honestly I think doing a pattern in stitching on it will be too much.

also you don't NEED to do a binding if you make sure like someone else said your front and back are the same size and preshrunk, the front will be the front and the back will be the back.

But if you wanted to do one (this would probably be more for decorative purposes., an easy way to do it would be to cut 8 pieces of fabric (one for each edge of each side) and sew it onto the edges of each side of the quilt. Then sew then together just like you would the quilt (I really hope that made sense because it's confusing me lol)

good luck. It's adorable!

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Anonymous said...

oh and I don't know what minky is but I can tell you don't use fleece as batting LOL I found what I thought was a thin fleece I used to make my niece's quilt and that paired with the embroidered fabric I chose made it UBER heavy!!! She loves it and it turned out adorable, but still... you DO want the quilt to be lighter than the baby!

Just sayin' LOL

heididh33 said...

This is as far as I got on my first quilt too so thanks for posting!! :)
It's a beautiful quilt top though! Cant you just see Hazel dragging it along behind her? So cute!

Our Family said...

I love the look of hand quilted quilts. They are fun to do if you have someone to guide you. If you don't, the machine does a great easy job. Your color choices are beautiful, vibrant, alive and fun. Enjoy. You have been given good advice above.

Becky and Joe said...

You have a great eye! I have only made one quilt, but I used all the instructions in the book "Modern Quilt Workshop" by Ringle and Kerr. The directions are very clear even for a beginner, and it has lots of inspiring ideas. I used a cotton batting so it would crinkle up and have an antique type look, even though the design was modern. You can machine quilt it on a regular sewing machine. That is what I did. the book shows you how. Basically, you divide it into rows and roll up the parts you are not quilting at the moment. I bet you will get lots of help from quilters far more experienced than me. But I seriously love that book. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Sarah said...

Color therapy is most certainly a thing almost everything I bought before surgery (and after) to help with my recovery is/was or coordinates with Teal. And it's working so far. So go on with the colors!

Maura said...

WOW!!! This is awesome! I am working on my first quilt as well but mine doesn't not look nearly this good! You rock mama!

Allison said...

This link has a great tutorial on how to make a quilt: http://www.ohfransson.com/photos/how_to/3340858430_96ac467e7e.html

She does an awesome job of walking you through it all step by step. You can just skip all the parts about making the front of the quilt and move on the the actual "quilting" part. Hope this helps!

Maria Ray said...

I actually did the same pattern quilt. Yours is very pretty and colorful. Do you have a quilting ladies at your church? That's what I did with mine. I put the quilt together and had my mother-in-law's quilting friends quilt it.(they charge but not very much) They followed the lines of the pattern. As far as the batting is concerned. You can go the any fabric store (Joann's, Hancock or even Walmart). They have several thickness to choose from. I've always done my quilts by hand so I use the quilting thread. They are thicker and stronger.

Hope that helps.

MomBrose said...

Hi there! Found your blog through happenstance :) (a link on someone else's page). :D
I just finished making a block quilt for a dear friend of mine. I used the cotton batting from Joanns. You don't want to use polyester because it makes it too fluffy. One of my dearest friends has a blog and is an AMAZING quilter. She gives lots of free advice (and quickly). Her blog is parkcitygirl.blogspot.com
Good luck!
Oh, and I would not use minkee. It has a lot of "stretch" to it and makes it REALLY hard to quilt (and get it even).
I did a straight "saddle" stitch on my quilt. YOu can see it here:
ambrosegirls.blogspot.com and scroll down a few days. The post was called "a big finish".
Good luck! And it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

Tara said...

hey Rae. You did this post a while ago so I don't know if you will even get this comment. However, I am too lazy to click over to email right now :) So - I noticed on your twitter sidebar that you are planning to make all your christmas gifts. Anyway, if you are looking for an idea for beatrice or maybe something else cute to make for Hazel - i have a friend who makes the most adorable "softie" dolls for her daughter. I am not good at sewing, but if I could, I would make these for my kiddo too. If you are interested, let me know and I will email you the link to where she has posted a tutorial for them.

Nourish said...

This is beautiful! I love your fabric choices!

Nourish said...

I forgot to congratulate you on Hazel Wren. Beautiful name with such great meaning.

kanishk said...

I LOVE the colors you have used? STUNNING!!!!! Good luck. I look forward to seeing the final product. x Work from home India

Deborah said...

Oh my, you are one talented little mama! That is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen.

Erin said...

I want one of those blankets!!!! It looks amazing, who cares about backing I just want one lol :) You are amazing, how do you do it!!!

HeatherBC said...

It looks beautiful! Just wondering - is all your fabric from the Good Folks Collection from Anna Maria or did you stick some others in there too?

Raechel said...

Heather - It's all the Good Folks collection by Anna Maria Horner. I'm a bit obsessed. :)

Anonymous said...

I know nothing at all about quilting but I do love the colors. So pretty! Aunt Joy

Beverly said...

Don't know if you'll read this or not but had to add my 2 cents. I quilt and all the ladies have given you excellent ideas - as far as I read. However, I did one quilt with Minkie. That was back in September and I'm still finding Minkie fuzz when I clean. It literally was everywhere. BUT - the quilt turned out great. You do not see the quilting on the Minkie as it hides the stitching but the little girl I made it for loved the Minkie backing. Good luck - it looks like you're doing a GREAT JOB! Keep up the good work.