Saturday, August 22, 2009

And, a quilter is born!!

I know I have been absconding from this blog. But, I was busy while being away! I think this blog's title should give away the secret. I got a shiny new sewing machine and I am in love with it! I have always been interested in sewing! I remember designing clothes for my dolls using my mom's hand kerchiefs! and, a few weeks back my dear Husbter got me an electric sewing machine! Thanks,Honey for the machine! Its a Usha Janome Stitch Magic machine with all the bells and whistles! :-) here is the beauty:

I got this sewing machine because I have been itching to try quilting! I love fabrics and I love cutting them jus to stitch 'em back! :D what better craft than quilting to try that?!? I was inspired by a few online blogs on quilting , patchwork and sewing. And, me being myself was single-minded to try quilting! So, I made my first quilt! Here are the pics of progress and the final quilt. It took me almost 3 weeks to finish this quilt.

When I started with the quilt, I didnt have my machine and had no plans of getting a machine in the near future. I was planning to hand-piece and hand-quilt the project. and, then came along the machine and made my life so much easier! I didn't bother about the seam allowance and being exact in the measurements as this is my first of the many and I just wanted to get a feel of the craft. I can be a perfectionist later. Here is the quilt hanging in my living room in all its glory!

I had a different pattern in my mind when I started out and changed the pattern on the go.I only had the yellow and purple polka-dotted fabric when I started with the quilt and it was alright for the pattern I started with. And, when I changed the design, I wanted a coordinating fabric for the two polka-dotted fabrics. I got lucky with the teddy-bear fabric. I had to search quite a few shops in my locality for that. Only one shop had this fabric of purple teddy-bears on yellow background! I am happy that all the fabrics worked out!

I had the fabric pieces cut before the machine entered my crafty life. Since the pieces are fairly large, it made machine-piecing go quick! I used the 3/8th of an inch line on the machine's throat plate as a reference for seam allowance. 1/4th of an inch seems too small an allowance for me to be precise! I finished piecing the top in one evening after work.

I used flannel fabric as the batting and muslin cloth for the backing. Apparently, batting is something that is difficult to get in India. Fabrics are aplenty! Then came the quilting part. I wanted to try free motion quilting and referred a few online tutorials and videos and took help from Aparna and was able to finally get a hang of it. I did free motion stippling on the teddy-bear fabric and I did echo-quilting on the polka-dotted fabrics. Here is a close-up of the echo-quilting:

Binding the quilt was tricky. I referred quite a few tutorials on binding which told me to cut along the grain.. on a bias and so on and so forth. I just cut 2 inch strips and folded and pressed them into half lengthwise and stitched the raw edges with the raw edge of the quilt. I tried mitered-binding on the quilt corners and though it didn't come out perfectly,it was not bad. But, I found that I was almost short of the biding fabric at the back to stitch the quilt edges close. I should have cut broader strips for the binding. Valuable lesson learnt! I did binding in two colors. Here is a picture of the backing and the binding:

and, here it is on the floor!

The finished measurements are 66" X 66". I have no idea what to use it as, as it wont cover a queen-size bed and its too big to cover my dining table! One more lesson: Plan the project's finished size beforehand! My son was too happy to enjoy a bite from a banana sitting on my first-ever quilt! Here is a shot of it!

A quilter is born!!
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