Friday, January 20, 2012

The Stripes and Spots Quilt!

Finito. Done. A Queen-sized quilt in a week! Its a major milestone in my crafty career. ;-) What started as a simple indulgence in a fabric shopping spree turned out to be a lovely quilt.. I'm so thrilled to finish this quilt. So, sit tight and join me along the journey of the Stripes and Spots quilt from fabric to quilt. This is going to be an image-heavy post. Please bear with me :-) Let's start with the fabric.. I decided to buy these 3 fabrics at the last moment of a fabric shopping expedition during my Christmas vacation. I'm glad I did.

I always buy fabrics in coordinating prints, if I can. That way I don't have to worry about trying to pair them up in projects. I didn't have any projects in mind when I bought these fabrics. Who does,huh?! After I came back from the vacation, I thought.. why not make a quilt top with these fabrics? I wanted quilt patterns that use 3 prints for the top and I chanced upon the Stripes and Spots Quilt in the book  Quick Colorful quilts I had, which used 3 prints for the top.

The quilt doesn't involve any cutting of difficult pieces. Only straight forward strips of fabric needed for this quilt. Have I told you how much I hate the cutting part in any sewing project?! So, about 2 hours of cutting yielded the fabric strips needed for the quilt top. All credit goes to my trusty rotary cutter. :-)

Since the fabric pieces are perfect strips, I chain-pieced the blocks and in a few hours I had the blocks ready. The blocks weren't squared and I'm suspecting it to be an error in the pattern measurements. But, anyways, a few hours spent squaring the blocks yielded perfect blocks for the top. Here are the blocks!

Sewing the blocks went quickly and soon I had the quilt top ready. I added a border of white fabric to increase the dimensions of the quilt. I wanted a bit of overhang on all sides of the bed and the quilt top was a tad smaller that I'd like it to be. So, here is the top laid on the bed before I quilted it.

At this point I was a bit worried if I have chewed on more than I can bite. The size of this quilt kinda stumped me. Its only my second quilt and my first one was in year 2009. That is 2 years back! But, I can't back out after completing about half the job,right? So, I persevered.  I made the binding using the floral fabric in the top. I had to buy fabric for the backing and I found a perfect gingham fabric for it. Since we don't get cotton batting in India, I used a pair of polyester fleece blanket found in abundance here.

I went ahead and basted the quilt on my living room floor. It was huge AND heavy! I almost broke my back pinning the quilt sandwich.

Then came the quilting part.. sigh I had to setup my dining table in my living room to get it done. My sewing corner wouldn't fit this bear of a quilt. So, here is the setup in my living room.

I debated between echo-quilting and free motion quilting and finally decided to do free motion quilting. I didn't know what I was getting into when I took the decision because my shoulders were cursing me when I was quilting the sandwich. It was a pain to manoeuvre the quilt sandwich to do free motion quilting. But, it was either me or the quilt and I wasn't  gonna let the quilt get the better of me. ;-)  I managed to get the quilting done in 3 days of quilting in the evenings after work. Phew! Squared the quilt and bound it with the machine.. Ta da! Here is the finished quilt!

Warning: The following text is NOT for the squeamish. It literally took my sweat and blood to quilt this as I ran the machine's needle through my left index finger while doing free motion quilting. The needle broke and I had to pull it out of my finger myself. Gross, eh?! Don't worry. Its alright now. Got  a tetanus shot and the wound is healed now. So, after all this hard work, it was so warming to see my lil guy tumbling on the quilt the moment I spread it on my bed..

My Hubster is so smitten with the quilt and in fact, we were fighting over who gets to sleep under it. Oh! we shared the quilt like any good kid would. ;-) There are a lot of puckers and pockets in this quilt as my quilting skills aren't that perfect. But, its going to be one well-loved quilt in my home. Here is a look at the binding.

and, a close-up of the quilting..

Here is the quilt all folded up. Its a warm quilt, perfect for Bangalore weather. I don't think I'll be making another quilt anytime soon. Maybe another 2 years before I can work up my courage to tackle a project as big as this.. Till then, this quilt will be well-fought for in my home!


This post is linked to FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis.

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