Monday, February 25, 2013

time to take the plunge! quilting: part three

i've been chronicling my first ever quilt journey: if you're just joining the party,  read about part one and part two. and now, the saga continues.

once i had a good christmas fabric stash for haley's quilt i was ready to get cutting. i decided on a fairly simple design since this is my first quilt. nothing crazy like stars or weird shapes. after doing more math than i'd care to talk about (me + math = oops! thankfully barbara was there holding my hand and doing the heavy thinking) we settled on a size and a layout. finally! a plan! oh, jeeze.

we decided i would make the majority of the quilt out of 4 inch squares, with 1/4 inch seams - so after all my sewing, the squares would be 3 inches showing. i know - too much math. i would put 9 of my squares together to make a bigger square. then 4 of my 9 square pieces would be one huge square. 6 huge squares would make up the majority of my quilt and then in between those i would do strips of fabric. does your head hurt? because on the day we decided all of this i am pretty sure i had a glassy "i have no idea what you just said to me" face. it's easier to see in the layout drawing, so don't fret if you can't see it. i am a visual person, so seeing it all drawn out really helped me! when in doubt, draw it haha.

then i started cutting. talk about scary! it felt so final, so permanent  i had spent so long collecting fabric i couldn't tell you where which piece came from, so if i ruined it i wouldn't be getting it back. no pressure! first, i had to square off the edges, since most of the cuts on the edge were jagged and not straight. after squaring everything, i measured out my four inch by four inch pieces and got moving. once i got the hang of it, i was less afraid - but it still took forever! a million four inch squares later, it was time to get to the sewing part.

once i had a gazillion squares, i was ready to start making my bigger squares. i know, more math. i laid out some fun combinations of fabrics and got to it. i decided that i would pace myself so i didn't get burnt out or frustrated, since i was sure frustrations would arise - like the time i took the bobbin out just to check how much thread was on it and then couldn't get it back in the right way! ugh! what an idiot move.

it was really important to line up my seams as i made my squares, and i had to make sure the seams lay in the opposite direction. this way, the seams of the quilt lay as flat as possible once the quilt started getting larger. trust me, taking these extra careful steps in the beginning make a HUGE difference in the end. be as neat and perfect as possible. i spent quite some time perfecting this, and over 200 little squares later i have mastered it. stay tuned as i start piecing together my larger squares and my tiny pieces start to look like an actual quilt! can you believe it?!

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