Tuesday, February 03, 2009

lookeylikeys #0003

my quilt
stingraaay stingray
A quilt i just madeAaargh it's a stingray!!1!!1

So I finally finished the quilt. I did the piecing for the top, got a little nervous of doing the actual quilting, stashed it on top of the wardrobe for a bit then got rather embarrassed when people started asking how I was getting on with it. So I gritted my teeth, bravely dusted down the sewing machine and started the actual quilting bit. And realised many things in the process.

  • My quilt looks a bit like a stingray. Or a magic carpet. Not terribly flat at any rate. But it has character mmmkay.

  • I understand now why people enjoy this so much as a hobby. I am pants at it, and was terrified of starting the actual quilting bit and ballsing everything up. But on a snowy day, getting out a quilt to work on is the loveliest thing. It's a bit like being a student again and deciding you can't be bothered getting out of bed that day. Just really warm and snuggly and comforting. I was sort of sad when it was finished.

  • It is not a betrayal of the sewing machine to handstitch small bits of the quilt. Like the binding. Particularly if machine stitching a bit will result in you veering wildly off course, missing stuff and having to fix loads of it by hand later anyway. It really doesn't mean you aren't getting your value for money out of the big shiny machine if you have to whip out the small pointy metal thing. Hell, it could even be quite relaxing, if you are sprawling under the quilt on a comfy sofa.

  • When quilting, it's really not a great idea to pick a ridiculously bright acid green colour thread. It may be the poshest looking cotton you have in the drawer but that is not enough of a reason. Inconspicuous, stealthy thread would be the thing. That spool of invisible thread, that you have been carrying round pointlessly for about 7 house moves but never found a use for, and keeps falling out of the drawer and unwinding itself all over the floor with hilarious consequences as you can't see it to wind it back up again? This was possibly the one time it would have been useful.

  • Tacking is your friend. Rather than desperately trying to hold things together in front of the needle then nearly sewing over your finger. Pinning is good but not if the thing you are making is a couple of inches thick in its unquilted state. (I have a feeling there are some kind of special pins for quilting but I don't have any of these)

  • However rubbish the attempt, and however wonky the seams, it is worth having a go at making new kinds of things, because you will probably be able to use them even if they are not perfect. I am very pleased that I got to the end of this and have a functional thing. (Although I haven't dared put it through the washing machine yet - there is every possibility it would fall apart into tiny quilty shards)

  • You are not the sewing equivalent of Lewis Hamilton. The machine is a lot like a formula one car actually. It allows you to reach dizzying speeds, but if you try it you will just end up in a tangle. It is very tempting to put your pedal to the metal, but not a very good idea.

The fabric is Summer's Basket of Flowers by Terry Thompson for Moda. It all came in rather handy pre-cut squares, so a bit of a cheat really. The border and binding are just random other bits of cotton from the Local Fabric Store.


Heather said...

I wandered this way from Sew Mama Sew -- I like the quilt!! I quilt myself and theres a rule - no ointing out your mistakes - nobody notices them but you.

It's lovely! And I'm lovin the pillow! If my 6 month oold was not already(!!!!) trying to crawl I would so make one.

Sew little fabric said...

Wow thats really cool! I really like the puffy look, It makes me think about curling up under it with a good book on a rainy sunday afternoon. Oooh to have the time to do that again.. :)