I have an admission to make: quilting scares the crapola out of me. All those straight lines! Corners! SO many places where a mistake can be seen!
But I sucked it up because I so wanted to try to make a baby quilt, and Cloud 9 Fabrics have a few free baby quilt patterns for beginners (which when it comes to quilting, that’s me!) available in the Make it Sew section of their website.
I’ve chosen the Purely Precious Quilt because it only has squares (no mitred corners, YAY!!!), is small enough to have a crack at the basics and fit under the machine without too many issues, but large enough to be useful and showcase the beautiful fabrics which had caught my eye.
I’m quite pleased with the results!
For Essie’s quilt, I chose a selection of Elizabeth Olwen’s Wildwood collection. I’ve kept some aside to make at least a blouse and dress (for me? I hope so! But at least Essie) because I LOVE IT. So beautiful.
For Finley’s quilt I chose a selection of Sarah Watson’s Biology range. I love the colours: masculine without being all primary colours which boys seemed to get lumped with. Modern and fresh, and co-ordinating wonderfully with the rest of his room… which we’ll finish in due course! He’s only 9 weeks… already…
For both quilts I chose a heavy weight bamboo fleece instead of batting. Why? Because you can throw it into the washer and perhaps dryer without fear of is coming apart. Let’s be honest, if these quilts end up on high rotation (which is my hope!) they’re gonna cop it. Big time. They need to be a bit tough.
I bought my fleece from Bamboo Fabric Store. Next time, I’d choose a less weighty fleece. I chose a heavy fleece for loft but this is not so much lofty as just heavy. Still very happy all the same. Now, bamboo does shrink. Rather a lot compared to cottons. If you go down the same path, use the shrinkage guidelines on their website to get a feel for how much fabric you should order or there is a good chance you’ll end up short. I’m very glad I did! In fact, I ordered extra for us big people to also have a quilt.
The fleece is a lovely ivory colour which shows the quilting beautifully.
For both quilts I used a free motion quilting pattern. Why? Straight lines suck. Well, I suck at straight lines! And to draw the eye away from the not so straightness and toward the wonderful organic lines of both sets of fabrics, I used variations of loops and swirls.
If you choose to do free motion quilting you need a special darning foot. I got mine for free with my machine. I opened the box and went ‘WTF is this!’, piffed it back in the box and didn’t give it another thought. But now I’ve used it I love it! It does take some practice however. My biggest tip: make sure you dial back the tension of you machine and disengage the feed dogs. Otherwise you’ll get all stuck and keep snapping your threads. Not much fun at all. I found the loopy pattern the easiest.
And doesn’t it look nice!
Next quilt I make, I will translate all of the measurements to metric from imperial as my cutting board is metric. It will make eyeballing the cutting part much easier, and hopefully my straight lines… well straight(er!).
Have you had a go at quilting? Love to hear how you went!