Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My First Quilt Top

Quilting.  It's one of those things that I've always wanted to do and never gotten around to.

Until now.

My hubby's cousin is pregnant with her third child, and it's the first birth since I've been in the family.  I couldn't decide what to do.  Should I make a blanket?  A hat?  Booties?  I wasn't sure.

And then, while I was wandering around the house, I spotted my own baby quilt.  It was beautifully hand-stitched by my grandmother, sewn with love, and each block she designed herself to represent some part of my life.  She even wrote a poem to go with it.

I brought that quilt everywhere.  It came with me to college.  It came with me to camp.  It came with me when I was unexpectedly homeless.

I knew then that I was going to make this child a quilt.  I knew I couldn't live up to my grandmother's work, but I wanted to try.  This was my excuse.

I headed over to the local craft store and bought a quilting book, Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts.
(I have to say, I love this book.  I love it.  It has five great patterns for quilts that use an entire jelly roll of strips, each made of unique blocks with detailed directions and tips along the way.  There's an index of all the blocks in the book, so you can mix and match your own patterns as you grow in quilting, along with five suggested full-quilt mix and match patterns and tips for how to arrange blocks throughout the book.  The book also comes with some great technique tips, several options for borders and backings, and helpful hints for the beginning quilter.  I looked at several other books, but they were all either beginning books that wouldn't be useful later on, or books with patterns or indexes of blocks that I wasn't experienced enough to use properly.  This book was just in the middle, and the more I use it, the happier I am with my purchase.  As someone who mostly just uses the internet for directions, that's saying something!  And no, I am not getting endorsed for saying this!)
After deciding on the "Big and Bold" quilt from the book, I grabbed an off brand Jelly Roll with some pinks, oranges, greens and blues, as well as some yellow backing fabric, and just about a month later (after ripping out and re-doing the center block), I had a wonderful quilt topper!

(For those of you that have the book, you'll see that I swapped the top left block and the center block, simply because the colors worked better that way.)

What do you guys think?  Any ideas for the quilting part?