Monday, January 24, 2011

It's finished!

My first ever, bed sized quilt is finally complete!  It only took a year from start to finish.

Leo really seems to like all the dragonflies, I couldn't keep him off the quilt!

Each dragonfly was paper pieced in 4 parts and then sewn together.  I really had to raid Mom and Grandma's stashes because I didn't want to use any fabric more than once in the entire quilt.

This was my first foray into the world of free-motion machine quilting.  I tried to stich-in-the-ditch around all the dragonflies but I found that my arms and hands really don't have enough control with the free motion foot on the machine so my quilting is rather poor.   I really like the backing fabric I found.  I was at the store to buy some plain muslin for the back when I found this lightweight denim with the embroidered bugs on it.  I really think it complements the quilt much better than a plain backing.

So, lessons learned from my first bed sized/machine quilted quilt:
  1. It helps to buy all the fabric for the top at the same time - I spent several days/weeks trying to find a fabric for the border that would help to tie the whole top together.
  2. Don't try to use embroidery thread in a standard sewing machine - That cost me $80 to fix my machine.
  3. A frame might make machine quilting much easier - I bought a small one that I can't wait to tryout on my next small project.
  4. I really prefer the look of hand quilting over machine quilting. 
All in all, I had a really fun time watching this quilt come together.  The last couple steps of a project are always the most exciting because you get to really see the light at the end of the tunnel and can envision the finished product.

I've got plans for another crib sized quilt to be started soon.  Or at least I thought I did.  I saw a new block today that may convince me to change the pattern I was going to use.

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