Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Made Something! And It's Good!

Sooooooo, sewing and I have a love hate relationship.

I really love the end result of sewing, but the process can be a tad...frustrating at times.

I'm happy to say that when I sewed this quilt/blanket for a doll I didn't swear, nor did I threaten to throw the sewing machine out the window, nor did I light the fabric on fire due to  being irate.

I also made this idea up.



Now, before you go around being all impressed, let me tell you why you shouldn't be impressed.

If you aren't following a pattern, you can't mess up a pattern!

So, if you're making something up as you go along, you can't mess it up.

I'm never going to follow directions...in any area of my life...ever again.

Except that I will; I can be kind of a rule follower.

Anyway, my sister-in-law mentioned that she and my brother got my niece, Charity, a doll bed for Christmas.  I asked her what the dimensions were so that I could make her a quilt for it for her birthday.

I was able to use all fabric that I had on hand so it was free!  Free, yet priceless...very profound :)

I wanted it to be 14 inches wide by 24 inches long, but, due to how wide some of the fabric was, it ended up being like 15 and a half inches wide.

I feel like it's really important to be flexible when making up sewing projects.

I started out with some strips of fabric that were 24-ish inches long. 



Trim them to make sure they are all as close to the same length as possible without making your recovering perfectionist self crazy.



Sew the strips together to make stripes.  I like to sew a few together and then sew each little group together.  I think I read once that you're supposed to do that.



You should also really think about what order you want the stripes to be in so that you don't have to use the seam ripper to take out 2 entire rows of stitches.

Did I mention that I had a helper?



Gracie was so into it!

I'd let her use that thing in back to lift up the needle foot presser thing.



Plus, she liked to help push the fabric through.



I love that picture!  I seriously love chubby little kid hands, plus my hands look like my mom's hands which I think is cool.

Back to the quilt!

Figure out how you want the back to look and sew that together.  



The back didn't turn out how I had it visualized in my mind, but I actually like this reality better.  

Then comes the part that I hate.  

Well, I actually hate 2 parts:  ironing and pinning.

This part is the ironing part. 

On a side note, I seriously never iron.  I mean, we're pretty casual around here, so the only time I iron is when I'm sewing.  The first time I brought the iron out, the girls were all like, "What IS that thing?"

Anyway, iron your fabric seams toward the darkest fabric.  Don't burn your hand, and if you can't figure out how to keep your ironing board from collapsing, just go ahead and put a folded towel on your counter and use that.  We keep it classy around here :)



Next, I placed the top of the quilt on what is going to be the inside of the quilt and cut around the top of the quilt so the middle is the correct size.



When I made the girls' quilts for Christmas, a friend told me to get the fleece blankets from Walmart that were literally like 4 bucks.  I think they may have even been 3 bucks.  This is WAY cheaper than buying batting or fleece at the fabric store.  

You're welcome.

I purposely chose polka dots so that you could see the dots through the white fabric.  I think it adds a little something fun, plus it helps to keep dirt from showing.

Now, place the back of your quilt on the table with the pretty/finished side facing down.  Use painter's tape or masking tape to hold it in place.



What?!?!  Using painter's tape in sewing?  What a helpful and unexpected tip ;)

Then line up the middle piece on top of the bottom piece.  Use painter's tape to hold that in place.  Then top with the top (pretty/finished side facing up) and put painter's tape on the corners of that, too.

Next comes the pinning, which I loathe, hate, and abhor, so I didn't take pictures of it because I was too busy trying not to poke myself (unsuccessful) and trying not to swear (successful).

After I pinned it together (5 rows of 3 pins), I pulled off the painter's tape and tied it in 9 spots.  To tie it, use embroidery floss, yarn, or bakers twine and tie off a little stitch to hold the top, middle, and bottom of your quilt together.

After all of tying is done, you need to bind it.

Let us not kid ourselves here, I am way too much of a novice to accurately explain how I did the binding without confusing you beyond the point of no return.

I will say this, I used 2 and 1/2 inch wide fabric for the binding.

Here are some pictures of what I did:



I can explain it in person, but trying to write it out would be a harrowing experience for both of us.

And, yes, the bandaid is from when I poked myself right where I cut myself the day before.

Have I mentioned that I can be on the klutzy side?

Once I sewed the binding on it, it was finished!

Here's a shot of the front...



...and the back.



I'm really happy with how it turned out!  I almost like the back better than the front, which is what happened when I made the girls their quilts at Christmas.

The birthday girl liked it, too, which really is the most important part!

Here's a cute picture of all the cousins on my side of the family from the birthday party day:



Charity is the only girl in the picture who isn't one of my daughters :)  Don't she and Maggie look alike?  I totally think they do!

If you made it to the end of this hugely long blog post, a hearty congratulations to you.  Perhaps you should celebrate by making a quilt :)

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