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My First Quilt! (plus lessons learned…)

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A quilt for my daughter’s room has been on my “to-do” list for a long time.  But a full size quilt just seems like a huge project for a beginner with no quilting skills.  I’m still very intimidated by the thought of making one. (I have done just about everything I can to avoid starting on her quilt.)

I’ve done a few simple fabric piecing projects like this patchwork tunic top and shorts.  Then I moved on to actual quilted projects like my quilted table runner and tablet cover.

Recently, I stumbled across a super-cute fat quarter set from Riley Blake.  (Sew Cherry, and on sale, of course!).  The fabric set just screamed summery vintage picnic quilt and I had to buy it.  I thought it was perfect for a very simple picnic-sized patchwork quilt and would be good practice before I cut into my daughter’s quilt fabric.


Here is the crazy part…  After cutting up all of the fat quarters, I realized I had enough for two quilts.  So, you guessed it!  I made 2 quilts and will give one away to a lucky reader.  Giveaway details will be at the bottom of the post. Give away over -sorry!


Bias binding for two quilts?  Yep, it was a bunch…

She caught a baby frog here.  Little frogs are so cute.  I have a tutorial coming for her dress in the next day or two…

Everyone has been enjoying the quilt, including the neighbors cat!


A few things I learned while making these quilts (that I wish someone had told me):

~A walking foot will make your life so much easier.  (Thank goodness I already had one.  It is great for bias binding!)

When quilting, use a new appropriately sized Quilting needle.

~I used a flat sheet from Wal-mart for the back of the quilt.  I was experiencing some skipped stitches on the back of the quilt and had to spend a significant amount of time picking out those stitches and redoing them.  I did a little Google-ing on the subject and found a bed sheet is not always the best idea.  Some sheets are woven very tightly and will cause the needle to flex and it won’t be able to catch the bobbin thread, causing a skipped stitch.  The Walmart sheet is definitely woven very tightly in comparison to an Ikea sheet I have… (A twin size flat sheet from Walmart is $5 and a twin white flat sheet from Ikea is under $4.)  Has anyone used one of the Ikea sheets, I am wondering if the batting shows through.  Does anyone have tips or knowledge to add on this subject?

~You can use a differnt color bobbin thread so the threads on the top and bottom of the quilt will blend better.

~Start your pinning and quilting from the center and work your way out.  (Helps keep puckering to a minimum.)

Iron the backing and use spray starch.  (You may be tempted to skip this step, but don’t!)

~505 basting spray…  Get some, ’nuff said!

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  1. Now my daughter (the groom's Mom) and I better get started quilting!!!

  2. My future granddaughter-in-law found this quilt and fell in love with it. She and my grandson are planning a March 2013 wedding and it has a " Picnic" theme. She asked me if I could make this for them to display at the wedding. It took some doing but after MUCH Internet searching I found every piece of fabric that you used…

  3. Great website! I'm so glad to have found you through The Gunny Sack. I have "make a quilt" on my list of things to accomplish. It's been on the list for a long time, but after reading your post and seeing the photos of your beautiful quilt, I think I'm ready! Thanks for sharing all your great insights. Wish me luck!

  4. Jamie — for your first quilt — you did a WONDERFUL job ! Congratulations ! The fabric choices and the layout are perfect. It is very stunning — and a bias binding at that ! Way to go !

    Word to the wise — never use a sheet at all for backing — if you're at Walmart to buy a sheet you are better off purchasing some of their inexpensive fabric for the back of the quilt. The fabric is most often heavier and wears much better than a sheet. Now, best choice is to purchase fabric online — somewhere cheap (Great prices at thousandsofbolts.com — I have no connection to them).

    Ever in a jam? E-mail me… I would love to help if I could…

    Great work !

  5. Your quilt is beautiful! I love the fabrics you used–some bright and cheerful! I really want to make a quilt–now I feel inspired!

  6. Hello Jamie,
    The quilts that you made are amazing. I love the colors that you choose to use for the fabric. Thanks for sharing your tips, I am currently working on a quilt for my daughter.
    Smiles, Paula

  7. Thank you for the chance! It really is beautiful. I would love it for my little girls room. 🙂

  8. Your first guilt is sure a pretty one. Love all the patterns and colors. Thanks for all the tips. Thanks for sharing you white creative inspiration at Sunday's Best!

  9. Stunning I have been dying to make another quilt with big blocks like this – what a great inspiration and photos! 😉 so if you cut the fat quarters into fourths your blocks were 9×11" correct?? I might have to do this with a fat quarter set I have been eying. I find for the back I like to do cotton fabric with left overs to piece the solid fabric together because I have had the missed stitches too due to tight woven bed fabrics 😀

    1. The cuts on these fat quarters were all over the place… I evened then up the best I could without losing too many inches. They ended up being closer to 8.5 x 10.5.

  10. That quilt is delicious. I love the patterns and colors … hope to win it! What an awesome prize! Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  11. what a great giveaway. I can't believe i have a chance to win such a wonderful quilt.

  12. Wow thanks for a chance to win such a great giveaway!! I love the quilt!! 🙂 I'm your newest "liker" on facebook 🙂

  13. Love the colors!!! I sew a lot, have made many quilts and I've never used a sheet for a back. Now I know why! I just piece fabric together to make the back.