My first gifted Quilt

I finished a quilt! This is my third quilt I've ever finished and the fastest by far. My two previous quilts, I would work on in spurts over literally YEARS. But this one I finished in just over a month from receiving the fabric. I'm so happy that I've finally got a space set up to do my sewing in and also my new sewing machine is helping too :)

So, I decided to make a baby quilt as a gift for a friend of mine that just had her baby (a couple weeks early!). She had a baby boy but her nursery was going to be fairly neutral so I found this Fat Quarter Bundle of the blues/greys from April Rhodes Observer line with Art Galley Fabric.

I bought the small Half Hexagon Template from Missouri Star Company and used that to cut out all the hexagons for the quilt top. I actually ended up getting my first (and hopefully only!) quilting injury while cutting these hexagons - I had to get three stitches  in my ring finger :(

Also, for the back I did my first ever "improv quilting" and just used some of the scraps from the quilt top - it was really fun!

Lessons Learned - these are probably obvious to everyone but since I'm self-taught these are things I'm learning along the way!
- the backing fabric needs to be larger than the top - give yourself extra room!
- tape the backing fabric down when basting! This will prevent bunched up fabric
- trim up the binding so its perfectly even
- when quilting, start in the middle and work your way out



So, I think I'm going to start a crazy project! I recently found out that there is a sew-a-long happening of Tula Pink's City Sampler from her book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. Angie over at Gnome Angel is hosting this on Instagram and hosted it last year as well. I was looking through the hashtag and it looked like everyone had so much fun last year and that it was intense but really great!

I've been kind of regretting not joining in on the #the100dayproject but I couldn't think of anything I could do for 100 days. But this would be basically spelled out for me - they do one block every single day, working their way though the book in order. I can be creative in terms of colours and what fabrics I choose but I will know what I'm supposed to do each day. And also there will be others doing it with me! I think I'm going to try. I've never attempted a project like this before so I'm a bit nervous but also excited. I bought the book on Amazon last night.

I also hope to learn alot of new techniques, get comfortable at making decisions a little more quickly (I expect this to be a struggle at the beginning), and hopefully get to know some other quilters that are participating as well! I've been thinking about how beneficial it would be to get into the habit of daily creating, and shaking some of my routines and habits that I already do daily (ie scrolling endlessly on my phone), and doing something that will make me happy as a priority.

It starts very soon - May 7th and I've already begun prepping for it. I'm still fairly beginner and it takes me quite a while to choose and cut fabrics and then sewing and ironing too! So I've selected and cut the fabrics for the first 20 or so blocks and I've even started creating the first few blocks so I have a bit of a cushion. I still want to try to have the experience of sewing daily. But I know that if I try to do everything all in one day, I would quit pretty quickly. I still have to post a picture of a block every day on Instagram. So there's alot to do! But I'm looking forward to it. I just can't decide if I should create a new Instagram account for this project or put it all on my original accunt...


Tip: Cheapest Design Wall

Watching videos on Youtube about quilting, you really get a sense of how other people do things, and what can make your life easier that you may have never even thought of before. For me, that is a design wall. If you're not familiar, a design wall is a large piece of flannel that you hang onto your wall or staple to a large piece of foam board, that you can stick your fabric onto while you're piecing a quilt. Because it is flannel, the fabric will "stick" to it and not fall off and you can easily move it around and design your quilt. Its alot easier than doing it on the floor and gives you a better sense of what the final product is going to look like.

Anyway, I went searching for an official design wall. Fons & Porter sells one that has lines printed on it, which could be useful, but I probably wouldn't actually use them that much. However, on Amazon.ca its $30 (I think it was even more when I originally searched it); and in Fabricland it was something outrageous like $60. (Don't get me started on how overpriced notions are at Fabricland, its absurd). I could have purchased a large piece of flannel, but probably would have had to piece together smaller pieces to make it big enough and it could have been quite expensive still.

Well, I came up with a better idea! I ended up deciding to buy a flannel-backed tablecloth! I got one from Amazon - 52" by 90"  - so its huge! And it was only $11. It came all folded up so it has some crease marks in it, but those will eventually drop out, I'm sure. And it works like a charm! I just used some pins to attach it to the wall and have been planning my projects and "storing" blocks that are in the works. I love it! Highly recommend.

Here's another picture of it folded in half - makes it look a little cleaner, but I do like having the space of the full wall. 

And a sneak peek of my Christmas quilt that I"m slowly working on!