A Baby Quilt – my first and probably last one ever!

baby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI made a quilt! It’s my very first quilt and will probably be the last for a long time. I’m quite proud of this one, but mainly proud of the fact that I actually finished it. I do love sewing, but I found out that I really hate quilting.

I promised to make a play mat for my niece when my sister-in-law was pregnant and I still hadn’t started it by the time the baby was born. I finally started a few months ago and with the help of Daniela, the queen of quilting, I managed to put together a really cute patchwork blanket. I basically used all sorts of fabric leftovers, all 1000% cotton, I bought years ago and had barely used. The colours were great together, so I was super happy with the first bit of the project.

I was very excited and looking forward to the quilting bit, which I imagined would be like doodling on fabric. Sounds awesome, eh? Well, turns out I’m really, really not good at quilting. It was depressing. It’s exhausting and very difficult. At least that was my experience. Also, my sewing machine was playing up a bit and made terrible loud noises every two minutes which almost gave me a heart attack. It turned out to be a problem with the needle and the way I was moving the blanket (needle caught the thread every time I went up) and I only noticed when I was halfway done (then started quilting left to right, instead of up and down – problem solved).

Also, the bias binding was hard to machine sew, so I handstitched most of it in the end.

Although I’m really glad I got this project off the table in the end, I really do like the way the blanket turned out. I’ve read so often that especially with quilting mistakes just seem to disappear and apparently it’s true. My quilting looked horribly close-up but you can barely notice when looking at the pics – It looks like an actual quilt (lucky me!).

baby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The blanket is reversible, firstly because my niece might decide not to like pink after all and secondly, because it was more fun than just a plain colour underside. I recycled some children’s curtains I bought to make toddler pinafores a couple of months ago. The wadding is polyester which I bought in Walthamstow (I think it was Saeeds Fabrics) last spring.

I really enjoyed the patchwork bit and I’m quite proud of my matching seams. I took a lot of time measuring and cutting and sewing very carefully so that things would line up perfectly in the end. Then it took ages to safety-pin-baste everything together (thanks for the tip, Dani!), so that layers wouldn’t slip during the quilting.

If you haven’t quilted before it’s hard to imagine how physically exhausting it is to push a blanket that size through my tiny cheapo-machine. My arms hurt so much I hard to pause after every third row for a couple of hours or days. Quilting’s like going to the gym, folks!
baby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.combaby quilt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Have you quilted anything yet? Do you love it or hate it? Any tips to make it easier?

It’s incredible how one can’t really notice just how wonky my quilting is! I was close to tears halfway through the project and now I think it looks actually fine (and baby loves it!!!) Quilting might not be so bad after all. I might give it another try one time. Maybe with a less ambitious project. Make some coasters or something. We’ll see 🙂  Any ideas? Send them my way!

Happy sewing!


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16 thoughts on “A Baby Quilt – my first and probably last one ever!

  1. Great job! Funny, quilting got me back into sewing after a long hiatus. I have all sorts of pre-cuts of gorgeous fabrics,,,,and the thought of quilting gives me the chills now (I did finish 3 of them). I’d rather sew any garment than quilt another project any day of the week!

  2. I love the idea of quilting but actual quilting….I made a place at once and never finished. Some quilters have said that garment construction seems so daunting but I’m the opposite. Quilting is an art, and there’s a lot of precision required. I don’t have what it takes but I love reading about it and learning. Yours is beautiful, I can’t believe its your first one. Amazing work!! I bet you’ll make another one day….

  3. It looks great! I had the problems with my first quilt and i haven’t quilted for a few years afterwards. Then I bought a new machine and wanted to try again, and it was great! No thread tension problems this time! I think quilts are depending not only on the body but also on the machines, so a strong machine helps! Also, make sure the weight of the quilt is supported by a table and is not hanging off it ( this will affect the tension of the thread). Quilting is like dancing, you will find you rithm! What about a quilted pillow case?

    1. I think if I ever feel like quilting again, I will most likely try pillow cases. It won’t take as long and I will be much easier to handle. And it’s probably really good for practising free motion quilting as well.

  4. I’m with Joanne! I’ve never dipped my toe into quilting … and now I’m not sure I want to. That being said, you’ve made a lovely quilt and I can’t see a single thing wrong with it.

  5. Last week I finished my quilt, it was waiting for a year in a corner. Two years ago I had the quiltmanía and I bought materials and books to learn about the art. I made two baby quilt and two larger quilt. Two of them I quilted by hand (it was exhausting but the result always makes me happy and I forget all the boredom that was behind the work) the other two quilt I made with the sewing machine.
    With this work I learned that the less embroidery, better the result and less frustration. The bias I sewed with the sewing machine and by hand. It takes a little longer time but in this manner you can avoid fights with the sewing machine.
    This week I will put on my blog photos from my last quilt, it is not perfect but i am proud of this piece of work and I feel that all the effort was worth it.

    Your quilt is beautiful. Make this kind of pieces of work is really hard and you really made a great work.

  6. I don’t mind the patchwork for a quilt but I’m with you about pushing it through the machine. So much fabric! I’m impressed you went with curves with your first attempt – I’ve only ever dared to go in straight lines! Great job on this.

  7. Obviously the real problem is the machine. The tools are important. Go ahead and spluge on that really expensive machine you want because it will be worth it in the end.

  8. The quilt turned out wonderful! You did an awesome job with the quilting for your first time ever! Wow! I haven’t done meandering or wavy lines yet. So kudos to you! Next time, you don’t need to cut the binding on the bias. I cut my binding 3 inches wide, the length of the fabric. Fold it in half. After sewing the raw edge of binding to the raw edge of blanket (I line the edge of the foot to the edge of fabric – a little over 1/4 in I think), I fold it around to other side and iron it down with a little bit of glue stick. (The school washable type is fine.) I also pin it down as I iron, Then I hand baste it all the way around. Next I sew it with the machine from the front. It works everytime!

    1. Hi Bea! Thanks so much for that really helpful tip! I haven’t made another quilt since, but I’ll keep it in mind x

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