Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It is done!

I have (finally) finished my very first quilt! I used the machine, along with my mom's assistance, to assemble the quilt. I then hand-quilted each block in a different way. I did this because I have never quilted before, so it gave me some experience with difference shapes and stitches, and it helped me to not get bored. I also thought it would be fun since it is for a baby and babies like to touch things. So, there are a bunch of different shapes to touch and feel!

The finished product!

Since I had never quilted before, I learned quite a bit from quilting this baby quilt. First off, thimbles are important but you will still manage to poke yourself with your needle a LOT. I never bled though, so I guess I'm building up callouses on my fingertips. Secondly, quilting can be really relaxing. I liked quilting while watching Netflix and listening to music. I'm almost all the way through re-watching Charmed (a show I watched with my mom when I was younger), I started watching it when I began working on the quilt last fall. Third: it is really, really time consuming. I know it takes my mom month's (or years) to finish quilts. I now have a deeper appreciation for the quilts I have from her and why she takes so long to finish them. I am slower than she is, but I also did not quilt as intricately. She tends to do closer stitches in smaller patterns all over the entire quilt. I'll get there one day, but that is really ambitious for right now. Lastly, I learned that quilting uses muscles you do not use on an everyday basis. In your hands, wrists, and arms. I quilted six blocks in one day, and depending on the quilting pattern each block seemed to average about an hour to do (ranged from 40 minutes to 2 hours per block). It was about a seven hour stretch of quilting. I regretted that decision, because I could not quilt for a week afterward. It hurt to lift my arms, my wrists were sore, and my fingertips were numb. I was in a groove, though! ;) 

Here are all sixteen of the quilt blocks with the different quilting patterns/shapes/designs: 
Traced Animals
Traced Zebra Stripes
Traced Circles
Outer Square
Zig Zags
Traced Shapes
Inner Lines of Zebra Stripes

Traced Circles

Curly Q

Traced Shapes
"Connect the Dots" - This one was fun!
Bubbles - Water Soluble Markers are AWESOME
Traced Shapes--Check out the palm tree!
A maze!

I finished the quilt by hand-stitching the binding onto the back of the quilt. The first corner was a MESS. But I quickly figured out how to 'seal' them down better by examining my mom's quilts and looking through a book she gave me. So the last three corners are much 'neater.' 

First Corner

Better Corner
This quilt is not perfect, there are some quilting stitches that are a bit loose and my stitching definitely needs improving (inconsistent lengths, etc), but I am still ecstatic with how this quilt turned out. I would call my first quilt a success! I hope the wonderful new mother I am giving the baby quilt to to is as happy with it as I am, if not more. 

And here are my mom's grandpuppies enjoying the toys she mailed us this week: