Hello, my fabric friends!
I can’t believe I am finally sharing the news… it’s been a couple of weeks now since I spoke about my sewing journey but I’ve been working on something special. I’ve been gone for a good reason, and yes, ladies and gents, I finally decided to tackle my biggest project yet- MY FIRST QUILT! If you have been following along to my journey, I started sewing around 3 months ago, learning about the basic techniques of sewing to making my first quilt block, my first pillow, learning how to bind and all these projects were preparing me to make my first official quilt. My goal ever since I started this journey was to get to this point, I really wanted to dive into the quilting world because I see such beautiful work every day, from all of you! It inspires me, and I needed to understand all the hard work that goes into making one.
So how did I end up with this quilt, you ask? Well, knowing this was going to be my first, I was thinking simple, yet impactful. Something that can inspire other beginner quilters! You might’ve seen on Social Media all the fun campaigns we’ve been working with our Pure Solids lately in the office, so I thought to myself, let's make a simple quilt with just squares but with really bold colors. Thinking of what colors I should use, yellow has been becoming one of my favorite colors so I challenged myself to use as many yellows in this quilt design, but of course, to add more color, I wanted to create a gradient! After I finished my design, I noticed it looked like a sunset, and I decided to call it just that.
The time has come, to finally put all that I learned to the test. I began cutting out 8 ½ inch squares and laying it out on the floor to visualize how it’ll look. At this point, I felt really excited, after so long staring at it on the computer screen- my vision turned into reality.
I sewed each square together in each row, and then I sewed each row together and before I knew it, I was already done with my quilt top!
Once everything was together I made sure all my seams were sewn at ¼ of an inch and checked to see if all my seams matched up. I was pretty happy that all my seams matched up, and if you just starting to quilt- my biggest advice would be to make sure you pin A LOT! Once I finished, I selected Squared Pure Elements in Noir as my backing because the squares resembled my quilt design! As I was laying all the layers out, I recommend not doing it on top of carpet because I made that mistake and I kept wrinkling the backing. It wasn’t until I moved everything to a hard surface, that everything was smooth! I pinned it all down with safety pins to prevent from pricking myself with needles as I quilted (learned that the hard way).
The moment I was really dreading came, the quilting! I know there was no reason to be dreading this moment as I quilted smaller projects before and I had a blast, but this was a big project and I was afraid to mess it up. Well spoiler alert, I definitely did not nail this step. Quilting large pieces, let alone sewing straight lines were not easy and this was the biggest challenge for me. I started quilting from the middle to avoid bunching up the fabric, but this made even more difficult to sew as I had a lot of excess fabric on the side that kept me from feeding it to the sewing machine. Boy, did I work up a sweat trying to keep these lines straight, I even used a walking foot with a seam guide, but that still wasn’t enough. I was upset at first because it wasn't perfect but I had to remind myself that this is my first quilt and mistakes are going to happen.
Imperfections aside, I had some fun playing with the thread in my quilting! I used 4 different colors: yellow, orange, red, and purple. Starting with yellow on the darkest corner (purple side) and once I got to the red part of the quilt I would switch to orange, then red to yellow to create a gradient diagonal lines for some contrast!
I can see the finish line, I was done quilting my quilt and it was time to move on to the binding- the next skill I learned! It took me some time to decide what I wanted to use for the binding because I didn’t want it to take away from the quilt or choose a Pure Solid color that might not fit. I asked the girls at the studio for some suggestions, and one of them mentioned why not use denim? A little light bulb went off in my head, and I couldn’t think of a better choice! I chose Denim in Endless Paradise and proceeded to cut 2 ½ inch strips long enough to go around the whole quilt.
If you followed along with my first binding experience, I did a single fold bind because I had a narrower strip of fabric, but found this method a little harder to get down as it involved a lot of folding and more room for mistakes. This time, I tried the double fold and it was a lot easier because once I started sewing in the ditch, it would line-up perfect with the edge of my fabric on the back.
After days of work, I am so excited to say that I am done with my first quilt! Hurray! Although I had some rough times, I enjoyed every second of it. I’m already eager to start on another quilt with more pieces and even start playing with some prints! I just wanted to give a quick thanks to all of those that commented on the blog before and followed along my sewing journey, from the motivational comments to the sewing advice I received. This is an ongoing journey, with plenty of new skills to learn and I’m thrilled to continue to share here on the blog. As always, if you have any tips for me for my next quilt, please let me know in the comments below!
Of course, you can always make your own version of this with different colors, downloading the instructions here. BUT just in case you’d like to recreate my quilt, I'M HOSTING A GIVEAWAY!! Now you will have a chance to win all the fabrics I used to make your own Sunset Quilt Top by clicking here!
Good Luck Makers!
Till next time,