A Quilt in a Day *

Lily quilt2

The finished project

 

* Okay, so this wasn’t pieced but it was quilted — and completed — in a day!

I have been on a baby blanket binge lately; it seems as if everyone around me starting having babies at the same time.  I have spent countless hours knitting blankets in the yurt and on my lunch hour but when I found the above fabric (11 yards for $8 at the thrift store, thank you very much!). I knew that after so much knitting, I wanted to try something different.  Conveniently my newborn niece has a room decorated in green and raspberry, so this bright fabric is perfect.

IMG_4375

Basting away

I have done a few quilts with free motion quilting and want to do more to perfect the skill.  It is intimidating to take a pieced top that you’ve spent oodles of time and money on and essentially practice quilting it.  This project seemed like a good opportunity to get some practice in and have a quick baby present made.  I started by basting the two pieces of fabric and batting with multitudes of pins.  Once the piece was basted, I was ready to sew.

IMG_4376

And we’re quilting

The nice thing about practicing on a blanket of this size is that you don’t have a lot of excess fabric to move around and impede progress.  Compared to the other quilts I’ve done, this was finished in a matter of a couple of hours.  Tuned into a jazz station, I let the music inspire my swirly stitching pattern.  Also, because the blanket is two sides of this strong fabric pattern, I didn’t have to worry about any stitches that were less than perfect being blatantly obvious.  I finished up the project with some complementary bright pink binding and by the end of a weekend day, I had a completed blanket and felt more comfortable with my free motion skills.  With 9 more yards of fabric to go, I think that a few more of these will be in my future, probably for charity but perhaps as back-up gifts for the when the next round of babies strikes.

 

 

 

The Simple Joy of Binding

IMG_4334

I know that this may sound strange to some of the quilters out there, but I find great joy in  binding my quilts.  After all of the (countless) hours of cutting and sewing and quilting are complete, finishing the binding of a quilt by hand allows the quilter the opportunity to test the quilt out (if working on your lap) and to savor the accomplishment of a another big project well done.

There are so many modern techniques that we employ today:  machine piecing, fancy rulers, long arm quilting, that binding by hand seems to be one of the few traditional techniques.  And yet this is the one time where we really get to sit with our completed piece and be with it before it goes to a new home.  Binding is like the grande finale when you get to see all of your effort come together into something really unique and special.

Despite the fact that I nick my thumb constantly and must steer clear of citrus for days after hand binding, I relish the time to just be with the quilt.