When I was gifted a sewing machine a couple or so years back, I needed practice as I had never sewn on a machine before. Having YouTube videos to teach me along with online classes I take at Craftsy have really helped.
After I made my first king size quilt for my sister (it took me a year because when frustrated I just put it aside), I posted it on Facebook and made a statement to the effect of “anyone want something made so I can practice?” Oh boy! The people came out of the woodwork! I had about 6 people requesting quilts. Unfortunately they all wanted queen size quilts. Yes, I could have said no ~ well, come to think of it, I SHOULD have said no.
My sewing machine has a very small harp space and it’s hard to get the pieced quilt top, batting and back through the machine to quilt. After taking a class on Craftsy on how to make a quilt in 2 or 3 pieces, I felt a little more confident. Not 75%, (or 65 or 50) but just a little more confident (laughing).
This quilt is my fourth and it didn’t come out too bad. Most of the quilts I see online are absolutely gorgeous and I admire them. Then I found out that one of the quilters whose work I really admire sends her quilts out to a “long-armer” who uses a very large sewing machine to do the quilting. Disappointment set in as I kind’ve feel that’s cheating. She gives credit to the long-arm quilter who does her work for her but … still … it makes it seem almost an impossibility that any of my quilts will come out as beautiful.
I’m still hopeful though.
My niece requested a heart quilt ~ one large heart in the middle of the quilt. She didn’t want smaller hearts surrounding it as she didn’t want anything to take the focus away from the large heart. The colors she was interested in were purple (first choice), blue, red and possibly orange.
Since I could not find a template that was large enough for this heart, I had to create my own. I did that by purchasing two large pieces of art paper and taping them together. Then I folded it in half and cut a heart out of it. An engineer friend of mine gave me this suggestion.
Next, I auditioned the fabric I would be using after cutting them into smaller pieces that would be pieced together. Needless to say, the red did not make the cut. Now I was left with the blue and purple.
I measured the heart as if it were a square piece to determine how much fabric I would be needing. Then I cut the fabric into smaller pieces ~ they didn’t have to be the same width as I wanted a random arrangement. This was suggested to me by a friend whose a graphic designer.
Once I had a pieced square made out of the fabric, I put the cutout paper heart on top of the square I made with the fabric.
Then I pinned the paper heart template to the fabric and used my scissors to create a heart out of the fabric.
I then pressed the fabric heart with starch.
Notice the random fabric colors? It came out really well …
The quilt was made in 3 parts and the heart was appliqued into the middle section. I had approximately 6 inches on each side of the middle section which is needed to 1) take into account some shrinkage due to the quilting and 2) make sure there was enough fabric on the sides to sew to the other two pieces.
I did not pin this quilt but used a basting spray which works a lot better for me.
Once the three pieces are quilted individually, they are hand sewn together. Although I thought this would be hard, it’s really easy but takes time.
The seam is on the right in the picture below. I decided to use an angled serpentine stitch throughout the quilt but I left the space between the large purple stripe (I added one on each side) unstitched. This actually brings the eye more to the middle of the quilt.
Once the three pieces are sewn together I hand sewed the binding on. Now ~ THAT took a lot of time as it was my first time doing a binding by hand. On this queen quilt, it took this newbie 7 hours. It looks really nice though and I think it was worth it.
The back side of this quilt was made with one fabric color ~ purple.
Here’s the quilt on a queen bed ~ it’s washed but not yet ironed so looks more wrinkled than the final quilt.
Well, for a fairly new quilter who did her own quilting on a queen sized quilt with her own created heart design, I’d say I did pretty good, eh?
If you’re being challenged by a quilt you think you can’t make, hang in there! My next project will be a star quilt. Now that should be challenging!
Hope you have a peaceful and fantastic day ~