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I Finished My First Queen Sized Quilt

Updated on May 19, 2014

Swoon by Camille Roskelley


Five years of practice. Two sewing machines. Fifteen yards of fabric. Three spools of thread. Ten seems ripped out.

This quilt took me one hundred and eight days to finish. And, I finally feel like I kind of know what I am doing.

Queen Sized Quilt with Stars - Swoon by Camille Roskelley


Where it all started - The Inspiration

This all started about five years ago. A co-worker of mine sent me a link to a blog called Cluck Cluck Sew. This was the first time I had ever seen a quilt made with 'modern' fabric. I loved the colors. I loved the fresh white backgrounds. I saw a whole new world of sewing I had never seen before. I began quilting. I have not stopped since.

I understand the love for quilting.

  • I have an overabundance of fabric in my stash now too.
  • I browse the fabric online far too often drooling over the fresh designs that come out each month.
  • I give unappreciated quilts for baby presents.
  • Our home is littered with pieces of thread of scraps of fabric.
  • And, most importantly, I now have a husband who knows what basting a quilt means and who willingly helps me with it.

Star Quilt


At the beginning of this year, I showed three different quilt patterns to my husband. Surprisingly, he chose a traditional looking quilt pattern. He chose 'Swoon' by Camille Roskelley.

As I started cutting the fabric, I kind of felt like I was starting the training for a half marathon. I wasn't out of breath, but I knew I had a long road ahead. I started cutting squares as precisely as I could. Including the backing, this quilt took over 15 yards of fabric. I knew I had a lot of work ahead. I didn't rush, but I did have to push myself to keep going.

I knew I wanted to finish.

Olavi in navy by Lotta Jansdotter



Are you drawn to high volume or low volume quilts?

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Attempting to Do Everything Right

I tried to do everything right.

  • I double pinned all my seams.
  • I ironed and ironed and ironed all the seams.
  • I took my time cutting.
  • I lined up everything so the patterns within the fabric were all square.

But, I still ended up with seems that didn't line up.

  • All my half square triangles were too small.
  • Every other point of the stars were blunt.
  • I took apart an entire block because I couldn't keep looking at the bold orange in that square.

I told myself I was still learning. I now know to over size my half square triangles and then trim them down. I also discovered that, while I am drawn to bold colors, I appreciate low volume quilts and am more naturally drawn to them.

I told myself this didn't have to be the last queen sized quilt I ever made.

Swoon by Camille Roskelley


The bright orange block that got scrapped.


Swoon by Camille Roskelley

The pattern kept me going. Even though my quilt wasn't turning out perfect, this pattern was the perfect pattern for me to use. The blocks in this 'Swoon' quilt are huge 24 inch blocks. Every time I finished one, I was so much closer to finishing my quilt. I only had to make nine blocks. ONLY NINE BLOCKS to finish a queen size quilt! I was always making obvious progress.

Just for the record, I ended up making ten blocks, but it was my own fault. In a moment of selflessness, I told my husband he could pick the fabric for one block. Oops. Reluctantly, I sewed together a block with the fabrics he chose. I continued looking at the bright orange block for a few weeks, and in a moment of great intelligence, I took the block apart. I couldn't keep it. Sorry hubs. I was so thankful I put my sensitivities aside and took the block apart. (Plus, my husband really didn't mind at all. :)

Straight Line Quilting


Color My Happy Navy Dots by Vanessa Christenson


Straight Line Quilting

I have a great and deep appreciation for hand quilted quilts. I want to hand quilt one someday. Considering my favorite part of completing a quilt is hand sewing the binding, I think I may enjoy the slow and tedious task of quilting by hand.

After browsing thousands of quilts these last five years, I have discovered much about my preferences for quilts. I am drawn to the patterns and the fabric. A modern pattern and fresh fabric makes a quilt gorgeous in my eyes. I will never own a long armed quilting machine. The ornate, machine stitched, perfectly quilted Baptist fan is phenomenal, but I will never have it done on one of my quilts. I may, one day, own a quilt shop though. I LOVE the fresh and modern patterns on fabric available today. I LOVE the bright white I can use for the background of all my quilts. I am drawn to clean lines and straight line quilting. I have done my share of stippling and meandering, but right now, I will stick to some straight line quilting until I grow tired of it.

Am I still considered a quilter if I like straight line quilting?

Steps for Basting a Quilt

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Making the Quilt Sandwich - The Basting Process

Has anyone ever used basting spray? What do you think? Is it worth the money?

I have always basted the traditional way. If I have one bit of advice, I would recommend finding someone to help you. I have had FAR LESS crinkles and wrinkles after quilting when I have someone help me pin the quilt.

Scroll through the pictures to see our process of basting the quilt.

1. Tape the backing of the quilt to the floor. Don't pull the fabric to produce ridges, but gently smooth it with your hands.

2. Unroll the batting on top on the backing. Smooth any wrinkles out.

3. Unroll the quilt top. Smooth any wrinkles out. Ensure the batting and quilt top are within the edges of the backing.

4. Pin all three layers together. I pin every few inches.

Time to begin quilting!

Finished Queen Sized Quilt


My next quilt

Yep, I already have the pattern chosen and my fabric bought for my next quilt! I am ready to get started. I am ready to reserve a few nap times each week to being cutting the fabric.

What are you working on? Share any links to your recently finished projects in the comments section!



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