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I Finished My First Queen Sized Quilt

Updated on May 19, 2014

Swoon by Camille Roskelley

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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

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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

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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

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Color

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

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The bright orange block that got scrapped.

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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

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Color My Happy Navy Dots by Vanessa Christenson

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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

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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

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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!

-Kate

Comments

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    • LiliMarlene profile image

      Elisabeth Meier 

      23 months ago

      Okay, this is 2 years ago already. I just searched for hubs about quilting, because I finally dared to begin this wonderful craft. I always admired people who have produced dozens of quilt blankets of all sizes and I loved to see stories about quilting in films and tv series. This wonderful tradition of getting a quilt sewed by your family members and family friends to remind you to your childhood is really adorable. In Europe we have a lot of quilters, but fabrics are very expensive which makes it an expensive hobby. Meaning, I'm now up to keep every patch and feel a little like a messy who can't throw away patches. :)

      So, about your question whether it's worth to buy a spray I got the advice to try it with hairspray. It shall be sprayed softly and thin - with enough distance to the fabric and actually to all layers. Haven't tried it yet as I so far just quilted some smaller objects and am now before my very first blanket which will be 150 by 180/200 cm. This will be about 60" by 71"/79". Here in Europe this is about the Queen size bed. Don't know how you measure a Queen size and King size and how much you added to cover the bed with your quilt.

      Well, congratulations - belated - but with all my respect for your first quilt. Would like to know what you quilted since then. Please share!

      You gave me a perfect idea how to sew the actual quilt stitches on my home sewing machine, thanks for that too!

      Last but not least I'd like to know the name of the star pattern you used.

      Good luck and all the best!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Congrats! I love the design and colors. Looking forward to seeing what you make next.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      It's so exciting when you finish a quilt, whether it's the first of the 50th! This is a really lovely one, with an old fashioned feel to it. Nice hub and congrats!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      I love your quilt, and I love the determination, time and effort you put into it to make it perfect. How wonderful that you wrote a hub about this project and taught us that any difficult project, whether it is a quilt or something else, can come out beautifully if we are willing to do it carefully, change our mistakes and plod on. Congratulations! A great hub in so many ways.

    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Hi OldRoses...that's the best thing someone has said to me all day! You better be posting a hub on it once you finish it...even if it's ten years from now. :)

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 

      4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      I've always wanted to make a quilt. Your hub has inspired me to add a making a quilt to my Bucket List!

    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Hi purl3agony! Oh dear...you may not be so jealous if you saw my not so pointy stars...:) thanks for stopping by!

      Hi CyberShelley! Thank you! And thanks for the vote!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      They are so very beautiful - I just love them. What a fabulous talent you have - thanks for sharing. Up, interesting and beautiful.

    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Hi stclairjack! Good to meet you. Thanks for your VERY encouraging comment. :)

    • prestonandkate profile imageAUTHOR

      Preston and Kate 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Hi thefederows! Always good to see you! Thank you! Yes, LOTS of imperfections in this quilt, but I learned a lot. Hopefully you're right that others won't notice the inadequacies.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I'm jealous :) I hope every time you look at your quilt, you are proud of what you created.

    • stclairjack profile image

      Stclairjack 

      4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      love it LOVE IT!... keep going girl!

    • thefedorows profile image

      thefedorows 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Way to go, Kate! This quilt is beautiful! And you will probably be the only one to notice imperfections...the rest of us will not. It looks like something you could buy in a store. :) I hope you keep quilting!

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