Monday, January 5, 2015

My Purple Quilt 2.5 Years In the Making

When I first started quilting I decided to make a quilt for myself.  It was either my second or third quilt.  Back then I was pretty bad at picking out fabric.  I didn't have the patience to work through everything at the fabric store until I was happy.

So halfway through the quilt I hated it and thought it was ugly (I still do).  Even if the fabric was better, it was my first foray into using triangles and it didn't go well.  And after binding my nephew's quilt and having a nightmarish experience with it I wasn't in a hurry to repeat the experience.  Plus this was for myself so there was no birthday or Christmas deadline looming to motivate myself to finish it up.  In fact all these years later (probably 9?) that quilt is STILL not bound.  I should bind it now and use it as a junky outdoor quilt or something.

I have finished 8 quilts in ten years and have never kept one. They were all given away as presents.  So two and a half years ago I decided to make one for myself again and like it this time.  It was the first quilt that I used the Accuquilt that Corey got me.  But I had no looming deadline so I always got distracted.  I got really motivated about a year ago and made lots of progress, but I ran out of thread so I took a year break. Let's not think about how many trips I took to JoAnn Fabrics and forgot to buy the thread in that year break.

But this past summer I decided this was it!  I was finally going to finish my purple quilt.  And I did!  Except I still haven't embroidered my initials and the year on the back yet.  Have I mentioned that I need deadlines to motivated me yet??

I love this quilt.  I LOVE IT!  I experimented with the backing and the binding and I love it.  I want to make more quilts that way.  Here are some pictures:

I used a lot of fabric scraps in this quilt which always makes me feel thrifty and efficient. Several of them are leftovers from dresses that I made for my niece which makes it extra special.

In the past on bigger quilts like this I usually have a big seam going down the middle of the backing because no fabric is wide enough.  But when I was done making the top of this quilt I had a lot of squares left which ruined my thrifty & efficient goals.  So I decided to use them in the backing and piece it all together (I got the width I needed from the length of the fabric since I needed such short pieces).  I was excited to lose the big seam, to have pretty fabric on the back, and to finish off fabric that had been hanging around for years.  I am probably going to do backings like this on all of my wider quilts from now on.

And I went one step further and used leftover squares for the binding as well.  I had to cut a bunch more from the fabrics that I still had to make it all the way around.  I love that even the binding has a patchwork look to it.  After I started making the binding I reread the tutorial I use and read something to the effect of "seams make binding the corners difficult so always avoid having your binding seams land on the corners."  Now this binding I had made was basically entirely seams.  But it was fine and now I feel powerful.  I can bind corners even with seams!  

I want to do binding like this on the Christmas quilt that I want to make.  I'll use red & white to give it a candy cane look.

I can't tell you how nice it is to keep a quilt that I've made.  I have been using it pretty much every day this winter.  I want to make so many more quilts to keep now!  As nice as it is to give a special gift like a homemade quilt, it's even nicer to get to use the fruits of your own labors each day.  Here are some pet photos in which the quilt plays a starring role:

Quilting man, it's wonderful and you should do it!  Here is my quilting tutorial.

Or buy a quilt that I've made!  Coming soon in 2015: the Crafty Homestead Etsy Shop!


  1. Will you post a photo of this quilt?

    1. I posted this before it was finished by accident. Reload now that the post is finished.

  2. It looks nice and obviously has animal approval.

  3. Very pretty shades of lilac. It is cool that some of the squares are fabric from a dress you made for your niece. That seems a cool source for the patterns. I agree on the importance of deadlines -- great motivators for the creative mind that will always find another project to start.