June 7, 2008

Nanna's Quilt

After getting my feet wet with Savannah's quilt, it was time to plan Nanna's quilt. I knew it was going to be a big task and I wanted it ready for her 80th birthday. With such a huge variety of fabrics and colors and those 3 fabrics already pieced, I had to, with my extremely limited knowledge, decide what direction to go. I knew I couldn't possibly figure out what she was up to, so I just decided to go out on my own.

I initially decided to make independent squares of 6 squares by 6 squares and sash them. I had about 5 of these squares made and then found myself in the midst of selling a house and moving out to the lake. Once settled, I broke it all out again and got intimidated by the whole sashing thing. I did a lot of internet research to learn new techniques, but just decided to create the diagonals to use up most of the squares. Luckily, I could just join the squares I had made because I had a pattern going and just expanded it. It worked out well, except for one row in which I had used a fabric with only a handful of squares and I just had to accept that one row would be off. Well, any quilter would say you don't have to accept anything wrong with your quilt, but I was an impatient novice who wasn't into ripping seams...partial seams at that. Can you spot the row?

Next, I had to learn how to put on a mitered border, but picking the fabric to be the border was one of the hardest tasks of making this quilt. When you have basically a scrap quilt, what color do you pick to tie it all together? I asked a lot of advice, and ended up with a color that I knew would work with Nanna's decor more than anything. I didn't really learn how to miter as much as I figured out how to miter all on my own. A little math, a lot of luck, and some good ol' figurin' and it worked out.

Now for the biggest step in my quilting adventure thus far. I wanted to hand quilt this one. I did so much research on the internet looking for directions I could understand, video of someone hand quilting, you name it. Go find someone who hand quilts and ask for lessons? Never! This is the age of the Internet and I can learn how to quilt solely using online resources! So I bought my quilting thread, betweens and leather thimble and gave it a try! Well, the leather wasn't for me, so two rubber thimbles it is. I slowly got the hang of it and outlined all those little squares all summer long. Never really sure if those stitches were small enough : )

I slapped on a pretty yucky binding and gave it to her. She was pretty amazed, especially since she didn't even really know the fabric existed. It was a lot of fun. But I just couldn't stand that that the binding was awful, especially after I learned how to do it the right way making my Aggie quilt. So, the budding quilter in me ripped off the old binding, faithfully made a new one, and carefully sewed it on. Now, I'm not quite as ashamed of it : )

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