To quote my son, "I did it, I did it." I completed my first machine quilted (non-mini) quilt - EVER. That's right. All my prior quilts were hand tied. And since getting sucked into this quilting world recently, I have done LOTS of bee blocks, charity blocks, some bags, zippy pouches, LOTS of flickr browsing, Pinterest browsing, blog browsing, LOTS of fabric purchasing. Not a whole lot of actual quilting. Ha!
Well, nothing like a deadline to get you to task. I finished the top a few weeks ago, and planned to quilt it the weekend I threw my back out. The baby shower was today. Work has been insane. It wasn't looking good. But, I thought to myself, you are going to do simple echo quilting, how long could that take, easy peasy.
So, after getting home from my lawyer job at midnight (I said work was crazy), I decided I couldn't show up to the shower with a picture of just the top (that was my back-up plan). So I chugged some diet coke, and went to work. First, I looked, and looked and looked for my walking foot, that I had never used. When I originally purchased my Singer Confidence Quilter (went with a cheap machine to just start out with) they didn't include the quilting accessories that should have been there. They send some of the feet, but I guess not all, after I called to complain. But, the walking foot was nowhere to be found, and I don't remember seeing it ... so probably going to have to fight with them to get that. After wasting a good 1/2 hour or mor on this I gave up and pulled up the spray basting tutorial from Film in the Fridge. No time for safety pin basting here. I was nervous, but it went well. Phew.
Next, the quilting. I had decided I wanted to just follow the zig zag of the triangles. I had recently purchased a stitch in the ditch/joining foot and decided to try it out. FAIL. My stitching didn't seem to stay in the ditch. Not sure why, but it looked pretty wonky. So after the first row, I switched back to my 1/4 inch foot. That worked a lot better. I then continued on to echo quilt mostly without incident (a few broken threads, a few wonky lines). All in all, I was happy with how the quilting came out for my first time.
Once that was done, I was on the binding. At this point, it was 2:45 am. But I was sooo close. So I kept going. On talknt on Tuesday we were talking about binding and someone posted a link to this great Connecting Threads video. It was great, and it worked like a charm. Phew, running out of time here. I decided to machine stitch the binding cause there was no way I had time to hand stitch. I had remembered seeing a few tutorials about it. I ended up following the one from Crazy Mom Quilts. I liked the no pinning thing! It went, mostly OK. Since I wanted my striped binding fabric to be the way it is pictured, I had to cut on the bias. That made it a little tricky and I got a few puckers here and there.
But, overall, it looked great. FROM THE FRONT. Not sure how, but the back was a different story. Sometimes the stitches ended up on the binding, far from the binding, zig zagging all over the place. It looked pretty even from the front. Perhaps it is because the quilt probably was not squared up right (or at all, really wasn't sure how to do this!). Oh well, it wasn't too noticeable, and I didn't have time for perfection.
I finished shortly after 4 a.m. I threw it into the wash before crashing into bed. For about 3 hours. Then time to start the day, get the boy ready for daycare, get ready for work, and take pictures of the finished quilt for the blog of course. The quilt was a BIG hit at the shower. The mom to be loved it and one of my favorite partners said if I made that I should stop doing legal work and they could set up a sewing workshop for me instead! (now wouldn't that be a dream). Such a sweet compliment. I am so glad I pushed myself to get this done. I learned so much and I CAN'T FRICKEN WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN!!!!!!!! Now back to legal work (and hopefully some sleep tonight)!