Monday 22 July 2013

First Quilts - DQ Erika

(Guest post by Erika, the 14th in our series of 'First Quilts')

Geez, blogpost. No pressure guys…

Where to begin? I've been wanting to get quilting again ever since I made my first quilt, about 20 years ago… But you know, career, babies, teenager, the list goes on. Somehow, I never found the time. After moving to India, I no longer was able to work due to visa restrictions & finally had the time to follow any and all crafty (and some not-so-crafty) whims of my own choosing. No longer dedicated to designing for other people (I still had several clients I had to find new homes for - which is harder than you might think), I went at it with gusto. Sometimes, I wouldn't leave the flat for weeks. Around here, it's just create create create. Which, of course, I absolutely love.
During my working years, I always managed to find the time to make my own small projects (and a few big ones), but was intimidated by the whole 'quilting' thing. Somehow, it seemed like an awfully big commitment for something that I would never use in our home. OCD much? Yeah, guilty… It never occurred to me that I could make something I actually like. Duh.

In comes modern quilting… HELLO, QUILTIE! I pour over books, websites & anything & everything I can get my hands on, but still… No start. A year passes, no start. I was over committed client-wise &
realized that I was letting this awesome no-job opportunity slip through my fingers. Shame on me! So, with a bit of extra sari-lining left over from a previous softie-project, I decided to just go for it. For science, of course…
I didn't use a pattern, I just kinda made it up as I went along. The jury's still out on whether or not I would suggest the 'make it up as you go along' method to other new quilters, but it worked well for me… I'm a big fan of understanding the 'how & why' instead of just following directions. All problems with authority aside… I learned a TON making this quilt, and with the help of everyone here, I learn more every day.

A few things I learned along the way…
If you decide to use alternating thread colors in your quilting, don't lazy out of rethreading your machine as you quilt. Going in between already-quilted parts to fill in with an alternate color caused puckers & deformities in the quilt that I really could have lived without. Note to self: lazy doesn't work. Bummer, but true.

When they say, "You should really use a walking foot" … Listen. There's nothing worse than finally getting your quilt close to completion & then having bits of bunched fabric you have to rip out & redo… or not, if you're sick of working with sari lining. Which completely sucks, BTW. Don't be tempted by the cheap & colorful selections, it's a trap.

When they say, "Make sure the batting is bigger than the quilt top" … Listen. Due to the floppiness of the sari-lining & no walking foot, my quilt-top shifted. I was cutting it awfully close to the edge & would have appreciated the extra wiggle room a bit of extra batting would have given me… had I listened. Which, of course, I didn't. I'm sensing a theme here.

When they say, "Follow 'X' pattern for beginners" … Flip 'em the bird & do your own thing. You'll learn a lot more along the way, and feel like a rockstar-quilting-rebel while doing it.

All in all, it was a great experience. I've already got several quilts in the planning stages & another one to finish over the next day or so. It seems I've been bitten by the quilting bug & there's no stopping me now!




  1. Great post about a stunning first quilt!

  2. Looks like you had fun all the way Erika. Can't wait to see what you come up with!