Quilting on a time limit

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend told me his best friend was having a birthday party for his one year old daughter. He knows that I’m not the best around kids, so he told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to feel awkward for several hours, but I also wanted to contribute in some way. I played with the idea of making a baby quilt. 

  
The Saturday before the party, we were at our local quilt shop getting fabric for a few projects I had in mind. By the time all the fabric for those quilts had been selected and cut, we were both ravenous and mentally drained. We wandered around looking for fabrics that played well together that weren’t too this or too that. Eventually, I said screw it, I’m making a charm pick quilt. I found a beautiful line (Regent Street by Moda) and grabbed three charms, some coordinating backing fabric, and found a fun polka dot to bind with. 

I’d never made a quilt on a time limit before. I’ve never sewn anything on a time limit before, period. Time crunches are not my thing. I did, however, want to see if I could manage a small quilt in a week’s time even if I felt crappy. I’m glad to say that I am indeed capable. 

I sewed the charms into half square triangle blocks and organized them in an emanating diamond, lights and darks radiating out. 

  
I separated my rows out, squared them up, and sewed them together row by row. Somewhere in all this sewing I realized I wasn’t working with normal quilting cotton, that the fabric was actually “lawn”. I decided to line the top and the backing with some shape flex to give it a little more body. I was paranoid that I would kill the fabric when I tried to quilt it. 

The day before the party I realized I was out of spray baste, so I made a mad dash to JoAnn’s to get a new can. I sprayed everything into place and then realized I needed help making the binding if I was ever going to finish everything in time. I cut the strips, sewed them together, and my sweet, long suffering boyfriend pressed them open, trimmed, folded, and pressed again. Bless him. 

I decided to do random loops to quilt the layers together with. I really liked how it turned out. I added a little heart loop in at the end of one of the rows. It’s a little hard to find but I love that it’s there. 

  
I got the binding onto the front of the quilt, and sewed it to the back during three episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and one Law & Order. I managed to prick myself and got a few drops of blood on the binding but they came out in the wash, thank god. 

  
This quilt is sooooooo soft. I’m really into the lawn and how soft it became after a trip through the washing machine. My best friend now wants a grown up size of this quilt, and luckily the fabric was 25% off at the LQS, so I am happy to add a version for her to the long list of projects I have running in my head.  

  

I’m happy to know that I can make a beautiful and functional gift with a weeks notice. I’m told that the quilt was a big hit at the party.  

  

First quilt finished

Recently, I completely my first quilt. Well, my first real quilted object that wasn’t a mug rug. I purchased the Broken Herringbone quilt kit from Connecting Threads which came with some beautiful Michael Miller fabric from the Highlands line – which I loved as there are a lot of cats involved. 

  
I ordered some more fabric patterned with cat faces for the backing, and combined it with some strips I had left over from cutting the blocks that I had pieced together. I also pieced a long strip together of sashing and leftover trimmed bits of the top. 

  

 I did some wavy lines to quilt all the layers together and stitched the binding to the back by hand. I definitely went through too many layer on one stitch near the bottom. Whoops. Ah well. I can only get better from here!

  
 I’m ridiculously proud of it. It’s a few inches too short to be perfect for lounging on the sofa with my feet tucked under, but I take a lot of road trips with my boyfriend and I think it will be perfect for snuggling up in the passenger seat. Even if it is a touch too short, Mal definitely doesn’t mind. Cat approval is very important in this house. 

I’m very excited to finish my next quilt. Its a baby quilt for my boyfriend’s best friend’s daughter. I’ve decided to make it out of half square triangle blocks and have a diamond radiate out from the center. Will check in later. 

xo, n

Oh, hello there.

I’m Nikki. I like to make stuff. I like to figure out how things are put together to see if I can find a way to make them a little more luxurious, more convenient, prettier. There’s something incredibly satisfying about making something with one’s own two hands. Perfect cupcakes. Lip balm. Little pouches, blankets, drawstring bags. Knitting.

Unfortunately, I’ve had a string of bad luck in the health department in recent years. I can only do so much at a time before I need to rest. I am incredibly fortunate to have the most supportive boyfriend on the planet to help me navigate the dark times and celebrate little victories. I also have an exceptionally snuggly cat.

I’m trying to balance my desire to make things happen with the reality that I have to move slowly. Celebrating the positive is the best way for me to do this. Hence, this space. An attempt to compound the joy I’ve found in making things. We shall see how it goes.

 

xo, n