My First Quilt

I got into quilting because we finally had enough money to buy a real bed and high-quality mattress, which ended up being larger than the one we had used for years.  We splurged on nice sheets but when we got to blankets we were unimpressed–they were all ugly, expensive or both.

So I decided to make a crib-sized quilt for Merlin to see if I felt up to making a king-sized quilt for our bed. Kristina traded a 4 pack of beer to a bartender at The Whiskey Ring for an old, broken sewing machine that I was able to get working, I picked out some fabric and an easy pattern and got started at the end of 2020.

The fabrics for the top came from Cottoneer and were some sort of midcentury inspired collection. My idea was to use a white-patterned backing with colorful blocks, since babies appreciate high-contrast stuff (as do I, to be honest).  Even cutting the fabric was a serious learning experience, I started with pinking shears, then learned about rotary fabric cutters, then realized halfway through that I had been using my fabric ruler wrong.  

The pattern was a beginner-friendly herringbone thing I found on a blog, and it went together quickly, despite a never-ending stream of bone-headed errors.

I definitely did not understand the importance of squaring blocks or pressing seams when I got started and many of the corners don’t match up. Also I kept sewing the blocks together wrong. 


The backing is from the Rifle Paper Company collab with Cotton and Steel (who are currently my favorite fabric printers).  This is the only quilt I will ever pin baste. It’s an incredible pain in the ass!  Also hi Roland:


I also didn’t understand how quilting or binding worked and put a border on the quilt top, assuming I could just fold it over.  Whoops!    I watched several tutorial videos from Missouri Star Quilting Company during a snowstorm to-go window shift, which helped a lot.

For the quilting proper I did a straight line stitch using masking tape for guides, about every 2 inches.  I doubled the batting so it would be extra voluminous (also because the batting was already the right size doubled).


All told it took about 6 weeks (Dec 30 to Feb 12, according to Google Photos) to finish what is currently my ugliest and least well-done quilt.  I love it.


Merlin loves it too–though he throws everything out of his crib during nap/bed time, he carries this quilt around with him when he wants a blanket.  Also he barfed on it once.  Here’s Merlin with the quilt a few weeks before his first birthday: