Friday, July 8, 2011

Robbie's Quilt

As you can imagine, quilting requires a good deal of space. You have to store your sewing machine, fabric, notions, and quilting tools. You have to have the floor space to lay out and baste your quilt sandwich. Quilting also creates quite a mess. Fabric scraps and string show up everywhere, and stray pins always seem to make their way onto the floor. Most people deal with this by turning an office or a spare bedroom into a sewing room. Living in a tiny apartment in the city, I did not have that luxury. Instead, my sewing happens in the living room. My machine is on an old TV stand on wheels and I wheel it right up to the couch when I sew. I spread my tools, fabric, ironing board and patterns out all over the room and get to work. Robbie is very patient with all of this. He doesn’t mind (too much) the fact that most times we sit down to watch a movie the sewing machine comes out, possibly obstructing his view of the television and forcing him to relocate. He puts up with a string covered rug. Sometimes he even helps me press my seams. But after three quilts he was starting to complain. Not about the mess, but about the fact that I had made three quilts and none of them were for him. So I went about choosing a design and fabric for a “manly” quilt. My taste in quilts is very girly. I like appliqué flowers in pinks and greens. I knew I would have to put aside my preferences in order to piece a quilt for a guy. But I also knew I had to choose a pattern that I was interested in or I would never finish the dang thing. So I searched and searched and finally found another sampler quilt in autumn (read: manly) colors. I knew it would be the perfect quilt for me to use to practice my quilting skills. I bought it as a kit, and I was not very happy with the quality of the fabric. It was thin and felt flimsy. But I stuck with it, and Robbie’s Quilt was soon pieced.

I practiced some more freehand quilting.

I also machine stitched the binding down as it was another big blanket.
I decided to back it in flannel so it would be soft and cozy. Back to the Internet to research how to do that. I read that I needed to pre-wash and dry the flannel, and maybe more than once, because it would shrink considerably. I did so, and found that the shrunken flannel was no longer big enough to cover the back of the quilt. Ok, not to panic. Ok, I panicked a little. But then I remembered a blog post about pieced backings. Oh yeah. Who said the back of the quilt has to be all one print, or even one type of fabric?? So I added an off-center strip of the boarder fabric, and voila! Problem solved.


Meg said...

Robbie's quilt looks great! And very manly. I love that you've started this blog - can't wait to read more about your crafty endeavors!

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