I finished my very first quilt and it only took 5 years to make it! 😉
I’m very happy and proud to say that my very first quilt was recently finished. And by that I mean: out of the WIP (work in progress) pile and directly into the living room for every day use! 🙂
This doesn’t seem like an extraordinaire event, in fact you’re probably wondering why in the world I’m so proud of this particular project.
Well, let me explain everything from the start.
Five years ago I stumbled upon a great blog (sorry I haven’t the address any more…) that had a series on “Making your first quilt”. It was just perfect for a beginner like me with lots of pictures and easy to follow instructions.
Very excited by the prospect of spending the winter months wrapped into a handmade quilt, I decide to go buy some fabric and started right away.
Cutting and piecing the fabrics together was a very rewarding process and only took about a day to do. It was fun, it was quick, it looked great. I couldn’t have been happier with it.
Then came the time to quilt it. And this was truly the tricky part. The blog did a good job explaining it and made it look quite easy. My plan was to try free motion quilting, it seemed nice and intriguing to do.
At first, my machine wasn’t equipped to perform this task. So it took a little time to find the right accessories and make it all work.
Then everything was ready to go but sadly after a few failed tests on my sewing machine, the technique appeared to be a lot more difficult than any of the books or resources explaining it made it look like.
For those who are not quilters, free motion quilting is a technique where you basically remove the stitch length and feeding dog to “free” your machine (hence the name…). This results in you doing the role of the machine and creating the design as you quilt.
Which means that you have to control your speed and movement to create evenly spaced stitches. I can easily resume this for you: Not easy!
So after the first failed attempt, the quilt was put on hold for a time.
Periodically I would come back to it with a new revolutionary solution that would solve the problem. So I tried the free motion quilting again with a variety of designs, quilting it in straight lines, or even hand sewing it. But nothing gave me the result of the books I had. Either it wasn’t straight enough or it created air bubbles. Nothing seemed to do.
Then one day, feed up of seeing this project taking precious space in the sewing room, I decide to just go with it. I didn’t care about the result I just wanted to finish it and get the storing space back! And so the machine was threaded and prepared and I just quilted.
It wasn’t perfect. The stitches were not even and some air bubbles were created. But at least I was doing it. Happy to have my mojo back, I finished it in a few days. Then the binding was made and sewn. I was so happy and proud of myself for sticking to it and finally doing it that I put any extra personal touch by embroidering my initials and the date (the finished one, not the beginning one…). And so five years later, the quilt was finished and just in time for the colder weather! Isn’t it neat? 😉
In the end, this particular project is a true testimony to perseverance.
It taught me that nothing can and will be perfect the first time around. And that the only way to learn a technique is by trying it and making mistakes even though it’s very frustrating. Now that it’s finally done, I’m very happy to say that even if the final result is far from perfect and not what I first envisioned, I love it the way it is and wouldn’t want to change it one bit.
And now I know the next one will be better and will hopefully take a lot less time to make! (Which shouldn’t be hard when you think this one took 5 YEARS!)
So here’s to making mistakes and failed projects, these are the only way to learn! 🙂