Thursday, October 22, 2015
Sewing: modern maples quilt.
My fall quilt is finally finished! If you've been around here a while, you might remember that last October, I randomly decided that I needed a fall quilt. So I went to Joann's and picked out all of my favorite autumn prints, even the ones that I would normally shy away from because they were too over-the-top. Lots of oranges and browns and foxes and even a bit of squash (?). By November, I started hand quilting it, but then I put it aside for almost a year. It's really hard for me to work on blatantly seasonal stuff when it's not that season, so I couldn't get motivated to work on a fall quilt during Christmas, and as for this spring and summer? Much too hot. So it was just in the last couple of weeks that I started working on the quilt again. Once I got started, it didn't take too long to finish. :)
The pattern is called the Modern Maples Throw Quilt, and it's from this adorable little holiday patchwork book. (But it's also available to download for free here, if you're interested.) It's designed by Amanda, who was one of my favorite bloggers and the reason I got obsessed with knitting socks, though she doesn't blog much anymore. The pattern was easy enough to follow...this was my first time doing any sort of piecing other than just plain squares, but it was still fairly easy. And it turned out to be a good size (I didn't measure it, sorry!). It's a throw quilt, and it covers most of the top of my queen sized bed, so it's plenty big enough to curl up under.
I think all of the fabrics on the front are quilting cotton from Joann's. I was originally planning on doing a gray background, but with the prints I chose for the leaves, this natural cream/white Kona cotton was a better match. The fabric on the back (which I had to piece together) is a white and gray woodgrain print from Hobby Lobby, if I'm remembering correctly. I used the warm and natural quilt batting.
Even though I'm really bad at hand sewing, I've come to realize that the only part of making a quilt that I enjoy doing on the sewing machine is the actual piecing and making the quilt top. I hate machine quilting! Between my ornery walking foot and trying to wrestle a huge quilt around my little machine, I'd much rather just hand quilt it, though it obviously takes longer. I used perle cotton to quilt this one...I just went around the inside of the leaves, about 1/4 inch from the edges. In the plain white squares, I ended up quilting one small leaf in each square, positioned randomly. It's pretty subtle, which is what I wanted.
I have this bizarre fear that if I have kids and grandkids, they won't appreciate handmade for some reason, and all of the things I've made over the years will eventually end up in Goodwill. I always add a little label to my quilts with my name on it, so if my fears do come true, at least the kid or grandkid will feel a twinge of guilt at the awful thing they're doing, right? :) It's been a long time since I've done any embroidery, so my skills were a little rusty on this one.
P.S. Am I the only one who gets a weird sense of enjoyment from binding a quilt? I don't know why, especially given my dislike for hand sewing, but sewing the binding to the back is one of my favorite parts of making a quilt! Second only to that feeling when you pull a quilt out of the dryer for the first time and it's all warm and wrinkly. That's magic.