Thursday, March 31, 2016

Finished my first quilt!!!

I've been busy for the last couple of days and I'm going to show you the results of my labors because I'm so stinking excited to have pieced, backed, quilted, bound, and made a hanging sleeve for one of my quilt tops.  FINALLY!

My husband has been giving me a hard time about all these works in progress (WIP), and I finally decided to select one that I could finish the most quickly. 

So . . . drumroll please . . . 

The Advent calendar!!!

In the process, I learned to do a bunch of things in the process so I'm super glad I chose a small project to learn on!

First, the quilting:

I copied the quilting from Jenny Doane from MSQC because it looked simple.  

It was.  It took a little bit of time, but it was simple and easy.

Then the binding:

First I cut 2 1/2" strips from leftover fabric I had.  I only needed 4 strips.  In the end, I think I only used 3 strips.  Then I pinned two strips right-sides together at the corner at right angles, making sure the Christmas trees would face the same direction when I opened them up.  I connected all 4 strips in this manner.  I hate eyeballing things so  I marked the stitch line.  Frankly, I could have used a Sharpie because this will never show.  (I didn't--I used a washable fabric marker.)

Next I clipped the extra corner pieces:

Ironed the whole length in half, 

Pinned and sewed the binding onto the edges of the Advent calendar, 

Turned the binding to the outside and then stitched in the ditch on the front side to stitch it down.  No picture--oops.  I learned some valuable things though.  I tried to join up the beginning and ending on the corner.  BIG mistake.  I ended up unpicking a bit so I could join them on the straight side.  There was too much bulk at the corner, making it unmanageable.  No pictures though. :-(  Also, I folded both ends under about 1/4" before tucking the one end inside the other and stitching down. 

Then I thought about a hanging sleeve.  I messed around with it a lot, first trying a loop and realizing that the quilt would not hang straight without more support.  Then I went online for instructions to make a hanging sleeve.  I followed these directions on with one modification.  I chose to sew the top edge into the binding--actually on top of the binding since the binding was already attached.  I got that idea from MSQC.  Again, I stitched it on from the front so I could stitch in the ditch of the binding.

Then I hand blind stitched the bottom edge to the quilt as the allpeoplequilt instructions.  (I skipped some steps here so go to the above link at allpeoplequilt; the instructions are quite good and the finished product looks so polished.)  I'm quite pleased with it.  I never would have thought of folding the sleeve up 1/2" from the bottom before stitching, but it gives ample room for any kind of rod.  My rod doesn't need it because it is tiny, but I might change my mind in the future.

The finished back:

I still need to figure out how to make a quilt label.  I have some ideas, but I wish I had added it before I put the back on.  Then I could have quilted it onto the Advent calendar and made it a permanent part of the quilt.  Instead, I'll be blind stitching it onto the back.  Next time . . . .

And thank you, Jim, for teasing me about finishing one quilt all the way!  This was terrific motivation to complete more!


  1. One other lesson learned: Don't use stripes on the back of a quilt. It shows if the fabric gets pulled or isn't straight for any reason. Oh well. If anyone examines the back of this too closely, they deserve to see that it is off! It's mine! I keep the first completed project!
    :-) :-) :-)