The Four Months Later Quilt

Oh. My. God. I FINALLY finished this quilt. AND this shirt I’ve been working on (i.e. not working on) for three weeks. And then I was able to bang out three wine bags for my mom, and cut out 15 more. WHAT? WHY? Moving is so disruptive! Sewing streaks, they are so weird! Life, why you gotta be that way sometimes? Sigh.

Anyway, more on the shirt later. First, to the quilt! I made a whole quilt!

I didn’t really know how to photograph this because I’ve never MADE a quilt before so I’ve never PHOTOGRAPHED a quilt before because I don’t just go around photographing quilts, I’m not some kind of sicko.

An honest to God (oh, thanks, buddy, for the help on this one, patience wise, I owe you  a fruit basket. I’m just kidding! I know you prefer roast lamb, but what’s a modern girl without a pre-A.D. temple to do?) quilt! Like, the real deal, squares and blocks and batting and everything. And it was, like so much of my life, a huge flipping struggle.

Okay, so it must be said, this whole thing was inspired by Dispatches from Whitcomb Street. I’d never even considered quilting as something I would be interested in doing but as I said back in Me Made May (hahahahahahaha, there was  a time I thought I would finish this by the end of May! God, I was so young and foolish then…) that I can’t stand scraps. Gotta use em. Can’t throw em out. I COMPOST. I RECYCLE. I NEEDED SOMETHING TO DO WITH FABRIC SCRAPS. IT WAS A REAL PROBLEM. So, I was like, well, I guess I could make a stupid quilt, I mean, it’s lame and stupid and not like a dress or whatever but I GUESS I could make it work….

That all being said, this was actually kind of fun. I mean, it took 4 months of my life and I would love that time back but really it was something I put aside quite a bit and kept coming back to, obsessed, as I am, with finishing tasks. I chose a string quilt, because A. that’s what Dispatches from Whitcomb Street made and B. it seemed like a simple enough way to go. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA. SIMPLE. SURE. WHY NOT. So I found a tutorial (there are dozens online so I’m not going to link to just one) and I cut stripes (none too exactly, let’s be real about the universe).

I made 80 blocks, pieced them together, stitched it all  up, grabbed a college dorm-room bed sheet for the backing (because for REAL when am I ever going to sleep in an extra-long twin bed ever again?)

Ignore my rather pitiful hand-quilting, thanks.

and slapped the whole thing together. Of course, I used an extra thick batting (…it was cheap? I don’t know why I did this, honestly) and so I had to quilt it all by hand (Screw. That. Process. is all I have to say) and then I forced it into submission, bias-tape wise (I bought that, though, COME on, a girl needs respite), stitching on by machine and then by hand the stretchy stuff to bind the quilt and wash my hands of the silly thing. I don’t know that you can tell in the photos but it’s about 80″ by 64″.

But now? I’m pretty into this quilt. In fact, I’m over the moon about it. Yes, it’s a bit of a messy, a bit strugglesome, but it’s also impressive and adorable and WARM and snuggly and FUN! And I like how it looks, all pieced together! Quilting, it’s even more of a puzzle than garment sewing, I think. Am I a convert? I don’t really know. I know I will make more quilts because A. I still have tons of scrap and B. it’s interesting, a ton of work, but interesting and C. they make EXCELLENT gifts. But will it be my main deal? No, it takes far too long and I really like wearing what I make.

Still, it’s an amazing record of past projects. Like:

That blue and teal strip is leftover from my San Cristobel Skirt and my Don’t Mind My Yacht Shorts! That floral in the right corner is from my Dear Betty Dress!

That maroon shot cotton at the top is from the first group of fat quarters I ever bought, as is the crazy blue floral underneath it! The plaid is from the hoarder stash.

There’s remnants of my Too Hot For Tzfat Skirt, and bits from my grandfather’s attic. It’s a plethora of projects all in one!

Of course, the people who love this quilt the most are in fact of the fuzzy variety. Cadfael actually isn’t that into it:

See, he refused to model. FALCO, on the other hand, is all over this:

Um, you made this for me, right?


Sure, buddy, that four months was all about making you a hand-quilted cat bed. Isn’t that always what all the things I made really become?


Filed under Quilting, Scrap, Sewing

17 responses to “The Four Months Later Quilt

  1. Emilie

    Too beautiful!!

  2. Ha! Congratulations. If I ever take up quilting, it will be for that reason—SCRAPS! THE SCRAPS ARE ATTACKING!… er. Um. I love the extra-thick batting. But then, I kinda like the idea of hand quilting. Not that I’ve actually done it. But the idea sounds nice…

    • I know, my life is overwhelmed with scraps. This helped, but I would need to make two more of these to make a real dent, sigh. In theory I’m sure hand quilting is just awesome. In practice, well, thank god for TV.

  3. KC

    You are so funny! The quilt looks comfy and pretty as well.

  4. misscrayolacreepy

    I LOVE IT!! Such a good way to use up scraps. And four months isn’t long at all, you don’t even want to hear about my projects… 🙂

  5. I’ve been working on a blouse off/on for two months (and it’s not done yet!), so I’m not going to judge the amount of time it took you to make the quilt. Plus, I know that there’s a lot of time/effort that goes into quilting–I’ve made one! And FTR, machine quilting? It sucks too. Maybe if you have one of those nifty long arm machines it would be different, but I don’t really know for sure.

  6. starting and then putting aside half finished curtains is my current M.O.!!

    i really like your quilt, its looks awesome, and how cool to have little mementos of the different things you made through out it. I came up with the possibly insane idea of knitting one of those bed-foot-blanket throw things recently. Currently still an idea but I reckon will be even longer than 4 months, hopefully I will have similar good tidings for it if it ever gets completed!

  7. Njeri

    I bow down to anyone who can make a full quilt, I started a mini quilt last year, lets just say, it is still a WIP.

  8. Kat H

    Love it! Looks super cozy, and it’s fabulous that it’s a bit of a record of your past projects. 🙂 I’ve been debating about making a quilt using scraps for ages as well, but I always chicken out at how long it will take. I may just have to be inspired by your one! 😉

  9. Wow. Just wow. I love how those fabric strips arranged into diamonds (it is SO COOL how they just do that!) make me feel like I’m being sucked into about twenty different vortexes. Or something. And it looks so warm and fluffy to boot! Sigh, I supposed I should actually do something about all those scraps I have…

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