A last minute summer project I added to my to-do list was creating a baby-sized coin quilt. Mind you, I have never made a quilt in my life, but I figured with my sewing skills and all the fabric scraps I have piling up, how hard could it be?
But before tackling on this project, I realized that I needed to do some research , and boy was I glad and surprised! There were tons of incredible quilting tutorials for a novice like me to help ease my quilting jitters.
Creating my coin quilt was a fun and surprisingly quick endeavor. I learned loads that I feel may sway many of you who have thought about quilting but feel a bit intimidated by the whole process (kinda like how I was feeling!)
Lesson 1 – Start off small and use an easy pattern. While those pinwheel or star quilts look gorgeous, leave those for the experts! A lap quilt or baby-sized quilt of cut squares is definitely doable and won’t have you feeling overwhelmed (mine was made up of 80 squares: 10 rows of 8 squares and 8 columns of 10).
Lesson 2 – Pick a scheme of colors and then make sure that you cut an even number of each color so your quilt color pattern is balanced. Separating my squares by color saved me a lot of time when organizing the rows and columns of my quilt.
Lesson 3 – I realized quilting takes time, so patience is big, especially when spreading out the squares and finding just the right look!
Lesson 4 – Get organized! Seriously! I’m pretty messy when it comes to my projects, but I found that I couldn’t sew my squares without having a set plan. I made sure to gather up each row of my squares (10 stacks alltogether) and tacking a numbered sticky note, so I would know the order of my rows. Another thing I learned after sewing my squares and rows together was that as much as I tried, not all of my squares aligned exactly, so don’t feel discouraged. It is your first quilt after all!
Lesson 5 – Avoid short cuts and buy tons of safety pins. I learned this the hard way. After “sandwiching” my quilt (your back fabric+batting+sewn squares top), I thought I didn’t have to pin every single square (there was 80 ya know), but when I tried sewing all three layers together, the layers kept shifting around. After pinning all 80, sewing became a breeze!
Lesson 6 – Sewing inside the seam was a bit harder than I expected, so it’s wise to go nice and slow. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out perfect (I doubt anyone will be inspecting the seams of your quilt). One way of disguising these imperfections is to choose a neutral-colored thread; one that easily blends with your squares. I used a pale yellow since the majority of my squares were pastels.
Lesson 7 – Roll up your quilt. If you don’t, it’ll be quite a task to sew your quilt. This tip I discovered when reading many of the wonderful quilting tutes on the internet!
Well, I hope I’ve eased your mind about quilting. If you’ve thought about trying it, just go for it! I’ll be finishing my quilt by tomorrow, so I’ll show you some pics of the finished piece. C u then! Sue