Giving Birth to a Quilt + Sewing Lingo & Basics

April 29, 2011

My first quilt is officially done…  AND it really felt like giving birth.  Every step of the way, I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I was so afraid of making a mistake with possible repercussions down the line.

BUT….like giving birth, my quilt is a beautiful outcome!

I’m being a lil’ sarcastic…it’s not REALLY like giving birth.  Been there, Done that two times and birthing was MUCH MORE DIFFICULT.

On a real note ~ I truly can’t believe I sewed this.  Never would have believed it a few weeks ago.

It would be great if I could actually take you through the whole process, but since this is my FIRST quilt, it’d kind of be a joke if I wrote a tutorial.  Search the web and I know you’ll find some amazing bloggers who are pros at quilting. BUT, here are a few progress pictures.

The center is done after sewing each square together.

Figuring out the border and binding fabrics.

Will there be more quilts, you ask?…. I don’t know.  Since this took me half a century ~ (haha) well, maybe not that long ~ I think I’ll stick to quick, 1-day projects for now.  I’m an instant gratification girl, and this took a wee bit long for me.  BUT, I do have to say….I am quite impressed with myself and glad that I stuck it out!

Along the way, I learned some crazy sewing lingo that is probably part of the everyday language for someone who frequently sews, but for a beginner like me, it was quite interesting.

Here are just a few:

‘Walking’ Foot ~ Yes, I walk with my feet, but how does it pertain to sewing??   A ‘walking’ foot is a special sewing machine foot that moves the top and bottom layer of fabric together to avoid shifting or puckering.  It’s an essential for attaching bindings, straight line quilting, and curves ~ WHO KNEW?!  And I used this 80% of the time when making my quilt, so it’s a must-need tool when sewing! To learn more, take a look at this article: What is a Walking Foot?

Fat Quarter ~ WHAT?  A fat quarter..that’s a crazy name! A fat quarter is a quarter yard of fabric that typically measures 18″ x 22″.  It’s proportioned differently than if you cut a typical quarter yard of fabric cut from a bolt of fabric which would be only 9″ x 44″.  Fat quarters are GREAT for small projects.  The center part of my quilt was all made using fat quarters.  Here is a great article on What’s a Fat Quarter?

Stitch in the Ditch ~ Does that mean I’m supposed to bring my sewing machine outside and sew in a ditch??  NO, NOT AT ALL!  The term ‘stitch in the ditch’ means to sew long, straight lines between the seams (or “ditches”) on the quilt top using your walking foot. This is how the front and the back of the quilt stay together and in position. To read more, view this article, How do I “stitch in the ditch”?  Take a look at the picture below of how I ‘stitched in the ditch’ with white thread.

Those are just a few of the interesting (to say the least) terms that I learned throughout the process of creating my first quilt.

Even though sewing can often be thought of as challenging and intimidating, with the right materials and a few basic skills, it’s easy AND fun!

And to start with, it’s important to have a good sewing machine. For years, I had a basic machine that had limited options and had a needle that kept on breaking, UGH! Recently, I invested in a new machine, and it’s the reason why I’ve been loving to sew. Sewing machines can cost $1000s, but unless you are an expert, you really do not need to invest that much $$!

This machine is probably something you’ll want to pass on especially if you’re just starting out!

BUT, here are a few sewing machines that I recommend for a beginner that can grow with you and still be used at an intermediate and/or expert level.
Brother CP-7500 (this is the machine I got)
Singer 7258
Brother CS6000i

When looking at a machine, it’s best to find one that includes lots of extras, like these:

Now that I’m an expert sewer – NOT!  OK, OK ~ a beginner / allllllmost intermediate sewer (seamstress)…I can say that sewing is really not that difficult.

Here are a few more pictures of my FIRST QUILT —

And here’s my daughter enjoying her new beauty~

If you ever wanted to learn to sew, but thought it was too difficult, let me tell you….it’s NOT. I did take a class to get me started / motivated and it gave me the jump-start to begin something that I’ve been wanting to do for years!

Just Do It!! (I sound like a Nike ad, lol)

Linking up to:
Between Naps on the Porch-Met Monday, All Things Heart & Home-All Things Inspired,Savvy Southern Style-B&A Party, House of Hepworths , Shabby Chic Cottage-Transformation Thursdays, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots and Jello-Weekend Wrapup, Thrifty Decor Chick

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  1. i love that!!! the colors are the same as in my daughter’s room- so happy and cheerful and bright! now that you have mastered it, can you make me the twin version. ;)

  2. very pretty ~ the quilt and the sweetie :)
    angie recently posted..Cupcake Liner Flower Bouquet

  3. Love it! You did a wonderful job!!!
    Tiffany recently posted..Naked Bed!!!

  4. It came out beautifully! I like the fabric you used too! I’m sure your sweet little one will treasure it for years to come.

  5. What a great post, with lots of important details!

    Would love for you to share at Calling All Crafters!

  6. You did a great job. I love the fabric choices…so bright and cheery!

  7. That is a GREAT first quilt–it looks beautiful! I love the colors you picked, and my goodness your daughter is precious! You’re so right with your birth analogy . . . you’re just kind of confused and scared and hope everything works out, right? :-) You did a wonderful job!

  8. That is such a precious quilt! I’d love to make one someday, and i’ll be sure to Pin this one for help!! thanks!!

  9. Your quilt turned out so pretty. I love the colors!

    I am 1 of 5 finalists to win a HUGE room makeover and voting ends today. I would really appreciate it is you would take just a moment and stop by and vote for me. I am 3#. Thanks!
    Laura recently posted..Guess Whos House These Pictures Where Taken At

  10. Hi, Jenna! I’m admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)
    SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime recently posted..Creative Bloggers Party &amp Hop 052211

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