My First Quilt

Quilt slow stitching

In August, I decided to make my first quilt. I chose a completely ignorant teacher, myself. For this reason, I decided to start small. The above quilt isn’t large enough to keep my dog warm, but I learned a lot about the process.

You may think I used all the modern tools I have available to me – especially Grandma YouTube and Gigi (my personal name for Google). But I didn’t. Why not? I can’t truly explain other than I wanted to see if I could figure it out intuitively. I was taught to sew clothing by my Grandma Ruff when I was a little girl, but I never knew how to make a quilt.

Another reason I didn’t learn from any experts is that I knew I wanted to do it the “wrong” way. Generally I learn what the rules are before I break them, but there was just so little risk in this. I invested a couple of yards of cheap fabric, thread, some batting and a billion stitches.

Quilt sketch
Sketch for quilt

I started with this basic sketch. I cut and sewed the top of the quilt using my sewing machine and then made a sandwich of top, batting, and backing. Pushing from the middle to the edges, I added periodic pins.

From there, I simply stitched my heart out. I used perle cotton size 8, in solid or variegated colors, mostly from DMC (purchased online). After the entire quilt was stitched, I trimmed the edges straight, and then cut, ironed and hand stitched a binding. I love how it turned out. I think I will frame it and hang it on the wall, but I’m not totally sure what to do with it. I’ll make more quilts in the future for sure. Hopefully the next one can be used to keep me warm this winter.

slow-stitched quilt binding
Making edges straight and binding quilt

Back of slow stitched quilt
Back of the finished quilt


Hand embroidered artwork

I just returned from a magical trip with Jimmy to San Francisco. I’ll write more about that later. Tonight I decided to dive into the Connection series I have been sketching and thinking about. I used my own old Rosner jeans (made in Germany) and fabric from and Indian outfit I purchased for a wedding years ago as the basis for my piece. I really just started it as an experiment in using scraps without a clear plan and I love how it came out. Finished piece is ~8 in x 10 in.


Stitched sunrise

I’ve gotten obsessed with stitching lately. I’m trying lots of different things that are new to me including quilting (future post on this – after the first quilt is complete) and lots of embroidery. I wanted to try a painted background for an embroidery project and a really smart guy suggested that I dilute acrylic paint and use that.

Painted sunrise over water- acrylic on fabric

I would have preferred a more muted look, so next time I will dilute more, but I decided to give this a try anyway. I stitched on top of the fabric. I stitched a little and then more and then I had stitched for about 4 days straight and here’s the result. I love it.

Embroidery- stitched on painted fabric
Close up of embroidered piece.
Close up to show texture

Sunrise over waves

For this piece, I played with rough cut shapes of fabric and lots of stitches for texture.

Appliquéd sunrise and waves with embroidery
Close up of embroidered piece