I’m Making a Quilt!

I love being crafty. Like, love love it. Even before Pinterest, there was this little thing called StumbleUpon (Does anyone use that anymore?? I kind of miss it.) that led me to all sorts of tutorials and other awesome things to make.

I live in a fairly small apartment. I only have so much wall space and so many flat surfaces to decorate. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped me from continuing to churn out projects like I’m decorating a 5,000 square foot mansion. Things have only gotten worse now that I have my very own sewing machine. Let me back up first.

When I was in high school and my cousin would come to town for a visit, we were constantly dreaming up new things to make. Purses, pillows, picture frames (awkward that all those things start with P…), and more were on our to-do list. We would sit on the floor of Michael’s and annoy other shoppers while imagining all of the awesome things we could create. And then one day, we decided to make quilts.

It started off innocently enough, with a trip to a local craft store in my hometown, Ben’s Crafts and Floral. It’s a fantastic store–I cannot recommend it enough. In addition to a full fabric section, they also sold scraps of the fabric bolts that weren’t big enough to cut from anymore. So we dug through the bins and found tons of random patterns that didn’t exactly go together, but we loved them just the same.

We spent hours doing calculations, picking out border and backing fabrics, finding batting, and cutting out dozens of fabric squares. We had sewn things before, but this was a major undertaking for us and we definitely had some lofty goals. All was going well at first, though.

Annnnd then she went home. So the fabric and materials sat in my room for close to two years.

Fast forward to a pretty nasty breakup that caused me to need a major distraction. Enter my parent’s old sewing machine and those almost forgotten fabric scraps from the back of my closet. I didn’t have a pattern or even a real plan. I just knew I needed to do something with my hands. And so I created my first ever quilt!

Sure, the lines necessarily perfectly straight. I guess technically they aren’t straight at all. The angled corners I was going for totally don’t match up with the edges of the blanket. It isn’t even actually quilted. So it’s more of a blanket with quilt batting at the center. But I am in love with that blanket. It’s sitting next to me on my bed as I write this, and I use it almost every night.

So when I was at a Jo Ann’s fabric store a few weeks ago and realized they were having a liquidation sale, I just couldn’t help myself. I found 12 different fabrics, bought a yard of each (only after more floor-sitting and furious calculations), and resolved to make another quilt.

In love with all these fabrics, especially those keys!

This time, it’s going to be queen-sized and big enough for my bed.

Much to my relief, my sewing knowledge has vastly improved since the last time I had to cut fabric squares. I wised up and bought a mat and rotary cutter, which have been a total lifesaver, considering that I cut out 192 squares. I cannot even imagine cutting all those by hand.

My new best friend right here! Plus my pattern for the squares.

Once all the squares were cut, I had to figure out a pattern for them all. In hindsight, I definitely should have done that before I started cutting, but careful planning definitely isn’t my strong suit. So after more than 3 hours of arranging, rearranging, and staring at my living room floor, I finally have a pattern I’m happy with.

Final layout design. (Please excuse the blur on this–I took it at about 2am!)

And now the squares are neatly stacked into a pile and sitting on my dresser. I have the batting for the middle and measurements for the borders and backing, but no idea what fabrics I’m going to choose for those two pieces. The plan this weekend is to get started on sewing my pieces into strips and then actually into a giant rectangle.

I will definitely keep you updated as the project progresses–hopefully it won’t take two years this time!

What about you guys? Do you have any recently completed/in the works craft projects? I’d love to hear about and see them! I’m always looking for more inspiration!

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