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The Final Handmade Gift Post...I Swear

As the holidays draw to a close, the purging and organization bug has officially bitten me.  But I have no idea why....


I got three hours of sleep before we left town for the holidays furiously hand sewing a binding on a quilt....and it got done.  But the craft room was a disaster. However, I have been organizing like crazy the past couple of days and can't wait to share the results.

Until then I want to show my first two completed quilts.  I know you are sick of handmade gift posts by this time, but I want to show them anyway.

The first quilt was a baby quilt that was inspired by a fabric remnant I picked up at Joann's for a couple of bucks and a subway tile pattern (sticking close to the home reno roots).

I was very scientific about this quilt....I used a notepad for the sizing of the squares and cut a lot of them.  Then I laid them on the floor in a random pattern.  When I thought the quilt was large enough I stopped cutting and started sewing.   I am probably making real quilters groan right now.

I used free motion quilting as my machine does not have a walking foot that would allow me to do straight lines.  It took me awhile to get a handle on in I ripped out seams over 10 times at the beginning because I wasn't liking it.  But after I got over my fear and figured it out, it was not as difficult as I thought.

The second quilt was a little more ambitious and I used a Figgy Pudding Jelly Roll to put this together. 

I added solid red in between the figgy pudding and on the back.  I bound with with some figgy pudding yardage.  I used a similar free motion design on this quilt because frankly I was running out of time and I knew I could do it without breaking out the seam ripper.


Sorry for the less than stellar quality of these pics....they were taken after the quilt was given as it was not finished in time to snap some before we left.  There is nothing like having someone open a gift and then snatch it back to take pics of it:).  The red is not so bright in "real life."  Also looking at pics snapped with the old camera, I am loving the new one even more (if that is even possible).

So now that I have officially completed two quilts I wanted to share all my "knowledge".....

Things I have learned about quilting-
  1. It takes a long time, especially when you are like me and don't know exactly what you are doing.  So when you see a quilt and scoff at the price (like I used to do) know that someone took many many hours putting it together.
  2. Quilting involves very straight lines and exact measurements. And straight cutting. And straight sewing.  And good ironing.  Because if you are just a little bit off, the whole thing gets wonky....and you know what that means....hello seam ripping.
  3. Hand sewing binding is not fun.  Yeah it looks nice and all but it takes forever and my fingers killed me for two days afterwards.  Maybe my technique sucks and I am doing it wrong.  Or maybe it is just not fun.
  4. Quilting is fun....and an awesome excuse to use amazing fabrics.  I can't wait to start another one. 

15 comments on "The Final Handmade Gift Post...I Swear"
  1. You have no idea how much respect I have for quilters! Yours turned out amazing.... and I looove the fabric choices you made :).

  2. Your quilts turned out beautifully! I love the yellow and gray one, especially. For what it's worth, I also hate handsewing binding. Which is why I have a number of unfinished quilts sitting around ...! :)

  3. I am so impressed by your quilt making skills! Love the gray and yellow one. I don't think I have the patience to sew, so I will just admire your beautiful work!

  4. Your quilts look great! I'm in love with the yellow and gray one. Sounds like your addicted now!

  5. Jenny, I have a friend (since hs)who is a nationally known quilter/ needle artist. If you ever want to contact her, let me know. she is in San Francisco. I have her address and am searching for her email address which I thought I had. She started quilting when she went to Fiji after college and saw their quilting patterns.

  6. Your quilts came out lovely, you did an awesome job. I am really lusting after a sewing machine now. I forgot how fun quilting was. I took some seminars where you do a quilt top in a day and they are extremely helpful in teaching techniques that make piecing go so much faster. My grandmother who was trained as a seamstress used to do the binding for me by hand. She could whip it out in evening. Kudos to you to free motion quilting. The actual "quilting" was always the hardest part for me.

  7. Jenny,
    I think they are great!! You are very talented and have a good eye for decorating. Can't wait to see what your up to in 2010. Happy New Year! XoXo

  8. I love your quilts, they are traditional but updated. Love the look. Haven't quilted in about 10 years! This post is inspirational maybe I will do one finally in 2010. Keep 'em coming

  9. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  10. Nice post & nice blog. I love both.

  11. Those quilts are amazingly beautiful. No wonder you love rows of fabric. Wow, I'm in awe! Thanks for visiting and hope to wee you again soon. Happy New Year! I have a hard time with resolutions too, because I try to better myself in some way everyday. I hope that's not a cop out.

  12. love love love the green stripes in your craft room!

    And, I am totally drooling over that yellow and grey quilt. Beautiful work!

  13. These are ridiculously amazing quilts... I am totally trying to become a quilter, and I hope that mine turn out as beautifully as yours did!

  14. Hey Jenny! I just discovered your blog, and I LOVE it! I am a new quilter as well, and my grandmother taught me this binding technique (no, that's not her in the video!). It will change your life - you'll never hand sew a binding again!

    Happy Quilting!

  15. Thanks Tara! I am going to have to try that out as even with my subsequent quilts, my love for hand sewing binding has not increased. Perfect link and how-to!