My First Quilt – The Beginning

Having finished my table runner I decided to dive straight in to starting my quilt.

The plan originally was 3 different blocks of each of the six patterned fabrics I’ve chosen. Each of which would be sashed in white and then joined and bordered in white too (or maybe bordered in yellow or navy if I’m feeling adventurous when its done).WP_20170315_15_35_30_Pro

After redoing my calculations before I started, I realised that this would make a rather narrow quilt so I’ve decided to do an extra block of each fabric. Thankfully I have enough left of each of the fat quarters to do this.

(This isn’t going to be the layout, it will be more mixed up than this but it gives you and me an idea of the size and how it will fit together)

All put together it would make a quilt that would be about 5 by 6 foot. Which I think would be a perfect size for my small double bed. It’s 4 foot wide so a 6 inch over hang on the sides sounds about right to me (not that I’ve ever made a quilt before, obviously).

So once I’d double checked all of this, it was time to start cutting. And let me tell you that was very nerve-racking. I only have one fat quarter each of the pattern fabric I need and its 21inch wide, my largest block is 21inch long so I didn’t have any room for error. I bought the fabric from America with ridiculous shipping costs so I did not want to get it wrong! I think I checked my measurements about ten times before I cut!

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But I managed it. Phew.

And I’ve managed to piece all four of the first fabric blocks to show you. I’m quilting as I go, which means quilting each individual block and then joining them up at the end and I’m using Hobbs fusible 80/20 batting which is a life saver. Seriously. I hate pin basting but this stuff is so easy! All mum had to do was iron it and TADA no basting needed.

So here are the four blocks:
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For some reason these photos have picked up every small bump but the fabric is actually very flat and secured well front and back.

The blocks of each pattern will be mixed together in the quilt, they won’t be sat next to each other like this but I’m doing each fabric together. The square blocks are both 12.5 inches, which is a good size for quilting on my poor little sewing machine. The rectangle is 25 inches by 12.5 inches.

I’m not certain whether to do the small squares as the extra block every time or to do the middle sized square half of the time. I have enough fabric to do either. Some of the patterns are larger than this one so maybe those ones I can do the medium block for….

One thing I will say is that the batting is a lot thinner than I was expecting it to be. I’m not sure if that’s because when I imagine a quilt I think thick and snuggly and my expectations were just way off or because this is thin batting. None of the reviews mention it’s thin so I’m thinking the first. This is also probably swayed by the fact that I’m one of those people that like really heavy duvets. If I stay in a hotel with just sheets I go through all the cupboards looking for a blanket to add weight.

Also, I’m using guttermans cotton quilting thread and it feels very coarse compared to the thread I usually use. I’m a little worried it’ll be rough against my skin when the quilt is done. But that’s the thread that the internet recommended and it was in my local craft store so I bought it…..

On the subject of thread, I know I want to use white for all of the white area on the front but don’t think I want to use it on the patterned fabric. I’m thinking maybe using a grey or blue or even a yellow but I’m really not sure. I don’t know whether to match the fabric, so use yellow on the yellow pattern and blue on the blue, or stick to one colour for all of them. What do you think? And I don’t know whether to do front and back with the different colour or keep all the stitching on the back white. I’m a little worried about the guttermans being thicker than the coloured thread if I do both together.

Here’s the patterned fabrics again to give you a better idea. I’m planning on using the bottom row.

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It’s all very exciting. I’ve gotten carried away as I’ve cut and pieced the blocks in just over a week and I definitely over did it. I need to pace it out a bit more but I wanna do it! Things are going more quickly than I thought and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m doing too much or because it’s simply quicker than I thought it would be. I think I will need to figure out my pacing as this is all such a new thing to me.


If you stuck with me to the end thanks! I realise that was quite a long post!

So what do you think? Is batting generally thinner than I think it should be? Anyone used fusible batting before? I know its more expensive but so far, it’s been totally worth it. Also, guttermans thread, a bad idea? And what colour thread would you use over the patterned fabric?

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26 thoughts on “My First Quilt – The Beginning

  1. I LOVE heavy quilts and usually can’t fall asleep without a fairly heavy blanket, no matter how hot it is! You could always make a plain backing for it and put a big doona inside?

    I like the idea of matching the thread to the colour fabric you are using, so put my vote down for that!

    And yes, you HAVE done heaps! I wouldn’t be surprised if you had overdone it physically. I definitely did today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not alone then 🙂 I can’t put anything inside it though as I’m sewing it together. It is suppose to be for summer though so maybe it’ll be okay. I guess we’ll see. And if not someone will be getting a freakish expensive present lol.
      Yeah I’m leaning towards matching colours.
      I think I have overdone it. So hard to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you haven’t overdone it too much! It’ll be great for hot summer days, and especially for laying outside and protecting yourself from the sun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have done a lot for a first quilt! Good job! I love the color and fabric designs you have chosen. And your layout design is cool! I have not yet done the quilt-as -you- go method. I have plans to do one. As for the batting, I am a fan of fusible batting. I use it for making my quilted tote bags. I did make one block for a quilt-as -you- go quilt, and I used Fairfield Soft N Crafty Cotton Quilter’s 80/20 Batting.
    As for the thread, I usually use Aurifil gray threads which range from light to dark. These blend into most colors and I do not have to keep changing thread. I can’t wait to see your finished quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jess, as you know, I also use fusible batting, and yes, it tends to be quite thin. Personally, I like it, because I think I would have trouble quilting something bulkier on my machine. I’ve only made lap size quilts up to now, but I do find they are nice to snuggle up under. My quilts are used in the living room, to snuggle up with in the evening while watching TV so we don’t have to have the heating on.
    I also don’t clean my needle afterwards. I don’t find it leaves a residue or anything (unlike the spray on baste which leaves my needle and machine sticky).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jessica, I think you be surprised at the weight of your quilt when you have it completed. It always amazes me how much weight the quilting adds! I think you can go either way on top; it may depend on how you decide to quilt it. If it’s just basic edge following you could do either, but if you are opting for fancier, you may want to match it up, especially since you are quilting as you go. I would stay with white on the back. You’ll be happier in the end since this is one of your first quilting projects. Have fun with this, and take a rest…set a time if you need to so you don’t get carried away.😉

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  5. Thanks for liking my post about the Owl quilts 🙂 Just my two cents: I would suggest having the top thread match the bottom, because even the best machines can have tension glitches here and there as you are stitching and different colours will make that obvious on ooe side or the other. If your backing is white fabric, my suggestion would be to quilt with either white or a light grey thread top and bottom (they can be different weights). It will blend well and save you time changing threads and trying to keep the colours from showing through to the back when you don’t mean to have that happen 🙂 The quilting adds an extra layer of texture, so if the white shows on some colours that isn’t a bad thing, since your prints have white in their designs anyway. And if after finishing, you still want a heavier quilt for the next project, try using a 100% cotton or cotton bamboo blend batting like Arctic Cotton brand. I have used the Hobbs 80/20 and it’s good but slightly lighter weight. I’ve also used the Hobbs 100% cotton and it doesn’t have the same weight as something like Arctic Cotton does. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I was worrying about with having two different coloured threads. But I want the back to be white and the front to colour match! Hmmm.
      I’ll look up arctic cotton. I’ve been completely sold on fusible batting though and Hobbs 80/20 was the only fusible stuff I could find. Hopefully it’ll turn out to be right for me, otherwise I guess I’ll have to do some more searching when I’m done.

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  6. I have no idea about quilting, I do not even own a sewing machine. I have looked at small cheap ones but then the reviews are not usually very good. I cannot afford an expensive one but would love to have a go at making bags and adding machine stitching to cards sometimes. I do admire you having a go though, as even with a machine I do not think I would have the courage to risk a whole quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a pretty cheap one. At £99 it’s actually going to work out cheaper than the materials for this quilt!!! I bought it quite a few years ago and until now it’s been sitting in it’s box unused. But so far its handling everything well enough. I’ve just jinxed it now but fingers crossed it keeps going!

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