Yesterday night, I pulled my last few border stitches tight, tied it off, cleaned up loose threads, and finished a beautiful quilt. It is, hands-down, no question, my favourite thing I’ve ever made.
I think “make a quilt” has been on my bucket list since I first saw this post – holy moly, I just checked the date on it – in 2012. Back then, I had a sewing machine and I was in a real DIY phase, but I was also in school, and didn’t want to spend lots of money on quilting tools and fabric (well I did want to, but I felt that I shouldn’t..). Fast forward to a couple months ago, when I came home for the summer. I’m staying at my Dad’s house, and lo and behold, my stepmom has boxes and boxes of fabric pieces she’s not using and every quilting tool a person could dream of.
I set out on my quilting journey with very little guidance and a one-step-at-a-time attitude. Those steps added up to something, and I could always see my progress right there in front of me. I always focused on getting to the next little step without worrying about the steps after that (things I had no idea – yet – how to do). I could take each one as it came, and cross bridges when I came to them. Making a quilt might seem hard, but cutting fabric isn’t hard. Sewing together two pieces isn’t hard. None of the steps on their own is really that hard.
Along the way I realized something: it had been a long time since I’d worked with my hands to make something real, tactile, and non-virtual. When did I stop making stuff?? Why did I stop making stuff?
It’s crazy how much joy I got from even just looking at my quilt at each stage of its development. And I was amazed at how much mindfulness, peace and flow I got from an activity that took up my attention and focus for minutes or hours at a time, like this process did for me.
Not only that, but I’m very proud of myself. I’m excited to give this as a precious gift. I’m so, so happy that I created something special with my own two hands. There is literally no downside to this equation! It’s just something that brings me Good Vibes Only.
Don’t listen to the many people who will tell you quilting is impossible and that it takes years. Those things are true for some (beautiful, hand-sewn, impossibly stunning!!) quilts, but not for a quilt like this one. My workmanship is probably laughable to more serious and more talented quilters, but I’m just proud that I made something warm and cozy and lovable, and that I didn’t even need a quilting foot for the sewing machine. It’s more than doable, and it only took me about a month.
I used this tutorial loosely – I changed the size of my quilt, but followed all the other steps. My finished quilt measures 28 by 33 inches, which is small for a crib-size quilt, but it’s perfect for a baby.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have already started cutting fabric for the next quilt.