Saturday, November 09, 2013

Cason's Quilt

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Well, the little weekly photography project turned into a quilting project. I didn't really plan it that way starting out, but it's been a fun way to end. 

Some of you may not care at all about the details. That's fine, but if you do they are all below.  The long and short of it is that each photo above was taken on a different yard of fabric (acquired mainly from the salvage bins at Joanns and Hobby Lobby). I then took those fabrics and made a twin-size quilt for Cason's bed that you see below.

I hope one day it's a special little keepsake for him. Danny's bound and determined that he's going to take it to college with him for his dorm room, but I'm afraid by then he might be sick of it and need something fresh. Either way, I hope he knows that it was made with love and that these projects are my little attempts to celebrate and treasure his life as he grows. 
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The Quilt Top:

This is the completed quilt, as much of it as we could photograph at once while Danny held it out, arms outstretched.

The quilt top is a Jelly Roll 1600 pattern. I pretty much followed these instructions from Heirloom Creations. The Jelly Roll 1600 is suppose to be one of the fastest quilt tops to make as you are SUPPOSE to create it from pre-cut strips of fabric.

I, however, made this project about as hard as you can:

  1. I cut all my own strips of fabric. 
  2. I sewed them together, end to end on the bias (at an angle). To see a Jelly Roll 1600 with the strips sewn together end-to-end straight on (not at an angle) check out these instructions from Crafty Garden Mom.
  3. I had to go back and cut MORE strips in order to make a nice, large twin-size quilt because I didn't do enough the first time. 
Jelly Roll Math - in case you're looking to make different sized Jelly roll 1600 quilts, this website was a little helpful. I ended up wanting my rows of fabric to go horizontally across the bed (not vertically like in this website) so I didn't end up utilizing her math, but it was a good start all the same.

The Quilt Back:

The back of the quilt is a grey, squiggly extra-wide fabric from Happiness is Quilting in downtown McKinney. I used leftover jelly roll strips to piece together four rows of two-inch squares. I wanted a little color on the back inspired by this Red Pepper Quilts striped quilt and this Red Pepper Quilts Lunar Dust and Frog Ponds.

The Binding:

I made this a quilt without a binding (or a bindingless quilt) after seeing this adorable baby blanket without a binding on Red Pepper Quilts. Rita's "Quilt without a Binding" tutorial was super helpful. 

I'm not sure that omitting the binding made finishing this quilt any easier, but I LOVED the modern edge for a little boy and so I was determined to make it work. I also don't think I'd recommend this type of binding (or lack there of) on a quilt any bigger in size. You can't hide any imperfections in the quilting when there's no binding to cover over the edges!


I used spray basting, but I would not recommend it at all, especially for a project this large. I don't think it held as well as if I had just taken the time to carefully pin-baste. I feel like it shifted too much as I was quilting, maybe because I quilted it over a few weeks and the basting wore off.

Red Pepper Quilts has a great tutorial on pin-basting and buying batting that I should have just followed.

The Quilting:

The quilting was simply one-inch horizontal rows. Sewing half an inch on either side of each seam resulted in one-inch rows all the way across the quilt. As you can see my quilting lines are very, very imperfect. I'm not sure if it was not having much practice quilting such a large project, my small machine, my attempts at using spray basting instead of pins, or my lack of skill at maneuvering such a heavy quilt around (or all of the above) but I could not get straight lines for the life of me. 

I originally thought I'd quilt a one-inch grid over the quilt like this Red Pepper Quilt but once I got started I knew rows would be plenty of a project for me to tackle. Besides, I liked Rita's vertical quilting lines on this quilt, so I figured it would still look awesome.

The Thread:

The thread on the back of the quilt was a variegated gray, while the thread on the front was just a simple cream. I didn't want to use the gray on the front and take away from the colors of the quilt top (or make it any busier for that matter).
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The Finished Quilt:

(The quilt is pictured here without the bar on Cason's bed simply because it looks better - normally the quilt is all rumpled and bunched on the bed!)

And there you have it. My first large quilting project. It's not perfect, but to me that's part of the charm of handmade projects.

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