Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zebra Quilt

Add QUILTING to my lengthening list of abilities!

I saw this jelly roll at Hobby Lobby while I was in the middle of the Bumblebee Dresses and I just couldn't resist. I love the punky purple prints. I thought about doing a rag quilt but I am currently turned off by the idea of quilting individual pieces instead of the whole thing at once, so I'm putting that off. The jelly roll quilt tutorials I found were all rag quilts so I read a traditional quilt tutorial instead and followed those basic guidelines.  This one at Diary of a Quilter is great; it's simple and easy to follow, and broken down into sections so you can read about each step in detail if you need to.

First you just sew the jelly roll together to make your quilt top.  I started out with a seam allowance that was too small and it unraveled a bit.  I wanted more of the fabric to show but obviously I don't want it to fall apart as a result.

Then you add a border if you want one. I thought the zebra print looked great with this jelly roll, even though I am NOT an animal print person. At all.

Then you choose a backing fabric and purchase some batting.  Unfortunately I bought my border fabric and my backing fabric at the same time, using the measurements of my quilt top WITHOUT the border.  Rookie mistake.  So you can see, I had to cut off some of my border from the finished quilt before binding it because the backing fabric was not big enough.

Measure twice, cut once, people.

The binding is that purple edge around the whole thing that binds it together, like a book, joining all the layers or pages together to create a finished project.

I was in line at the store with my batting, binding, and backing and I asked the saleslady if my little Janome would handle the quilting.  (Quilting, by definition, is sewing three layers together all at once so I was worried).  I didn't know if I needed a walking foot. After learning what they cost I decided I didn't.  The sales lady said, "Oh yeah, the Janome has the power to quilt.  I know for a fact it can sew right through corset boning."

Oh.  Really.  Corset boning.  Good to know.  I'll have to remember that if I'm ever on Jeopardy!.  Not sure I would tell a perfect stranger that I'm an expert on corset-making, but whatever.  Come to think of it, the lady who cut my fabric said she was releasing it from its bondage, so maybe I need a new fabric store.......

Anyway I got home and added my border and it looked pretty good, and then I was a little dismayed when the new quilt top was too big for the backing.  I pin-basted it anyway, and got to quilting.  I went with a grid.  I don't know if you can tell, but my lines are really crooked.  I don't care, I made a quilt :)  Then I went the other way and sewed along the existing seams, "in the ditch."  Those lines are a little straighter.  I have to say I was really proud of my machine - not a single hiccup quilting this guy.  I want to make another one like RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND.

Then I laid my quilt on the floor (laid being the past tense of lay.....dammit) and trimmed off my zebra border :(  You can see it's not even all the way around, but it would have been if I'd bought enough backing fabric.

And then the binding, for some reason, was my favorite part.  Maybe because I was so close to being done, and I thought I might actually pull it off, but I think mostly because it's more precise, methodical work.  You gotta pin it all in place around the edge through all three layers, and miter the corners, then sew it on one side and flip it over and pin the other side before sewing it. And then you have a QUILT!

I've heard of people taking 20 years to finish quilts so I hesitate to tell you it took me four and a half days, even with three kids, cooking, cleaning, ripping out seams, cutting off edges, and running out of binding.  I started Saturday and finished Wednesday.

I like it :)


  1. it's laid, Jackie!!! The quilt is the object. Anyhoo, this looks great! Congratulations on this crafty you. I'm not there yet.

  2. lol, see I just can't get that right!!

  3. I have to fix it. You are absolutely right.

  4. Hahaha. And I hope you know that I am not really a rude grammar-police-commentor, but that article you posted the other day just made my fingers type :)