Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Matilda's Curious Quilt

I decided that my first sewing project would be a little quilt for Matilda, our Scottish Terrier. This little dog's appreciation for my cooking makes me feel like a culinary genius, and so I knew that no matter how the quilt turned out, she would love it as though it were the best blanket in the world. There's nothing like starting a new hobby on a high note.
Below are the steps I used to make the quilt. It's not quite a tutorial, but the steps are easy enough to follow.

Above: I had some fun, colorful bedspread material and some navy green curtaining in the cupboard, so I hauled these out and began cutting. I cut the colorful cloth into long triangles, and the curtaining into even strips and joined them with the triangles facing in opposite directions. Both materials are fairly thick, which makes them ideal for a beginner sewing project.

Above: I then had a long piece of cloth, which I cut in two. I cut each of the pieces length ways into four strips and mixed the strips around. I sewed these together to create a messy, checker effect. 

Above: I used a zig zag stitch and a straight stitch to join the pieces, and a zigzag stitch to sew the joins flat. I joined the two pieces along the edge, back to back.

Above: For the edging, I used a satin stitch and then tattered the edges by removing the loose threads. (A useful beginner sewing technique, as the sewing machine does all the work with the satin stitch. 
This worked wonders for my confidence on the machine and I was finally brave enough to
"drive fast" while sewing.)

Above: I'm sure there are hundreds of sewing techniques that professional quilters use to create a neat border, and although I plan on learning those techniques, for now I'm using whatever makes sense to me. The joins aren't very neat, but they are sturdy.

 Above: I used a zigzag stitch to attach the quilt's border.

Above: My 1968 Bernina 707 Minimatic came with a box of goodies. This is the embroidery foot (I think it is also called a darning foot). I used this to decorate the edges of the quilt with some freehand embroidery squiggles. This little machine is very powerful, stitching without fussing through several layers of thick material.

Above: Matilda on her Curious Quilt. She likes it! 

It's not an average dog blanket, but I think it will serve us well, especially in the car, and as Matilda's "spot" when we visit friends and family. It's a very simple, easy quilt that I would recommend as a beginner sewing project. 

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