Baby’s first quilt – finished!

My first finished quilt! Go me!


A variation on a Trip Around the World quilt, made with strips from a Kona Solids Classic jelly roll and Moda Snow. Machine quilted in a square double spiral, using King Tut thread in Cleopatra. Binding: Benartex Scribble Multi. Backing: from the Very Hungry Caterpillar range. The quilt finished at 34″ square.

Lessons learned:

Accurately cut pieces are vital if you want to achieve an accurately pieced result! I pre-washed my jelly roll strips, which left me with frayed edges, which meant my squares are far from square. They also don’t line up – I didn’t know about pinning my seams to help them match up. My borders are wavy, because I measured the edge of the quilt, not the middle.

Machine quilting turned out to be much easier than I feared. I attached the binding by machine, too, and that worked out ok. On my old sewing machine, I had no seam guide, so if I was using the walking foot, I couldn’t easily measure the seam allowance properly. On my new machine, I do have a seam guide, so next time I’ll be able to sew an accurate 1/4″ seam and use the walking foot.

I love the binding fabric, and the backing is super cute and cheerful, but I wouldn’t use them together again. They’re too busy together. I should probably have used a single-colour stripe for the binding instead.

Now don’t think I’m putting myself down for writing this! I’m a scientist, after all, and part of my job is to analyse, to learn, and to do better next time. I love the quilt I’ve made, and I love it even more for all the lessons I learned making it 🙂

Linking up with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF at Quokka Quilts, and Richard’s LAFF!

24 thoughts on “Baby’s first quilt – finished!

  1. I love your quilt! The colorful blocks of color and then the backing that pulls it all together. I’d say for a first quilt, you really plunged in there and did a great job. Every quilt has somewhat of a learning curve, so quilting never gets boring. But then your splash into quilting has me thinking you’re one to never get bored anyhow. Congrats on a wonderful finish!

  2. Great quilt. Congrats. You never stop learning with the art of quilting. Experiment, experiment, experiment it ALLWORKS!!!!!!!

  3. Wow! This is an impressive undertaking for a first quilt! The way you arranged the colors absolutely makes this quilt. The technical stuff will improve with experience, so you are well on your way! Beautiful! And congratulations on the finish!

  4. wow! that looks awesome! i really like the contrast between front and back. very different!

    i don’t have seam allowance on my machine either. i’ve just stuck a big elastic band about as close as i can get to 1/4″ and just go with it. what can i say, i’m a lazy sewist.

    anyway, i can’t tell that your squares don’t match up! it looks awesome overall. 🙂

  5. I would never believe this was your first quilt! Oh, you should see mine…or not! Great job!! I love all your fabric choices too. whoop whoop!

  6. This is spectacular! I love your block pattern and I don’t even notice where your blocks don’t line up. (Side note: I’ve made probably 50+ quilts, and my blocks still don’t line up!) I’m sure Baby will love this!

  7. I agree – you’d never know it was your first quilt. I found my first quilt the other day – I made it back in 1975 and then took a long hiatus from quilting until about two years ago, because it was such a traumatic experience! You did a great job and it looks like you learned some valuable lessons. One more – blue painters tape is great for marking seam allowances on your machine and can also be used to mark straight lines on your quilt for quilting! Whoop whoop!!

  8. I’m with the others – it’s a fantastic quilt, especially for a first! My first was way less intricate. And it’s so super cheery. Plus, with all those lessons under your belt, your next one is going to be even more stunning.

  9. Great job! That is a fantastic first quilt and it sounds like you learned a lot more with your first quilt than I did with mine. So glad you linked up with TGIFF!

  10. This looks FANTASTIC!!! Esp. for a first quilt!! You’ve done an exceptional job!!! … I have been told not to pre-wash jellyrolls and pre-cuts, simply because of the fray-factor … and the fact that the pieces are so small anyways to begin with! But – WELL DONE!! {Hopped on over from Sarah’s blog to visit}

  11. If I buy quality fabric, like Kona, I don’t prewash my fabrics. I can’t imagine prewashing jellyrolls! But I do ALWAYS do my first quilt wash using Shout color Catchers. They pick up the spare dye, keeping your quilts colors intact. This is a decision you have to make for yourself, but I’ve never, ever had an issue.
    Your quilt looks great!

  12. Just a super job for your first quilt. Great colors and texture. Personally , I like the binding and would change the back LOL!! If you have learned (and wow what a list) something, then it was a true testiment. Keep on going girl!! Ya done good!!

  13. Looks great, although I can appreciate what you say about being a scientist and learning from your mistakes, etc, but you can be rightly proud of your work and I love the tonal changes across each quarter of the top sheet. Great stuff 🙂

  14. I linked over from Richard. Your first quilt is great, and I definitely WOULD use that binding! It looks so great with the front! I never pin. I alternate the way the seams go and pull the seams against each other and have nicely matched seams almost 100% of the time. I’m so impressed you machine quilted it and it looks great!

  15. Between this and the other quilt, it looks like you have such a great eye for color! I really, really love this quilt–and I think the binding is just perfect! Maybe a little busy with the backing, but wow does it look terrific on the front! Well done!

  16. I have been drinking in the colors on this quilt; love the transparent squares within squares. And the binding is terrific match. My first quilt — made last February — was also a baby quilt with similar binding and based on Carrie Nation which is much like Trip Around the World. I learned a lot about matching up (or not) seams and have made much more precise ones since; but there’s a magic to the first one. Or at least yours is magical.

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