31 March 2012

My Zen Charmer quilt - finished!

Well, my long time readers, you may recall I have blogged about this half-arsed quilt before, in June 2010. Back then, I had come to a standstill on my half finished quilt. 


And that's how it has stayed for nearly two years - in the cupboard, half finished, after a few badly planned attempts at binding and hand quilting it. 

I started to use satin blanket binding on the edges but that plan went downhill fast when the binding frayed under my needle. I gave hand stitching it a go and got into even more mess. Much unpicking later, I had a quilt top that was wonky but charming, which I'd spent hours on, hiding in a box in my office because I was 

a) let's face it - lazy, 
b) afraid of screwing it up, and 
c) too guilt-stricken to allow myself half a day of indulgent me-time and leave the kids with the husband so I could take a quilting class. 

Just last week though, serendipity smiled on me and I saw this article on how to bind a quilt for beginners on my twitter feed. It was a crafty Friday night, I had just enough fabric in my stash to make my binding, and I had a plentiful supply of tea and Reese's peanut butter cups. It seemed the planets were aligned in my favour.

I had originally bought a length of gold Japanese wave print cotton for the thick outer border around the squares but decided on a lovey ocean like batik print when I was in the process of making the quilt top. 

Using the formula in the tutorial, I calculated that I had enough fabric with plenty to spare for a 1 inch finished binding. Somehow, despite my awesome mathematical prowess, I just scraped it in with a few inches to to join and finish the binding. 

In my usual style (ie: skimming over the instructions) I realised once I'd sewn the binding to the front, turned it over and pinned it ready to machine sew to the back, I had put all the pins in the back of the quilt instead of the front. Moving all the pins from back to front so I could machine sew it easily was (in my brain anyway) more effort than hand finishing the binding, so a few nights in front of the telly later, and with a lovely new callous on my needle-poking finger, I had a hand finished quilt for Holly. Finally! And the dog hasn't even peed on it yet (neither has Holly for that matter).

The only problem is, I started making it with the now 2 year old Holly in mind, but my little guy Tyler seems to be quite fond of it. Do I have the patience to make another quilt? This one took aaaages and drove me banaaaaanas. I'm considering it but am still not convinced I have the staying power! Although I have seen some awesome boy fabrics that would be lovely together...

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