This is the quilt I made for my nephew John. He turned four in October. I started this quilt four years ago, not long after he was born. I was really rather pleased with the layout and the design I had chosen and was excited that I managed to actually complete a quilt top. Then I tried to quilt it. And it just went wrong. I got very frustrated and set it aside. For three or so years. Finally, this year, as I have been going through our belongings and my craft supplies, I decided the time was up. In addition to this completed top, I had the supplies on hand for baby quilts for each of my additional nieces and nephews. It was time. Either I would figure out how to finish the quilt or I would learn that quilting wasn’t the hobby for me.
I’m super pleased to say that the quilt DID get finished AND quilting is DEFINITELY the hobby for me. Neither the piecing nor the quilting are perfect (by any stretch of the imagination), but I have a lot of fondness for this quilt just because finishing it affirmed my ability and desire to quilt. The pattern is a simple plus pattern; it’s one I love and think looks fantastic in pretty much any color way. The fabrics mostly all feature cars and trucks and other vehicles; chosen first for the color scheme but ultimately was a perfect fit for my trains and tractors loving nephew. The back is a single piece of grey, polka-dotted flannel.
It’s quilted in straight lines; it echoes all of the horizontal rows and every other vertical row. If I had to do it again, I would have quilting lines along each vertical row but I was worried that I would run out of time to finish the other quilts! My quilt lines are very wavy and the quilting pulled the seams a bit–something happened, anyway, to make things look rather askew. As I continue to quilt, I hope that I am able to correct this problem. I think it’s partly due to inexperience — I didn’t know too much about my walking foot or how the quilt would feed through the machine and I also didn’t really understand how to negotiate the quilt myself!
I used a machine binding to finish all three quilts and am very happy with it. I would eventually like to do a hand finished binding, but on these quilts both the speed and durability of the machine binding won out. Again, the binding is far from perfect but may also have provided my greatest sense of accomplishment. I have had a horrendous time binding pieces (small things) and had visions of all the hard work of piecing and quilting going to waste . Happily I am more than satisfied and I am sure that I will improve in this area. I found the two videos on binding by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company to be enormously helpful. They really made me get over my fear and just do it!