The biggest quilt I’ve ever made

The biggest quilt I’ve ever made

Ok, I know the title is a bit of a cop out since this is the first and only quilt I’ve ever made, but it’s still huge!  The quilt is a king sized quilt, because that’s the bed my brother has.  Andrew and Nate: you are on notice.  If you want a quilt when you get married, please please please want a smaller bed.  Like maybe a twin.  That’s reasonable, right?

The Story

I started this quilt about 2 years ago now as a wedding gift for my brother Eric and his now wife Kristen.  They’re pretty awesome.  I picked out a nice geometric pattern and a variety of greens and blues (Eric’s favorite colors).  And I started cutting.  And then I sewed.  And then I cut some more.  And it took a reeeeeaaaaly long time.  Of course, part of this is because I just don’t have that much free time on my hands.  And part of that is because, like always, I bit off way more than I could chew.  I’d never quilted anything before!  But I kept on keeping on, and I finished it just in time to give it to them when I saw them this summer, just a little over their 1 year anniversary!

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The Progress

If you’ve been following along my instagram, you may have seen some of the progress photos, but I thought I’d put them in here for you to see as well!  The quilt pattern I used is the hexagon pattern from Elizabeth Hartman’s book Modern Patchwork: 12 quilts to take you beyond the basics {affiliate link}.  I made the quilt in a king size, so I had to adapt the pattern quilt a bit to make it big enough.  Mostly I just added extra triangles, but figuring out how to place the hexes properly was key in planning.

First there was the cutting and sewing of strips of fabric.  And then, after that I got to cut triangles.  Lots and lots and lots of triangles.  When all was said and done, I easily cut out over 500 triangles.  Easily, because Earl did most of the cutting.  *cough* Thanks Earl *cough*.  This was the part of the quilting that took the longest, and was the most painful.  I really need a proper table for cutting things.

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And of course, when everything was cut and organized, Kaylee just had to help keep it all in the right place.

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Next was piecing the front together.  This consisted of making more rows!  And then sewing those rows together!!  This part went together much quicker, though I was 3 row lengths short.  Thank goodness I cut extra triangles!  Plus, as it came together I could actually see progress.

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I worked on the front and back intermittently instead of just working on one side and then the other.  The back was much easier.  I didn’t want a completely flat back, and the pattern in the book had a nice quilted back.  So I kept with that (altering for size, of course).

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I also added some text embellishment courtesy of some scrapbooking items I had on hand (scanned, enlarged, printed, and traced with a fabric marker).

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Of course their initials, E&K, are the same as Earl’s and mine.  We joked that if they didn’t like it we could keep it and just blotch out the date.  Both Earl and I signed the quilt in marker as well, since he helped so much with this project.  It never would have happened else wise.

Stenciling the quilt meant cutting out my own stencil at the right size and laying it down flat at my mother-in-law’s church’s basement.  That’s how much floor space I needed!  There I spray basted, turned it around, and stenciled.

Then it was just onto the quilting part of it!  (Haha.. just…)  You know, the part where I tried to stuff 3 layers of a king sized quilt through my regular home sewing machine.  Yeah… that was fun.  But I did it!  I equipped myself with the tools to make it as hard as possible for me to fail.  I *think* it worked.  I’ll share those tools with you in another post as well.

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To get the pattern, I used a stencil to spray down the heart stipple.  Then I just “traced” it with my sewing machine.  Sounds simpler than it is.  Some of the hearts look like a five year old drew them, but I suppose this is the part where I say “That’s the charm of hand made!”

Handing it off

When I saw Eric and Kristen again recently, I got to give them the quilt.  They were really happy, which is pretty awesome.  Eric and Kristen also agreed to hold it up so I could get pictures of the completed quilt.  Of course, figuring out where to hold it was difficult.  We ended up doing it on the side of my mom’s house.  I love the way the slanted ramp shows off the height difference between the two of them.  Kristen couldn’t reach the top without getting up on the side railing, and Eric’s face in the pictures is just awesomely hilarious.

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I love that they were so cool about getting it so late, and that they’re pretty awesome people.  I think I need a quilting break though!



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12 Responses to The biggest quilt I’ve ever made

    • Thanks Camille! It was a long time in the making, and I’m sure I did a few things not quite right, but I’m really happy with how the quilt turned out in the end. 🙂

    • I think one of my mistakes was starting with such a big project. If I had started smaller, it wouldn’t have been so overwhelming. Next time I’ll know though!

    • Hehe. I think it’s for the same reason that I look at everything and pick the biggest, most complicated anything. I like the challenge. 🙂 I’m really glad I stuck it out. Honestly, I think the only reason I did was because I already told them I’d make it. Now I can move onto another quilting project – and maybe one as awesome as the ones you make!

    • Thanks Katy! I too am a lover of more modern designs. It’s a good thing I made it for my brother and sister-in-law who also love modern things. Plus, blue and green used to be his favorite colors. I think they still are. Glad you like it!

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