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Those following me on social media know that I had a couple of sewing projects planned before Baby Voldemort arrived. One big one was to make a cute baby quilt for her. And I FINALLY got it done – but y'all it was a BITCH. Here's the story:
I learned how to quilt many, many years ago while visiting a friend. Her mom was a devoted quilter and I was fascinated by the process. I grew up in a sewing home (my mom is a gifted seamstress and made most of our clothes and all our Halloween costumes) and started sewing when I was just four years old. I remember watching my friend's mom hand quilt on a large frame and just loving how beautiful her work was. She noticed and offered to show me the basics of hand quilting. I learned a little and, over the years, would occasionally make mini quilts for my Barbies.
Fast forward to my junior high years and my sister got into a quilting kick. These quilts were nothing like my friend's mom made. The were very simple, large patches, machine sewn, and quilted with knotted yarns. I made tons of these in the following years and unintentionally began a tradition with my nieces and nephews – the TeeTee quilt.
When a child in our family turned two, I would make them their own pint-sized quilt for a Christmas gift. They were dubbed the TeeTee Quilt because my nephew had difficulty saying my name (Cristie) and ended up calling me TeeTee… and it stuck. Since then, all the kids have called me TeeTee until they're about three or four. And the quilts because something the older kids would look forward to seeing the younger ones receive. Some of the kids loved them for a bit, some didn't care at all, and some love them so much they got worn to pieces but still traveled with them to their own apartments and into adulthood.
So when it came to making something special for my own baby – you bet your ass I was doing a quilt. And not just any quilt, I was going to tackle something I had never tried before. A diamond quilt. This is a change from what I had been doing in the past (lots of squares and rectangles and one quilt made entirely of triangles) but I thought, “Eh. How hard can it be?” the answer to that question is…
Oh. My. God. SO FUCKING HARD.
I found a very simple looking tutorial on Pinterest and bought some fabrics and batting (I already had the backing fabric in my stash). Then I started following the instructions and immediately fucked everything up. See, I have basic quilting tools but they are stuck behind the 1,800 square feet of flooring in my guest room and I had no way to get to them. But whatevs, I can totally do this with scissors and a paper template.
Um… well, it worked but the measurements weren't as concise as they needed to be for a quilt made on an angle. And I didn't discover this until AFTER I was trying to sew the damn thing together. Also, I learned that sewing on the angle makes for matching up seam allowances REALLY difficult. Like, really, REALLY difficult. Add in my raging case of pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome and OMG. I think I took out more stitches than I put into the damn thing. I also may have cried a few times. I definitely shouted a few choice words.
But, eventually, the top of the quilt got done and y'all – it's SO PRETTY. A pain in my ass but truly adorable.Then came the quilting (quilting is when you actually sew the layers of the quilt [the top, the batting in the middle, and the bottom fabric or backing] together). Like my top quilt, I'm a lazy asshole and quilt my stuff on a machine. Again, this was a huge pain because of the angles – the fabric kept trying to stretch out of shape and due to my belly, I wasn't able to baste the quilt first like I would normally do to avoid that issue. But, about four hours (and MUCH swearing) later, I got it done. Listen, it's not my best work. In fact, if I wasn't on a timeline I'd have removed all the stitches and started over. But in this case, done is beautiful. Done is grand.
Next came the binding. Now, this is a step that I've nearly always done by hand. For one, it's really mindless and something I can do to pass the time while watching a movie. For another, I think hand sewing on the binding makes the quilt a little stronger and longer-wearing. I just do a simple and traditional bias binding (here's a great tutorial). I was able to finish the binding on this quilt in several hours – I just watched a lot of TV while I did it. I did have to stop a couple of times because my carpal tunnel was making my fingers tingle but all and all, this part was uneventful.
The last thing I did was wash the crap out of Baby Voldemort's quilt. When she arrives, I want it soft! I'm actually planning to wash it a couple more times this week and then put it in our bed for a few nights to allow it to pick up our scents. I want our baby to LOVE this quilt and plan to take it with us to the hospital.
Did any of you make a quilt for your baby?