The quilt is quilted.
I am really glad I enrolled in Ann Peterson’s “Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine” Craftsy course. (I snatched it up when it was on sale too!) This project was way out of my comfort zone and, as I’ve said before, beginners need an expert to hold their hands.
Craftsy courses are video lectures by some amazing craft teachers, including the fabulous Gertie and Kenneth D. King. In addition to the professionally produced videos, the courses provide downloadable course materials and access to a handy note-taking system. However, the best part of the course, in my opinion, is that the instructor is available to answer any questions that you have.
I have only had a chance to get through the first five out of eight lessons, but they are the only ones that apply to finished quilt tops. I can always come back to the course later to finish up if I want.
Knowing Ann had my back, I tackled the quilting project.
First step, I set up my quilting area. I am not a regular quilter and I don’t have one of the expensive and fancy quilting tables. Instead, I made the biggest area I could out of a table, desk, and ironing board. I needed all that room to support the quilt as I was working on it. Not perfectly ergonomical, but I am not going to be quilting on a regular basis.
Then I set up my machine with a walking foot, an Ann-recommended size 14 “Topstitching” needle, and threads for the top and bottom. I took another tip from Ann and tested my stitches on the extra batting at the edge of the quilt.
Then, I “ditched” the borders and blocks. Sounds easy enough, but I quickly discovered just how terrible I am at quilting. My stitches wobbled all over and sometimes the quilt would not feed properly and the stitch length was affected.
It was then I started my mantra…
It’s for a kid. He won’t care. It’s for a kid. He won’t care. He will love it because you made it for him. It’s for a kid. He won’t care…
Next, I decided to ignore the “Avoid quilting patterns with a lot of turns” advice and decided to ditch the road.
That was a mistake.
Maneuvering a twin sized quilt around those curves was not easy, and the “road” is a lot longer than it looks.
Plus, I decided to use grey thread because I crossed over top of the grey roads, so you can really see the mistakes on the yellow parts. wonderful.
It’s for a kid. Finished is more important than perfect…
Seriously, the whole quilt looks like this, and there are lots of little puckers where the lines of stitching come together too.
Once I survived that humbling experience, I quilted half circles in the border…
..and I was done.
Look at this face. Do you think he cares that his mom did an amateur job on his quilt?
The last step is the binding and a quilt label…
…if my kids will let me have the quilt back to finish it.
Jodi it is amazing, you did such a great job on it. He smile is worth a million.
Kim Kruse says
Yikes! It must have been rough to maneuver around those curves. Did you stick with the walking foot or switch to a free-motion foot?
Walk foot. I haven’t braved free-motion… yet. 🙂
Erika Mulvenna says
Wow, great job Jodi! I just quilted my first purt’ neer quilt sized quilt on my home machine, and I felt like I was wrestling an alligator the whole dang time. I made plenty of mistakes, too, but I learned a whole lot in the process!
I joined the local Chicago chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild http://themodernquiltguild.com/as a (very nervous and self-conciouse) new quilter, and quickly found there were many new quilters and experienced ones as well, all ready to give advice or just words of encouragement. Now I’m hooked on quilting, and my husband makes fun of me because I always used to “Bah-humbug!” about quilting in the past. 🙂
That looks FABULOUS! I mean, truly wonderful. And I agree, done is more important than perfect. No one will ever see that if you don’t point it out. (Most of my quilts end up with one or two bad puckers. I’ve never had someone say something…)
I LOVE Craftsy. I sign up for so many classes- if you get them right when they come out, they are often only $20!
Christina Poynter says
Oh, it looks wonderful! Of course it’s perfect; look at that face! Never mind that your grandchildren will be playing on it someday and you’ll still be able to all those little (Amish inspired, I’m sure) wonky lines, no one else will! What a treasure!
It’s beautiful hun! You are doing such an amazing job. As someone who is still learning the quilting ropes myself I commend you for taking on this project! Gorgeous work!
Fantastic! You should be so proud of this family heirloom you created!
If a smile is worth a thousand words…you just got a thousand “Thank-you’s” from your little ones!…and nothing says “My Mom is just the BEST EVER!” like the expression on your sons face! So inspiring…watching the progress…and the fruition…SO WELL DONE!
I have to say I love this quilt, little quilting slips and all. I am doing the Craftsy Block of the Month class in an effort to learn how to quilt. Then, I want to try a quilt like this – those little roads are just amazing and would be great for stimulating a child’s imagination.
sandra nolin says
Your quilt is so sweet. Mommy, your little one will cherish that quilt even when he is married. You did a fantastic job and should be proud of yourself. The colors are so bright and cheerful and just think…..when he is tired of playing he can just roll himself up in that quilt that was made full of love and for “special him”.
Great job, Jodi.
I’ll bet you’re so happy that it’s finished! It really is beautiful and I had to laugh at the pic of D. laying down and playing with his car…my son does the same thing when he plays with cars! I love the bright orange backing. Baby is so darling…such cuties. Your work is inspiring. p.s. I saw this pin and thought of you…
Love that pin! 🙂
Thank you all for your kind words. I’m really getting very excited about how this project is turning out.
Susan Davies says
If I had made a quilt like that when my kids were that age I would have been thrilled.
It’s a very pretty quilt, good color choices. It wouldn’t really be any better if it was perfect.
JoeNell Darr says
It looks fabulous. And like you said he will never know the difference. But he will remember all his life that his mother made that for him. If you will use the spray on basting to baste your quilt together you will not have any puckers if you make sure there are none when you put it together. And you can almost quilt without a walking foot if you want. Great job!
Deb T. says
What a cute quilt. I too am enrolled in Ann Peterson’ s class. I’m very leery of quilting a bigger quilt, but Ann gives you encouragement and advice along the way. I get braver every day! 🙂
Jodi, please venture the dark side and plunge into free motion quilting.. and do swirls and circles, wayyyyyyyyyy forgiving that stitch in the ditch. It is very enjoyable too!
OK, you’ve tempted me. I’m in. 😉
I love your quilt and commend you on your bravery! I am new at this, too, and love the classes thru Craftsy. I have this one but haven’t watched it yet. My latest trick is to avoid stitching in the ditch and stitch just to the side of it on both sides. It gives a nice look and is way, way, way easier than trying to stay in that darn ditch! Good luck getting the quilt back to get that binding done!
Judy Hodges says
Do finish the rest of the lessons – I have just finished my first quilt by the quilting of each block separately – lesson 8 I think and it was so much easier to put together than I anticipated – I had looked at other methods of putting it all together and this one made the most sense – I made lots of mistakes but am so excited to start the next one right away
Absolutely priceless, love the look on your sons face, there is love in every stitch, my motto is “It’s not going in the Smithsonian, have fun, enjoy the process.” and I do! You did a great job, my mom would have said~you’ll never notice it on a trotting horse!
My first machine stitched quilt (alone and not with a teacher nearby) was for my grandson. I said the same mantra you did and my grandson loves his Diego quilt! I later made him a summer quilt with airplanes and even in the winter he alternates the quilts on his bed and drags them all over the house. I’ve since made about 10 quilts and I get better with each one. My daughter even asked me to make quilts for her in-laws. I am a quilter. My quilts proved warmth and comfort and pleasure.
Robin Maguire says
Ha! I am also making a quilt for a child, my great nephew who will be born in July. I’ve made several other quilts, and along with your mantra, I remember a something I heard long ago to make me easier on myself when I goof up. the story is that in olden days, quilters deliberately put in a mistake, because only God can make something perfect. I like the folklore-i-ness of the story, so everytime I make a mistake, I say “Oh good, now I don’t have to make one deliberately.” Of course, each quilt has a dozen or more mistakes, just in case…(On an historic note; In John Addams estate, Peacefield, in Quincy, MA, there is a beautiful library building. The inlaid floor is in a pattern taken from a classic quilt design. One section is reversed (I don’t remember if it is the colors or the design itself, in order to conform with the Quilt Rule. It’s very charming, and I sense that Abigail had something to do with it.)
what a beautiful story!
Looks great. You were very brave to tackle a twin size quilt. It looks like it will get lots and lots of use (and not just on the bed for sleeping.). It will be a cherished quilt for years to come. You learned a lot of lessons (one is that grey really is good for blending in with a lot of colors). Keep up the good work and practice.
Mary Jane Hostetter says
Wonderful! The quilt is perfect!! It meets the needs and wants of the recipient!!
I have to tell you I just found your site on stumble upon. Love the Quilt Looks much better than my first quilt and you’re right as long as the recipient enjoys it that’s all that matters. Most people who quilt will tell you the same thing. I love the road I’m going to try that idea for my grand daughter as she loves her Hot Wheels. Nancy
It makes me happy to think that this quilt would be lovely for a girl too! 🙂
Treasures By Brenda says
As a mom of two sons who had a smaller road quilt and loved it, I know that this is a priceless gift that you gave your children.
Mimi Sandra says
You’re quilt is PERFECT! I had an idea similar to this roadway for my grandson since he loves his cars and trucks
Mary Ann says
Love, love this quilt! I gathered all the materials, book, and the curve master. I have finished the first two rows and it is fantastic. I can’t believe I was able to do it! I did cut with a rotary cutter and template and plan on using FMQ foot to stitch in the ditch.
Thanks for sharing–two years ago:)
Joan Sheppard says
YOU ROCK – Like other people said it is now 3 years later and it still is wonderful! And I bet the kids will even take it to college with them.
I think I will try and I repeat try to make one for my wee ones.
I have found that if I go slowly, use a free motion foot (which I just used for the 1st time last year 2014) Used to muscle through it.
Anyway I love the sweaters. I could wear them as mittens!
Thanks for the inspiration.
Samantha H says
Do you have a pattern for this? Thank you
I did not design this quilt, I used a pattern found in the book “Encyclopedia of Classic Quilt Patterns.”