My First Quilt: Born To Be Mild

I have a very special post for you today about My First Quilt (not including last year’s tree skirt)!  Quilting was not something I thought I would undertake. My mom has made some lovely quilts. Her “Little Women” quilt comes to mind, which had a dusty pink border and all the girls in appliqué dresses. My parent’s neighbor, Louise Harris, is also a famous quilter with so many gorgeous works of art. So maybe I was a *bit* intimidated to get started. My friend Angie announcing her first baby is what finally sparked me to try it.

Historically, I have always knitted gifts for babies. This year, however, I had a lot of knitting projects already on the needles. Angie had also told me that sloths are somewhat of a family talisman, and she and her mom often exchange sloth-themed gifts. Sewing some sloths seemed more accessible than knitting some sloths.

The issue then being: I had no idea how to sew a quilt! Luckily, I ran across a fantastic blog post on The Cottage Mama blog: Charm Pack Baby Quilt Tutorial. I’d never heard of charm packs, but I liked the sound of not having to cut out a lot of tiny pieces of fabric.

I went straight to Etsy and found a charm pack called “Born to Be Mild” at OliverHeartCreations. The colors were just what I had in mind. For the borders and backing, I found “Jungle Baby Forest Leaves” and “Selva Swaying Sloths Sky” at the Etsy Shop, ColoradoMtnChick. As you can see from the photo above, I’m a fan of the monsterra plant because I have a large one myself!

I laid out all the charm squares on my bed and moved them around for hours and hours until I had something I liked.

I followed The Cottage Mama tutorial exactly for how to sew the charm squares together. She also describes how to do the borders, so I followed that as well. I was a bit stumped then on how to attach all this to quilt batting. Enter (as always) YouTube. I found a wonderful channel, Missouri Star Quilt Company. Jenny led me through the rest of the steps.

Jenny’s tutorials suggest hand-sewing the binding. Well, I wasn’t going to do that. My hand-sewing exploits have been abject failures to-date. Luckily Missouri Star Quilts had another YouTube tutorial on how to sew a flange binding that was 100% on the sewing machine. That’s what I did.

The gap in these tutorials, for me, was in how to finish the corners. Jenny gives a quick instructions on how to fold them when sewing on the binding. I was at a loss on how to fold them up and get them to lay down nicely.

I’m hoping Angie won’t look too closely at the corners. This is definitely where I’ll do some practice sewing before my next quilt. On that front: I wasn’t halfway through this baby quilt before another friend had an announcement!

I’ll remind myself that 7 months is a pretty generous timeline for a project like this! -rp

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