Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quilting 101

So I started this quilt.

I'm not what one would consider a "quilter". I made a t-shirt quilt in college but that hardly counts. This new quilt, small as it may be, is a legitimate step towards being an actual quilter. A few months ago, a lady in my most recent old ward (Chapel Hill 1st) decided to teach a basic hand-quilting class. And who doesn't love a good craft day?

I needed a basic pattern to start my quilt. I wanted something simple and attainable. In my "free quilt pattern" Googling (because I'm cheap and didn't want a buy a whole book of ugly quilt patterns), I found an abundance of baby and kid quilts. Bingo! I'll make a baby quilt! It's small and not some overwhelmingly huge Amish quilt. Most people choose to make quilts for something useful like, ya know, a bed. I chose to make the most miniature quilt possible and have it still be considered a quilt. For two reasons: 1) small means attainable in a reasonable time period and I won't get bored when it's only half-done, and 2) I know that I'll have a baby someday and since most of my projects end up with a someday deadline, the timing will be perfect. 

In the class, I learned how to do this. It's called piecing. Each one of the pieces is hand-cut and hand-stitched with this cute little "quilter's stitch". It was recommended that I take the small pieces around with me and work on them in church or the bus stop or the beauty parlor with my friends Maude and Harriet. Alas, I chose to do mine solely at home while watching football. It took forever. And it was only half done at this stage.

This is the side you'll actually be seeing. Much better. My most jubilant part about this quilt? My corners lined up in the center square. I danced around the room with it trailing me like a cape. It was glorious. 
After the above section was done, it was time to get some batting. I did some research and decided on cotton because it's thinner and apparently easier to work with and it was on sale. Lesson learned: if your batting/fabric is bigger than your kitchen table, don't cut it on the table and expect the measurements to come out accurate.

With all three sections cut (roughly) and pinned together, it was time to start quilting. Since I'm super novice at quilting, I chose a design that would hide and not accentuate the flaws. It's a bunch of squiggly lines. When it's done, it should look like this. Look at my hoop. Don't I look pro? 

When I started this project, like many of my other projects, I was all jazzed about my new venture and that I was succeeding. And the fact that I only had a someday deadline was even more reason to do it just for the fun of it. No deadline equals no stress! Right?

But, a couple of months ago, my someday deadline was gone. My non-existent completion date turned into August 5, 2011. My baby quilt-in-progress now has a real, live, prospective owner. A teeny, tiny, yet growing owner. We've got a ways to go before he/she is big enough for my awesome hand-made quilt, which is fine, since I'm not done yet. While not having a project deadline is nice, knowing I'm making it for my current, growing baby is fantastically fun. 


  1. Congratulations to both of you, that's so awesome! Haha, I thought that might be what your semi-cryptic comment meant. I won't ask you how you're feeling; I care about how you're feeling, but you'll get asked this question so often over the next several months that you'll want to start punching people in the face.

    And kudos for going with a quilt; I only love my babies enough to crochet them blankets, which would take me about 4 hours to finish if I didn't keep running out of the organic cotton yarn that I accidentally bought.

  2. Fun way to announce! I liked the post :). Scott says you're still feeling pretty good, well, at least not throwing up so that's good. I hope you continue to feel well. Keep us updated on the progress. Love ya!

  3. 1- YAY! I've been waiting for a post to read from you :-)
    2- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so stoked for you and Jericho it's just so freaking awesome that there's going to be a little one joining your awesome family soon! :-D

  4. I was wondering if you were going to come out of the expecting closet. I did read Portia's Facebook posts all about it. :) Congrats.

    That quilt is awesome. I am lame. I could never do anything like that. Also, I kind of wish I knew you. I am sure we'll meet sooner or later...I don't suppose you're going to the Belcher reunion in Utah in July?

  5. At first I thought you still weren't going to come out with it, and I was going to comment something like, "well, here's to quilting for your someday!" But now it's official!

    Baby Belcher is going to look so cute wrapped up in the quilt. So cute.

  6. Yay! Best post ever.
    And the quilt is awesome too!

  7. Congrats Kelley!!!!!! I'm so excited for you...and nothing like a Baby to motivate the finishing of the quilt ;)

  8. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! I'm always happy to hear that somebody else has joined the fray!

  9. Kelley, you're cool. And congratulations! I'm totally excited for you. I too ventured into quilting recently, but mine is machine stitched. I am not into tedious things AT ALL. My schooling ruined that sort of thing for me. Maybe it will come back someday.

    It's a beautiful quilt and I'm excited for the beautiful baby you'll be putting in it soon!

  10. I kneeewwwww we were going there! ;-) I love that news all over again! Kelley, I can't believe that you hand sewed your first quilt. According to the "seriously, so blessed" blog, I think that qualifies you as a full fledged pioneer. That is truly a masterpiece, especially because it matches up at the corners! Congratulations!!!


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