I figured I'd post a few things I learned and used while making my quilt in case anyone is interested. It'll save you some time and energy.
- Pre-wash all of your fabric. I know this is a quilter's mantra, but I was really surprised how much the fabric shrunk when I measured the before and after. I use Seventh Generation laundry detergent.
- I went with a bamboo/organic cotton batting. I know this is a personal preference, but it was a no brainer for me.
- I basted my fabric like it was going out of style. I never had a problem with the fabric pinching and clumping. The only problem it created for me was that it messed up my flow so a lot of my lines are crooked at the points where I stopped to remove my safety pins. Using safety pins to baste was new to me so that is probably just a problem for me because I am a beginner.
- I chose to use two different colored threads. The pink layer has the orange thread and the orange layer has the pink thread. That was just a design decision on my part. My grandma would like me to note that I didn't buy quilting thread and would recommend using quilting thread. I didn't have the right thread so she had to use a different type of stitch to make sure my binding would be durable enough to stand the test of time.
- On that note, I also didn't have the right type of needle for hand sewing the binding. A hand sewing quilting needle is smaller and stronger than regular sewing needles. Please feel free to laugh at me. Or, check out this explanation.
- To make my binding, I used the method Angry Chicken describes in her book, Bend the Rules Sewing, for continuous bias tape. This tutorial describes the same method. It creates bias tape cut on the bias. I opted for this style versus straight cut binding because I thought it would show off the polka dots the best. I cut my strips at 2.5" width.
- Quilt binding is different from bias tape. I did not know that. It is much easier to make and requires much less ironing to fold. That may just be my opinion, but after spending hours making bias tape and then realizing it's not what I need - I could have used it, but it would have been too thin - quilt binding seems a heck of a lot easier to make. This video was my aha moment.
- I wanted my binding to look like one continuous strip. I didn't want to see a fold where the strip ends/begins. To join the ends of my binding, I followed this video. I never quite got the hang of what she did in her video, so I ended up figuring it out myself by using that video and just knowing how to join two ends of bias tape. This video describes what I am talking about.
- I am not sure how long the quilt took me. I worked on it a little bit every day last week and then some on the weekend. And then one hard core night on Monday. And then of course, my Grandma worked on it one night. It sounds like a lot but it really wasn't. Very quick.
Overall, I really enjoyed making this quilt. I am already thinking of making myself one for my bed. Can't wait. :)