Rail Fence Quilt - A sad but funny story all in one
by Holly S
My First Quilt
I was looking to find some sanity and decided to make a quilt. (I am woman, hear me roar!) I can do this!
After reading many web pages, I found that I was in for a long ride.
However, I found a simple pattern (rail fence) and began to analyze it. I decided to make a 6" square. I don't know if this size is a good size to start with, but it worked...mostly.
I say it this way because I didn't always cut a straight line with my rotary cutter. I had the plastic ruler to hold at the edge where I should cut. I just can't draw a straight line with a ruler either. haha. So after I had all the lines sewn together, I found to make the squares uniform (ok close to it) I had to change to a 5 1/2" square. Close enough. Its my first quilt and it won't be perfect. I don't have a lot of money so I made due with what I had.
I have a Viking 116 Emerald machine and used the feet that came with the unit. I used the A foot (I believe this the basic straight & zigzag stitch foot). Looking at what is available from the dealer, I am thinking this will be my basic quilting foot as well. The brochure has a clear open toe foot, but I think I have plenty of space with this foot.
Anyway back to the quilt.
All my squares are cut and I sew them together to make some rows. As I stitch some rows together, I see my squares don't all line up. Close enough. Its my first quilt and it won't be perfect.
I get it close enough that I don't think anyone will notice unless they are trying to find flaws.
Now my front is all together. I get the the batting and the backing ready for assembly. Hehehe. I used thumb tacks to put the front up on the wall. (with the number of tacks, my husband did notice all the little holes.) I am able to safety pin all 3 layers together mostly and remove it from the wall and place on the bed to finish pinning. Now its time to start quilting in the ditch.
I wish I would have found the Beginning Quilting 101 at this point.
I started sewing in the ditch in the step pattern. Oh my goodness was this a pain in the behind! After I sewn and turned and sewn and turned a few row sets, I realize that it is just going to show as squares on the backing anyway. I could have just did straight lines. Close enough. Its my first quilt and it won't be perfect. I finally finish this part of the quilting and now work on "closing the quilt up".
I read somewhere that I could leave an inch of batting surrounding the front, leave an inch of backing around the batting and then fold backing over batting and onto the front. I used a double needle to sew that final seam. And I think it turned out pretty nice.
I finished and am proud that it looks good and is useable.
Oh and because I didn't know how bad it would look, I bought fabric remnants at a very cheap price. Surprisingly, they look good together, I wasn't even trying to match when I picked them out. I just tried to get enough fabric.
Whew! I hope you didn't need too many Kleenex's. When I look back on all my issues, I remember "Close enough. Its my first quilt and it won't be perfect."
My husband like the finished product enough that I am now tasked with making one for our bed (king size). But I have the ok to spend real money and match up the fabrics. :) Went shopping at Joann's with my coupon's and am ready to start this next one. I am thinking of doing 3 1/2" strips to make a 9" square.