So yesterday, I had to add a border to my top piece. It was not necessarily difficult, but it takes some spacial reasoning to figure out, which is why I'm glad I didn't have to do it alone. I found this cute grey polka dot fabric for the border, which was the perfect mix of not being a boring solid and also not being an ADD-inducing overly busy pattern. It looks like this.
Then, I had to lay it out with the back, which is an adorable white polka dot, and the batting, which is like a trampoline for ants. Seriously, this stuff is so springy and soft you just want to lie down on it and take a nap!
It's kinda hard to see what it all looks like from that picture, what with the back being on the back and all, so here is a picture of the three layers.
Then I pinned it all together and now I just have to quilt it. That should be interesting. I'm determined to hand quilt it, because that's what my mom always did and because it just doesn't seem like a real quilt if I don't. I want to be able to say I did one quilt all the way through, like, quilting and everything, the real way.
Well, except I didn't sew all the pieces by hand, 'cause that's just silly.
As with most things in life besides oral surgery, there are several life lessons that I have picked up while I try quilting. Maybe it's the teacher in me, always looking for a teachable moment, even for myself. But regardless, here are a few things I've learned.
1) Everything is more fun when you do it with a friend. When I did my first little mini quilt by myself, it was not fun at all. I hated pretty much every minute of it. But doing this one with Bekah has made it much more pleasant. Especially because I can ask her for help with something if I need it.
2) Attention to detail is very important. I was much more careful with my cutting and measuring this time than I was last time, as I was assured that this would make a difference. In the end, I think it did. The squares were all almost exactly the same size, which made the next steps easier.
3) Having the right tools and adequate workspace makes all the difference in the world. We used rotary cutters with big cutting mats (I have a cutter but only a tiny mat for scrapbooking) and we worked at Bekah's mom's house on her huge 5x8 table. It was much awesome. Way better than trying to cut stuff out on my living room floor with scissors and hatred.
4) Even the simplest quilts take lots of time and have a million steps. The lesson here is, if anyone ever gives you a for-real quilt, you should cry in gratitude. Immediately.
5) Quilting is not a craft that saves you money. Back when the pioneers had the choice between quilting or sleeping in a fresh buffalo for warmth, quilting was a handy option. Now, we have the choice between buying a blanket at Wal-Mart for $10, or spending $50-$100 or more on supplies to make a quilt. It may be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it ain't cheap! Yes, I realize you could use old clothing or whatever for fabric, and in fact, I have a million t-shirts I've been saving just for that, but really, with all those adorable designer fabrics out there, you know you're going to end up with five of them in your tiny buggy at Hancock.
But it's been fun. I'll update again once I've actually started quilting. I have some cute ideas and I hope they look as good on the quilt as they do in my head. Until then, I guess I'm stuck using my Wal-Mart blanket a while longer.