WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN – QUILT MAKING

It took me two broken up days to research and finish my first ever attempt at making a quilt. As this was just an attempt, I used scraps of unimportant material – a cheap pillow case, part of a fitted sheet, and a thin blanket.

After watching numerous Youtube tutorials, I began by cutting my two square sheets of pillow case each into 9 squares (3×3 grid). Next time I’ll be sure to keep these squares together as they are cut, as it lead to my layout being jumbled and therefore uneven.

I then sewed these squares together again, making sure to press my seams. This is something I’ve seen people doing but I always underestimated how neat it makes everything look. I was excited by how tidy it all looked!! Once I had two squares of 3×3 patches together, I added binding (the bit before the boarder), then trimmed so it was even. And again, pressed the seams.

I was feeling very proud up to this point as it looked very neat, however, things started to go downhill from here…

The term ‘quilting’ refers to the stitching of all layers together, so now was time to add the middle comfy part – known as the ‘batting’. I used my thin blanket for this, doubling it over to add thickness and softness.
I cut a square larger than the 9 square binded pieces. I first began by sewing the top square onto the blanket. The term ‘stitching the ditch’ means to sew back on top of the seams already made. If my top and bottom squares were equal, it would have been stitched in the same places, sandwiching the blanket. However, since they were not exactly the same, my stitches were a bit chaotic. This is something I need to keep in mind in the future.

Next came the boarder, which did not go so well. Although I carefully followed a tutorial, I jumped between feeling confident and relieved, and feeling utterly confused and frustrated.
The issue came with finishing the boarder on the bottom half. When flipping it over, it looked nothing like I had expected, with the corners affecting how the material sat. I thought trimming the corners could help with this, but it just made gaps/holes… I will either need to keep practicing this to perfect it, or find another solution for the boarder.

I am indecisive if I liked the messiness of this quilt in relation to my theme, or if I think the quilt needs to be made well with messy art on top of it. I definitely plan to be more experimental with my sewing when making the next quilt, so it might be easier and fit to my aesthetic more. Overall, I am very proud of the mini quilt I did make as it was my first ever try, and, being an impatient sewer tested my natural way of working.

My plans for my next quilt are to fit it to my theme. I want to decorate each square individually, as well as play around with size and presentation. The connotations of a quilt centre around womanhood, comfort, warmth, and family. I want to involve these words in my work somehow through how I create and display my future work.

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