First Finished Quilt

“Congratulations” Quilt


Yes, I’m one of those people. I’ve made several quilt tops, but never actually finished one myself. Well, there was that 4 block wallhanging that I hand-quilted, but that’s not really the same thing. So, 8 years after taking a class on machine piecing and quilting, I finally have a completely finished quilt. It’s not even the one I started for that class (that would be the hyacinth quilt). This one I bought fabric for with money given to me for high school graduation – hence the violet and gold, my high school colors.

It had looked like this since August 2010.

Last posted about here, this was one of those projects that was making me wince whenever I went through my mental “to be finished” project list, mostly because of all the yellow. Way too much freaking yellow. And not enough value variety. But hey – I was 17, so I’ve tried to cut my 17-year-old self some slack.

First attempt at stippling, first attempt at binding. It shows…but not TOO much. The border is the worst part. Blah.

I just recently discovered the Free Motion Quilting Project. It’s awesome, amazing, educational, inspiring. Leah Day, the originator, recently started a UFO Sunday, which I’m only too happy to have found and joined. Since I really feel like I need to free up some energy for all the other projects I want to do or have started, I pretty much quilted for hours and hours on Sunday and then for awhile today too (extra day off, yay!). I am so, so happy for this thing to finally be finished. There’s a lot of things about it that make me cringe, but overall it’s a very bright, happy quilt that honestly does represent a lot of how I felt when I graduated from high school, so it serves its purpose.

Pieced back, because I knew I would never use those fabrics for anything else but didn’t really want to waste them.

Things I Learned:

  • Good piecing will help other mistakes fade into the background.
  • I will never, ever, ever use Joann’s premade binding again.
  • I will not attempt a new free motion design after 11 pm. This was the reason for the horrible quilting on the border. But I was so ready to be done that…
  • I will decide that some mistakes don’t have to be ripped out.
  • I will make another Kaleidoscope style quilt one day – just in different colors.
  • I will obtain Leah’s recommended quilting tools before free motion quilting another quilt – I’m going to feel the strain in my shoulders and hands for days.
  • I will not give myself a two day deadline for quilting any quilt. Ever. Some of the mistakes I made in the quilting and binding on this quilt were due simply to the rush I was in. I wanted it done, and done yesterday – which for this quilt was ok, given how old it already was and that I really honestly didn’t like it much anymore – and that resulted in mistakes that could easily have been avoided if I had slowed down and put a little more value on quality versus quantity.

12 thoughts on “First Finished Quilt

  1. Congratulations on your first quilt. I made a million mistakes on my first, but after it was all said and done, I love it. Your next will be better, because you obviously learned a bunch of valuable lessons, just as I did with my first.


    • Thanks! You are very right, I am already planning for how to better finish my next one – very glad I made the mistakes on this one and not that one, though I’m sure the next will have it’s own set of problems. More learning and skill building, right? 😉


  2. I love your quilt~ I have been saving blue and yellow fabrics for years, don’t know what style quilt to make, but this one looks terrific~. Love your list of things I learned while quilting… I don’t think your u shaped quilting in border looks horrible either… if you really don’t like it, one idea might be to continue your stippling that is in the center of the quilt, out into the border, having it go into the open u shapes that are next to the quilt top, it might give you a trapunto look to every other u shape, and maybe help you like it more. Well done on your first quilt~ Congratulations 🙂


    • That’s a really good idea…hmm. I might pull it out and try it at some point. Right now it’s already washed, dried, folding and sitting on a shelf looking pretty! Thanks for your kind comments. 🙂


  3. I think it’s beautiful. The quilting gives the yellow so much interesting texture. The words “happy” and “sunny” come to mind, so I think it’ll be the perfect quilt to bring a cheerful mood to any cloudy day. Plus, getting cozy with your first finished quilt is awesome!

    PS Leah has a free motion pattern called “railroad tracks” if you are thinking about doing more work on your borders. You have the first step for “railroad tracks” on your border already.


    • Thanks so much – it *does* make me happy, even with all my nitpicking. Hehe. Also thanks for pointing out the Railroad Tracks pattern – I haven’t been following her blog for long and hadn’t seen that one!


  4. I haven’t long finished my first quilt (well, 2010) which took me nearly 2 years because I bit off more than I could chew. Well done on finally finishing this – it actually looks pretty good from these photos – take a step back and look from the angle of someone not jaded by it and you’ll see!


    • I’m quite partial to pieced backs…I think it makes a quilt 10 times more interesting. This particular one was a great way to use up the fabrics and give it a purple side in case someone was frightened by all the yellow. 😉


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