Urban Cabin

 This is it! My first quilt!  In September I took a class at Prairie Shop Quilts taught by the talented Barb R.  The pattern Urban Cabin is by Atkinson Design.  I saw an example  at the shop and loved the look.  My mom wanted a new quilt for her guest bed.  Why not?  The class was in September and my mom and I went to five shops one day this summer looking for  fabric.  It became overwhelming for her.  So, I asked her: would you like bright or would you like pastel?  Bright.  What color do you want?  Not blue. Shortly after that, I went to the Quilt Merchant and found this wonderful line of fabrics from Amy Butler.  I supplemented the colors with some Kaffe fabrics and other scraps I had at home.

The blocks are large and I found my groove.  Do you finish a block and then go to the next?  Or do you focus on one step at a time?  In the end, that turned out to be what I did. 1-1/2 " strips, 2-1/2" strips, 3-1/2" strips?  It got to be confusing for me.  So, one step at a time.  It was good because I could chain stitch things together and go go go.

I've self-diagnosed myself as having ADhD.  I get very distracted when I sew. And when I'm distracted I make mistakes.  I found an answer -- audiobooks.  When I'm listening to a very good story, I sit and listen and sew.  and I want to get back to the I keep sewing.   It's worked so far.

After a really hectic Autumn at work, I abandoned housework on the weekends and finished!  I took to Elvira the Long Arm Quilter and hoped it would be back in time for binding.

In early November I had my gallbladder out.  It was unplanned. And so was the week off I was suddenly given.  I had time to sew.  So I did.  I made pillows.  I started sewing scraps together and made a 20" pillow.  Then, I quilted it.  No, really I did.  I quilted straight lines.  I'm not sure it's the best straight line quilting in the world, but I'm rather happy with it.  I used Kaffe Spray Brown as the back.  It was one of my favorites and wanted to use more of it.

The next fabric I found was a gorgeous piece of wool herringbone.  I made a ruffle of the backing fabric (a struggle in sewing, but I did it).  I'm quite pleased with how that looks.

My first attempt at a wool pillow was really unsuccessful, but I rallied and added buttons.  It's not the best pillow but I think it will add something.

I love the border fabric.  I love that flax color with the acid green.  I was lucky enough to find a very tactile silk fabric the exact color. I attempted to make a pillow but my mitred corners need work and I cut wrong.  What to do? That was pricey fabric.  I reworked some things and created a flange on the pillow.  It's fluffy and a good attempt.  Again, I think it adds to the whole look.

By then, Elvira had finished my quilt.  It's gorgeous. Even without the binding.  Prairie Shop Quilts hosts a Sew Anything class (called Anything Goes)...featuring the estimable Barb R.  She suggested I bring my binding and she'd show me what to do. I did this and discovered that binding is an important but miserable step in the process.  What a drag.  I didn't get nearly enough done those three hours when Barb told me I had to finish the binding by hand.

A lot of whining took place. I whined at the store.  I whined at home. I whined on Facebook and I whined at work.  Those who know, told me to just do it.  That I'd be infinitely more happy with hand binding.

Another friend, someone I've know since high school, offered to coach me on binding.  Caroljoy teaches quilting and is a very patient teacher.  It was nice to see her and she reiterated that I needed to finish it by hand.

Did I mention the size of my twin quilt?  It's 75x102.  That's 354 inches of binding.  It's a big quilt!

So, one week before Christmas I took the day off and finished the binding by hand.  It took me 9 hours and 50 minutes.  My fingers ached and I understood the phrase "carpal tunnel pain."  But I'm done. And I think it looks great.  I'll post my mother's response!

Here it is.  As I said before, this is a twin size quilt.  I staged it on a queen bed. It's very big, isn't it?    You can see the pillows as well.  Enjoy!