An ambitious first go at patchwork

Apparently it's Sewing Machine Day today! I hope you manage to get some quality time with your baby tonight - I'm feeling a tad poorly so I'm going to celebrate my sewing machine by showing off my biggest project to date.


I've had a burning desire to try out patchwork for ages and as soon as I got Emma Hardy's Quilting In No Time, I absolutely knew I had to make the 'bunting' tablecloth. It looked like it would be so much fun to make, a great stash buster and the perfect summer kitchen accessory.



This project WAS fun to make, a stash-buster and the perfect summer kitchen accessory. BUT, what I underestimated when tackling this project, was the sheer scale of it. Not only was it physically huge, it was time-intensive and a fabric guzzler too!




I actually started this months ago. It took me a couple of evenings in front of the TV to cut all the triangles out. The coloured fabrics were all from my stash and the cream with red pin spot is a medium weight cotton from Ditto Fabrics. I initially bought 2 metres of it, but had to order an additional one as it wasn't quite enough.


Once I finished the top/front side, I got scared of attaching the backing, so I put it to one side and left it there for ages. I'm terrible at tackling problems head on, I like to procrastinate. But after a few weeks I started to feel bad and decided to finally face my fear. I decided to use red gingham for the backing and I made another mistake - I bought 3 metres which was long enough, but not wide enough. So I had to go back and get another 3 metres so I could sew the two lengths together to make a wide enough backing.

I swear, if we didn't have a good sized kitchen island, I don't think there would have been enough room elsewhere in the flat to finish this up. I painstakingly attached the front to the backing, right sides together, smoothing and pinning the two together as I went along. And by golly there were a lot of seams to trim! The end result isn't perfect by any means, but I still think the tablecloth is beautiful enough to brighten any kitchen and will be a conversation starter.


Even when I was tempted to give up on this mammoth project I kept going, because it was never meant for me. I made it for my lovely mummy instead! Originally it was going to be a Mother's Day present, but I missed that deadline good and proper. I just about managed to post it to her for her birthday last weekend, though it only arrived yesterday. She sounded pretty delighted with it and I'm glad I was able to make her something so special - she's an amazing woman in so many different ways!



Have you ever tried patchwork or quilting? Do you have any top tips to share, so I actually know what I'm doing next time?

47 comments:

  1. That's lovely Marie, this book is a great start. I love patchwork.. I wish I had more time to fullfill it all.

    You mom is beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! I've loved the patchwork/quilting you've experimented with before!

      Delete
  2. Oh look at your beautiful mum! And look at you in your little sailor collar! Absolutely gorgeous photos Marie.
    All that effort and time were definitely worth it - your mammoth project is a real success and I love the fabrics you've chosen. I'm not surprised your mum was delighted! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much on all accounts Jane! Mums are the best and deserve the best ;o) Funnily enough, I thought of you during the construction of this, as I knew you'd like the colours and prints I chose!

      Delete
  3. What beautiful photos! And of course, beautiful tablecloth. I've made patchwork quilts and majorly underestimated how difficult it would be. The lining up, the seams, the pressing, the pinning, the handling of such a large item...it's definitely not an easy task! But well done, anyway, the finished item is gorgeous and I bet your Mum is thrilled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Louise! You hit the nail on the head with the whole underestimating issue...the premise sounds simple, but there are so many steps to patchwork and quilting!

      Delete
  4. You look like your mum! Lovely tablecloth. I've made a fair few quilts in my time. My top tip is to do it in small chunks so that you don't get bored or frustrated (altho I still frequently did both!) At some point, I still want to make a double sized quilt that I can pass down the generations. But I'm gonna sew loads of clothes for myself first!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the top tip, very wise indeed! I love the idea of a quilt you can pass down the generations...might have to steal it sometime ;o)

      Delete
  5. I love the tablecloth, the fabrics really compliment each other. I find keeping going with a major project is easier when you are making for someone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely was more determined to finish it as it wasn't for me!

      Delete
  6. Eeeeeh you as a little bubs!! I think you did your mum proud. It looks fab! I like that colour scheme very much

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is gorgeous! I'm about to start working on a scrappy quilt to use up all my fabric scraps. I'm thinking it'll make a good picnic quilt. I love your tablecloth! It looks gorgeous. I'm not surprised your mum loved it. How could she not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kat, good luck with your scrappy quilt!

      Delete
  8. Very pretty. The only suggestion I have is that unlike clothing construction where you iron your seams open, you should iron your quilting seams to one side. Usually you iron the seam towards the dark. Occasionally you will iron a seam open to reduce bulk, but not often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for this tip, it's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to learn about, as I was pretty much shooting in the dark with this make!

      Delete
  9. This is so beautiful! You've inspired me to try making this... and maybe venture into quilting, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh fab, so pleased to hear that!

      Delete
  10. I Love Patchwork Too, But Haven't Made Anything Bigger Than A Baby Quilt Size :) Your TableclotH For Your Mom Is Pretty, And Such Lovely PhotOs Of You And Your Mom!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful! I love your fabric choices, I'm sure your mum will have been delighted with it! I've made a few patchwork things in the past, including several baby quilts. I know that "mammoth task" feeling very well. I can knock a quilt out as a gift within a week, but when it came to do my daughter's it took me nearly two years. Whoops. If I ever decide to make a full size quilt I'll do it over a long time in blocks. That way if I get bored half way I can give up and make it into something smaller! I'm about to embark on another baby quilt for my best friend too. I have until September...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, in a week!?! You're so fast, that's incredible!

      Delete
  12. That's lovely, the bunting style design is really effective. I've been making my first patchwork quilt and been really enjoying it though it's very far from perfect I don't really care as I just love the fabric combination. I have a lot of corners that don't quite match up and mine's only squares, so next time I'll be taking much more care over making sure everything is more exact!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerry, I love your baby quilt...your fabric choices are adorable!

      Delete
  13. Well done!! The design is adorable and I love the bright cheery colors! I have a *ahem* bunting quilt in the works *cough cough* That has been shoved off to one side as I discovered I really don't have enough momentum to keep working on it! So I am THOROUGHLY impressed with your tablecloth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! It was hard to keep going, I won't lie! Maybe you'll pick your bunting quilt up again, in between other project. I see patchwork and quilting a bit like knitting...something to do when I'm not sewing clothes!

      Delete
  14. Gorgeous tablecloth, Marie! And that picture of you in your sailor collar is ADORABLE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's all my mum's fault I love collars!

      Delete
  15. Oh my goodness, how much do you like like your mother?! What a wonderful gift for her! It's beautiful. I love the color palette and the mix of patterns!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good lord, your mom is BEAUTIFUL!! She looks just like you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your Mum is totally beautiful (as are you of course!). You can see it in her eyes and the way she's holding you.
    What a lovely gift from daughter to mother. She will treasure that completely. The piecing on the reverse looks so neat!! Mine would be a total mess I'm sure. I've done basic patchwork squares then quilted them. Are triangles more tricky?? I do like me a triangle! Are they more tricky?
    Px

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaw, thank you for such kind words Portia! I've never tried squares...got stuck in there with triangles, so I don't think they're particularly hard. Go for it, you can totally do it ;o)

      Delete
  18. You started by triangles for yur first quilting project! That is brave! It looks wonderful! You could have made some binding - it may have (maybe not sure considering the size) easier to 'manage' at the end - oh and some basting spray then so the two layers stick together...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha...brave is a very kind word. I was probably naive, but I'm happy with the end result, so glad I went for it. I think you could be right on the binding front, will try it that way if there's a next time! Also, thanks so much for the basting spray tip...would never have known something like that existed!

      Delete
  19. Wow thats a beautiful present!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh-oh, proscrastinating or not, το καλό πράγμα αργεί να γίνει, so it was all worth it!
    It came out looking perfect, in all those colors and patterns! Your mom (who is beautiful, by the way, loved the photos) will surely appreciate and cherish it!
    Big kisses, my dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Elpida, you're sooooo lovely!

      Delete
  21. Ahhhhhh! Look at you in your little sailor suit! How sweet! This really looks great! Way to finish a mammoth project!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh my goodness, that is a gorgeous quilted tablecloth! I've been wondering if I should start quilting as well and maybe I will now that I keep seeing such modern and lovely projects.

    That's really sweet of you to have made it for your mom. What a darling you are!

    I just wanted to say hi to you because I noticed you have my blog on your blog list and I find that incredibly flattering. *blush* Thank you, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you've been inspired and thanks so much for stopping by the say 'hi'! ;o)

      Delete
  23. This quilt is SOOOO beautiful! I love to quilt, but over the last couple of years garment sewing has slowly taken me over :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been quilting with my mom (the last year she's been completely into it, and I've no idea how many blankets and bed-spreads she's made by now), the most difficult thing I've found is finding colours that compliment each other when you're trying to go for some atmosphere. But the biggest tip I can give you is make sure that each piece is exactly the right size when you cut it (if you have a roller-cutter instead of a scissor it would go much faster and easier), and also several rows before you put it all together to a big piece, it'll go quicker and it's easier to make all the lines go where they should go.

    ReplyDelete
  25. your mom look soo beautiful...
    wishing this project will be a good start for u...

    ReplyDelete