I bought an awesome four-poster queen-sized bed probably 20 years ago, and I’ve never had a quilt that fit it. I’ve been using a cream-colored chenille bedspread all this time, and it’s pretty worn out. That worked, but when people came to stay for a while, I didn’t have quilts or blankets that were big enough.
So I determined to make a quilt for it. I had just spent a few weeks cutting all my odd-sized and small scraps into strips, so I decided to make a scrap quilt. Here’s the pile once I was done. It doesn’t look like it’s that much, but I figured if I’d bought the same number of precuts from the quilt shop, it would cost me about $600!
I saw this video from Jenny Doan at the Missouri Start Quilt Company and decided it would be quick and fun. So I figured out how many squares I would need to make a queen-sized quilt and got busy. It didn’t take long to get them all done, but when I put it up on the design wall, I realized that the design would be off-centered because the quilt wasn’t square. So I added another row and made it a king-sized quilt. I just can’t seem to avoid making quilts bigger–just like Mom. 🙂
But you know, it worked out great because the quilt fits the bed better with that last row.
Since I made the quilt bigger, I didn’t have enough backing. So I sewed a bunch more strips together into one tall, wide strip. Then I cut the backing off-center and inserted the strip. I love adding something to the backing that reflects the front in some way.
I also determined that since I’m not terribly in love with this quilt, that I would use it as a free-motion quilting practice piece. I also decided I would just go for it and I would forgive myself of all the mistakes I would be making. It was nice not to constantly worry about making it perfect.
The quilting on this is a mix of ruler work and free-motion quilting. I went through the lessons in Angela Walter’s book, “Free Motion Meandering”, and it helped tremendously. I used rulers to make the scallops on the borders, and free motion for the pebbles around them. The squares that define the diamond-like design of the quilt were quilted with straight parallel lines in two ways using a ruler. Each section of the rest of the quilt was done with a different meandering pattern. The outer corners were plain old stippling, the next section in was loops, then I did swirls, next was a feather meander, and in the center I mixed them all together. That part was fun! I have a baby quilt to do next, and I may do the whole thing that way.
Here are some pictures of the meandering. The first is of the middle section where everything is mixed. The last picture shows the border that is partly done.
I wish I had used a different color of thread instead of black. I probably should have matched the backing. It would have blended better with all the scraps on the front as well. But it was a learning quilt after all! I definitely learned a lot. And my free-motion work improved as I went along. Now I just need to continue practicing.
And here it is on the bed!