July 8, 2013

Quilting

 I don't care for a lot of fuss with making the bed each day. Getting out of bed, pulling the covers to the top is usually my simple preference. Too many pillows just isn't worth the fuss for me. So, recently, this is what our bed looked like:
A sheet, with a simple coverlet, and our down duvet from Ikea at the bottom. The quilted bedspread pictured, is a family heirloom, and personal keepsake from my Great Grandmother. It took her at least a year (in the 70's) to hand quilt every inch of this gorgeous thing. And even more amazing, she did a separate one for all of us grandkids at the time. An amazing woman, I know!!! I just love having it! 

In the summer, this quilt is the perfect weight to adorn the bed, but for this winter I've decided to switch it up. Again, Lotta Jansdotter never fails to inspire me in my own projects. Just check out my recent post on one of her new books! This is the bedding that she designed and created, and I just fell in love with the designs and colors. 
I went to JoAnn Fabrics (back in Janurary!) and snagged quite a few selections from their quilters choice selection. I mainly stuck to a palette of yellows, grays, black, white, and a touch of blue. And, literally it went wild. But, both Steven and I love the finished product. 

The only pattern I used was a 4 inch wide piece of paper that I had cut. The piece lengths were random lengths, but all 4"wide. Then, I just sewed rows and rows of strips together. No matching up seams, or lengths. That's my version of "easy" quilting....or my only version! 

 The pillow shams were from Target as well (on clearance), and the grey sheet set is from Ikea.
 After doing THIS toddler quilt 2 months ago for a friend, I decided to also use the same PURL cotton (available online, at JoAnns, or Hobby Lobby) to add some hand quilting to this quilt. It was a lot more work for this queen-sized quilt, but worth every minute when I realized that I will have it and treasure it forever.

I didn't get the whole quilt exactly even at the edges, but no one would ever know it's a few inches off at one end, unless it's folded up perhaps, right? No matter...just details. When I was 19, I made a crocheted blanket about this size, but nothing that large since. So, not too shabby for my first really large quilt.

I bought a king sized cotton flat sheet from Target in a cream color to use for the backing, and sandwiching it with a king sized (pre-shrunk) layer of warm & natural batting from JoAnn Fabrics.

For the edging, I made my own bias tape, using the gray & off white chevron fabric from Hobby Lobby. Here is a simple bias tape tutorial. I put my homemade quilt binding on the edge about halfway around, before I convinced myself it looks so horribly crooked, and took it all back off. I then found The Little Red Hen blog, followed her directions, reapplied the bias tape, and all was well....and straight this time. Phew.

Another feature I've been longing to add to our bed, is side bed pockets. Since I don't have a side table on my side, my evening reading material ends up on the chair, on the floor, etc... Lotta's original sewing book, Simple Sewing, has a simple and great pattern for bed pockets. Her version is made of one long rectangle piece that runs between the mattresses, and to each side of the bed. I modified my version to just have ties, since it would suit our Ikea framed bed.
 It worked out great. I measured the space, and the width of items I wanted to put into it...my Nook, a book, a pen, etc.. They are one larger piece, that is folded up to make the pockets, and stitched down. Just let me know if you'd like a little more details here to make your own. Lotta's version should fit any sized bed, though, so I would recommend checking out her book



And we are now enjoying our new, pretty bright bedding. It took me about 5 months to complete from beginning to end, but well worth the time and effort. I just treasure getting to make handmade things to go in our home. Somehow, it makes it more special to me. 

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