Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What the Heck Do I Do with This?

If you had asked me a few weeks ago about my first quilt, I would have told you about the humble picnic blanket I made of 8-inch squares for my friend Miss K. I would have told you how making it was an exercise in locating my inner quilter and determining whether I was interested in pushing a gigantic swath of fabric and batting through my machine on a regular basis.

If you ask me about that first quilt today, I’d tell you that I’ve been living a lie because recently I found this, my actual first quilt:

You’d be wrinkled too if you were folded up and forgotten in my guest room
closet for five-plus years!

I had completely forgotten about this project from years ago. Frustrated with shopping for suitable wall art, I made this mini (it measures 25 inches by 36 inches) to hang above my bed. I bought a jelly roll of Brannock and Patek’s Remembrance because I love the combination of red, green, and blue. I tied this mini instead of quilting it and opted for a pillowcase binding. I’m pretty sure I followed some sort of pattern, but I went through my sewing library and can’t put my finger on the source.


When the project was finished, I decided that it was too blah to hang up above my bed or anywhere else, for that matter. I ended up buying some photography from this Etsy shop to use in my master bedroom instead.

Although I didn’t hang the mini here, I did purchase yardage from Remembrance
to make the two big pillows.

Looking at it now, years later, I like the fabrics. They’re more traditional than those I usually use, but I’m a sucker for the red-green-blue combination. And I like the strong geometry of this mini. It’s simple, reminiscent of a coin quilt. This mini has potential!


The way I see it, I have three options:
  • I can let it live as a mini. If I take this route, should I cut it down so it’s not so rectangular? Add a border? Bind it?
  • I can make it into something completely different. Does it want to be a pillow? (Do I need another pillow?) A journal cover?
  • I can fold it up and shove it back in my guest room closet. This is the easiest of the options. It’s also the lamest.
So what is your take on my dilemma? Is this a finished project, or should I demote it to a WIP (or worse—the trash!)? Thanks in advance for your help!
Linking up to WIP Wednesday, TGIFF, Finish It Up Friday, and Sew Cute Tuesday ...

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20 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle, I would not trash your first quilt project. It is really nice. I like it as the large rectangle. Maybe cut the ties, and open it up to do some all over qulting and pull one of the prints or brighter colors to make a new binding or even piping. I love to make pillows with piping. You might have to make your own pillow insert to fill it, but it would make an awesome modern quilted pillow.

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  2. You can't trash it!! This is a masterpiece compared to my first quilt!! I think it would be a great cushion!!

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  3. DON'T trash it! If you had more of the fabric or fabric that would suit, I'd say you should throw some fun pieced borders around it and finish it off as a big quilt. (Don't hate me. This is merely a suggestion.) :)

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  4. Could you make it into a bolster cushion maybe?

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  5. Definitely not the third option! Treasure it and put it to use. I like the book cover option best as you can use it without having to cut it up - maybe cover a sketch book for new designs!!

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  6. I would remove the ties from your tied quilt, press it, and machine quilt it. Use it as a mini and hang in your sewing room. Please do not cut it up.

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  7. You could add a large asymmetrical border to it, bring it up to a small-ish throw size (small by my standards anyway). Then it'd be very usable. Don't trash it though!!! If you really don't want to do anything with it, you could give it to me. I'll work some magic on it and give it back. :D Though, I might cut it all apart and do something super radical to it....

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  8. Let it mini live! I'd stitch in the ditch around the squares, but leave the insides unquilted. Then stitch some tight quilting through out the white. Either a right meander, or the match stick design is a fun one. That would make those squares pop out! I often doubt my quilts when they're in this stage, then when I start to quilt, the beauty appears. Go for it!

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  9. Whatever you do, the third option is a terrible idea! If you don't want it, I know someone who would take it. : ) But you really should keep it. It's your first quilt!! (Although now, you might like to do some cool quilting instead of leaving it tied.) If you don't have time right now, at least use it as a pillow (backrest?) temporarily. It needs to be out of the closet.

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  10. I would leave it as it is since it's your real first one ... It looks pretty good for a first quilt, I like it and I think it should be hung in your sewing room to remind you of the progress you have made over the years. It could be thrown casually on the back of a chair ...

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  11. I'd turn it into a big cushion - but I'm obsessed with cushions and want to turn lots of things into them!

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  12. definitely don't trash it! you could leave it as it is, but will you hang it up? If not, then I think you should quilt it and make it into a mini you do want to hang up

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  13. I would use it to practice your fmq. So undo the ties and the edge stitching and then fmq and bind with some colourful binding. Or add some borders on first before quilting to fmq. It definitely has potential!

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  14. For a first quilt this is amazing! I could see it as a wall hanging! Some wonderful quilting would elevate it too! Do not put it back in your closet!

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  15. OH no, not trash! Its a mini of some sort. Pillow, wall hang, middle of a larger quilt! Keep it and love it!!!!

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  16. leave it be and hang it over the back of a chair.

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  17. I'm with Deborah! I think it's the perfect little practice piece! You can FMQ it to your heart's desire and it will be a perfect reminder of where you came from, and how far you've come.

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  18. We all start somewhere, so I think that you could easily do a lot of things to this to give a little pep, but in my opinion, I don't really think that number three is an option.

    If you decide to keep this as a mini, what about adding some quilting to it? I think this would give it a textural interest to offset the light background. A border would make it pop, and I am sure that there are plenty of fabrics that you could add to do this.

    When you first mentioned repurposing this, my first thought was a pillow. I might still add quilting to it, and it looks like from your measurements that this could be a long narrow pillow. You could half the piece and end up with a double sided pillow. Either way, I have seen some abandoned projects reworked and the transition was great.

    Greetings from Germany!

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  19. Hello, my two cents (for what it's worth): I'd dye it! With tea or Rit Dye. So that the white /cream is a bit darker and there would be less contrast between the print rectangles and the solid background. But that's just me! And then I'd go with narrower borders. Good luck with your project, wherever it takes you! Quilting can be an adventure and sometimes it's scary...

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  20. Definitely don't trash it or sell it. This is experience talking. I made my first quilt at age 16. It was a simple 4 inch puffy square with a rolled up nylon stocking anchored with yarn. To get enough nylons, I advertised in the REC magazine and received not only enough nylons for several quilts (which never did get made) but also jewelry, love letters, and a marriage proposal which I turned down.The blocks were joined by machine on one side but the back side was sewn by hand. It was a heavy quilt requiring lots of mending and after many years of use, I sold it for a dollar at a yard sale and have regretted it ever since. I don't even have a picture of it. For your quilt, I think removing the ties and either hand or machine quilting, adding a binding and maybe displaying it lengthwise would add new life to it. Karen

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