Utah Charm quilt

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I'm skipping out on Day #8 of the February blogging challenge to bring you... my second quilt!

It's no surprise that the hubs & I love camping. We go for just about every and any reason. We went camping on the beach, camping for our 2 year anniversary in Utah (here and here), camping in Pioche with friends, and heck, we've even been snow camping! So when I saw camping fabric pre-cuts from Missouri Star Quilt Co., I knew this would make such a cute quilt for us.

I decided to stick with a really simple pattern, the classic squares quilt, also known as a charm pack quilt ((the 5" squares come in a pack of 40+, called a charm pack)). I figured the fabrics are so fun, I wanted the focus to be on the fabric this time and not the pattern. With all of the pre-cuts being 5x5", it was simple to do! All I had to do was order, arrange, and sew.

I used three different types of fabric for this quilt: Camp a Lot by Riley Blake, S'more Love by Moda, and the warm colors by Moda. I know most people recommend using one line for a charm pack quilt, but I mixed it up a bit. What can I say? I walk on the wild side.

There's a really simple tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company ((same place I ordered my fabric through)) that just confirmed the way I visioned sewing it together.

Let me take a second to break down the nitty-gritty of the sizing of my quilt. I read a lot about finished quilt sizes compared to mattress sizes, so that you have a nice overhang on the sides of the bed. While I love my Double Irish Chain quilt, it doesn't hang over the sides the way I would like, despite a double border. Here's what I did for this quilt to avoid that problem --

Piecing it together was a cinch. I had A and B rows; the A rows started with a patterned fabric while B rows started with a solid fabric. Each row was 17 squares long, as each square sewn up was 4 1/2 inches. This made it 76 1/2 inches long when it was all sewn together. I chose to work 20 rows long to make it 90 inches long. The recommended size for a queen quilt is 84x92 inches finished. I figured with a 6 inch border, it would put me at 88 inches wide by 102 inches long. The average size for a queen mattress is 60x80 inches. Plenty big and cozy for those cold Utah nights!

All of the pieces that have some sort of linearity to them face the same direction so that this quilt does have a right side up feel to it. I love the little owls, the fireflies in mason jars, and there are 2 squares in the entire quilt of a marshmallow and piece of chocolate that says, "I love you s'more" on it. Be still my heart! There are also some colorful wood grains and teardrop campers that the hubs approves of. There are some patterned pieces I'm not a huge fan of, but I figured with how many squares there are on this, they really didn't matter enough to not include them.

While it didn't take me long to sew up each of the rows and piece it onto the rest of the quilt ((the same way I did the Double Irish Chain quilt)), it was hard finding an hour of time each night to do this! With tutoring four days a week after school, gone on weekends, and just regular wifely duties, it was tough to make time to sit down for this. But I was always glad when I did, as the hum of the sewing machine is relaxing to me. In comparison to my Double Irish Chain quilt, which took about 5 weeks from start to finish and involved a lot more cutting and piecing, this one took me about 4+ months.

This picture is pre-border. I added a chocolate brown border that was 6" before attaching it ((so right about 5 1/2" all sewn up)). It's so much more colorful than the black, white, and grey quilt!

When it came to sandwiching, I was much more hesitant this time around. I was completely in love with my first quilt, and then quilting it got a little messy and it bunched up in a couple of places. I took advice from some quilting friends and tried 2 techniques to hold my layers in place. I used fusiboo batting and safety pins. I just safety pinned in every solid block, and then tried ironing the fusiboo batting layers. While it sort of worked, it wasn't as secure as I would prefer, so I'm glad I used safety pins, too! I did really like that they had an option for oversized queen quilts, which is what mine ended up being. I'm planning on giving the basting spray a try next time, just to figure out which method I like best. :)

I quilted in the ditch ((meaning I quilted along the lines I had already sewn)) using my machine, and really liked it because it kept the focus on the patterns, not on the quilting technique. I went slow this time. After all, I had 37 rows to quilt and didn't want it to be sloppy.

The quilting process from start to finish took me about a month, because I worked on it here and there. While I was ready for it to be done, I never had a day where I could solely quilt.

This time, I also wanted to name my quilt and stitch in the name and date. I decided to go with "Utah Charm" for the name, as it was designed and quilted with the Utah condo in mind all along, and the quilt pattern is a charm pack. I thought this was cute and fitting for both the purpose and design.

Here's some pictures of the details of the quilt, all finished:

Overall, I'm happy with it! My goal is a quilt on every bed. While I absolutely love this one, I'm glad to keep it at the Utah condo. I like to keep our bedding pretty neutral at our house, but the condo could use some pattern and color ;)

Is anyone else in love with quilts? Or anything cozy on cold nights? I swear, this is nothing better than quilts. I love them.

 Blog Everyday in February

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