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I just finished the quilt! I'm really happy! It's in the wash right now. I can't wait to see it after it's been washed and dried. I backed it with pale mauve-pink double gauze, soft as a cloud. I used cotton-wool-blend batting (I think it was Hobbs). I used a cream-colored fabric with tiny turquoise dots for the binding. I did the binding completely by machine: I used 2 1/4" cross-grain strips, folded in half lengthwise and applied to the front of the quilt sandwich with a 1/4" seam. I wrapped it around to the back and made sure it just covered the seam on from the back, and pinned it perfectly in the ditch, just catching the back edge. I pinned a lot. Then I stitched in the ditch all the way around, catching the back edge, and it worked perfectly. You have to go slowly, and you have to pin a lot, and you have to remember to look at the front edge of your presser foot as you stitch in the ditch — don't watch the needle, watch the groove in the front of the presser foot and make sure it's centered perfectly over the ditch. My stitches were almost imperceptible. The back edge was just barely caught and looked great. I always do my binding by hand on the back, but honestly, this looked so good and saved soooooo much time, and so many hand stitches, I don't know that I'll ever do it by hand again! Well, maybe I will, but not in the near future. This looked really nice. The trick is the pinning exactly in the ditch. If you've pinned in the ditch, and you've caught the back edge, you will catch it when you stitch. Just take your time.

To quilt it, I decided I really wanted it to be as soft and light as possible. I was thinking of tying the whole thing, but again I just didn't want to take the time, as the big-girl bed has been purchased and just needs to be put together. Tying this would've taken too long and I'm just getting more picky about what I want to put my hands through these days — tying is pretty hard on your fingers. So, proud of my ditch-stitching on the binding (and yeah, I bound the edges first; the double-gauze felt a little shreddy and I thought it would be best to get the edges completely enclosed before I started handling it too much), I decided to quilt it by machine-stitching in the ditch around every patch. I just started on one edge and tried to follow it as far as I could. This required pushing a whole bunch of the quilt under the arm several times, so I don't know how this would work on a regular machine on anything bigger than a throw (this quilt measures 55" x 57", and yes, this was a fairly random measurement on my part; I basically just wanted something that would work right now on that little bed, and I didn't want it to be too big that she couldn't curl up under it easily on the sofa after it's too small for the bed; conveniently this just fit on a packaged throw-size batting [60" x 60"], but that was sheer luck, because naturally I don't think about any of these rational things beforehand, good grief) but it worked out just fine on my machine. Anyway, I just kept  stitching seams, backstitching a bit when I would hit a dead end, and then starting over. The batting package said I had to stitch it at most 4" apart, which is pretty tight. On the bigger patches I added a few ties.

I daresay I've never enjoyed making anything more! A lady at Fabric Depot once said to me that the best quilts are fast, fun, and finished, and this one certainly was that. I'll be hard-pressed to ever do a quilt another way, honestly!

I'll take more close-up pictures once we get the bed set up. That's going to require the whole room being rearranged so it may not be until next week.

***Oh, oh — and for those who have asked, some details about my crocheted blanket (also for Meems's new bed) are here (and I think that stitch is called the harlequin stitch, maybe?), and the bloomers pattern I used was Style pattern #3206 from 1980.


That is such a pretty quilt. I'm amazed at how fast you made this and see a real sense of joy in your fast quilts. I wonder if Amelia chooses her favourite fabrics or blocks in it (I am drawn to the florals in this). I'm not such a confident quilter and would like to make a quilt something like the one in your 9th photo here. was there a post when you made this one?

What beautiful photos, what a wonderful quilt and what a precious little one. your quilt turned out really pretty.


The quilt is amazing. Sometimes inspiration hits and then actually works. I love the little dress with the kind of faded looking flowers. It looks so soft. Did you make that?

I'm currently in a paper creative phase, but I will get back to sewing one of these days. I've got an alphabet quilt mostly pieced for a "baby" who is now almost 2.

You've made another beautiful quilt that encourages me to dream of actually starting my first patchwork hand quilted quilt I want to make, Alicia :) Thanks for posting! I just got back from Lincoln City and posting about finishing a scrapbook project for my nearly 28 month year old granddaughter, and knitting a bit, too.
Hoping the big girl bed happily comes together this week! xxx

Fun fast and finished sounds like a quilting motto I can get behind- and that is a very beautiful finished quilt, perfectly Spring like but still cosy for nippy days :)

Such a nice blanket! I 've not dared to begin a blanket yet. A blankie project seems so big to me ;-)
But just sew a dress for my little one. Honestly your last post inspired me. So I downloaded a really simple pattern from etsy with a tutorial and it went just fine :-)

I love the gorgeous colors of the quilt! And the floral dress and bloomers for Amelia soooooooo pretty.

Dianne Murcutt says: March 15, 2016 at 04:49 AM

I see that Amelia is siiting in the big chair now...big chair, big bed....when did she grow up so fast ????

Fast, fun, and finished. Love it. I don't quilt (as much as you make me want to!), but I can apply that saying to my knitting and design projects. And congrats to all the big girls in your house. :-)

Your quilt is just beautiful! I've tried some machine binding, most recently on a large quilt for my son, and I'm not great at getting my stitches in just the right place, but like you said, done makes a great quilt. My new motto (I'm a recovering perfectionist) is "Finished is better than Perfect". And my son, at 16, really isn't into perfect stitches, so it suited us both just fine. I'll try some extra pinning like you suggested next time. Thank you for that.

Amelia looks so pleased with the quilt and the anticipation of what it is for---the big girl bed! I too just LOVE it when a random idea that I blow through at top speed actually ends up working. It is a beautiful quilt.

so fun!!!! I am nearing the time when I will quilt my godson's quilt! This one is so lovely! have a blessed day!!! and a good bedroom rearranging time!

I love the quilt! And the really sweet thing about it is that Amelia will look at it as an adult and realize she had many dresses made from that fabric and that will bring back good memories for her too!
Our elderly neighbor asked for fabric from my mom including old boxer shorts from my dad.... She made my parents a beautiful quilt and now at 54 years old, I still look at that quilt and remember my sun dresses and my dad's skivvies (he drank his coffee every morning in his undies and a tee) and my mom's pretty shirtwaist dresses..... sweet! karen...

arielibra says: March 15, 2016 at 07:20 AM

I lost my mom last week. Following and discussing your blog was one of the things we were able to share at a distance in her later years. Thanks for sharing your beautiful life and your adorable Amelia.

What a lucky girl---the new quilt is gorgeous, as is she!

Quilt looks fantastic! So does dinner, btw!

Its so pretty - I love it! I have never bound a quilt by hand and have actually felt guilty about it. I do this same method except I use 2 1/2" strips so there is more wrapped around the back to catch. I use those big quilt clips to hold the binding and just move them as I go. Love your rounded corners, going to try that next time. Oh! And I quilt in the ditch too with lots of starts and stops! I love double gauze but it does unravel fast doesn't it? xoxo

An absolutely beautiful quilt (and daughter). May I suggest a 'quilt in the ditch' foot for your sewing machine? I'm not sure what brand of machine you have, but it is definitely worth investigating and will save even more time to spend with the fam!

tracy mchugh says: March 15, 2016 at 09:37 AM

love your work as usual!!! such a soft and cozy quilt. Amelia is a lucky little girl :)))

I really appreciate your quilting comments. I am getting ready to hand stitch the binding on my second quilt. As my quilting mentor hand stitches hers, I will do so on this one, but I am going to keep your notes for my next one. Your quilts are an inspiration!

Such a perfect quilt! I'm really looking forward to seeing her bed. The potato and yarn picture is very Eastery.

That is such a pretty quilt! <3

sharon stanley says: March 15, 2016 at 12:43 PM

absolutely beautiful! love seeing the process and end result.

I love seeing the quilt come together and then see it finished. Now I'm excited to see the finished big girl bed all set up.. the quilt and the crochet blanket are going to be so cozy for Mimi! You are giving her such a loved childhood.. she's a lucky little girl. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Wonderful quilt. A great way to use scraps of fabric. I have finished three quilts so far this year and it's given me a great deal of satisfaction. Your finished quilt is a great accomplishment. Can't wait to see it on Amelia's bed.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com