Hey Sewists! I cannot believe how quickly summer is going by. I blinked and we are all of a sudden near the end of August. I thought I should get around to sharing the quilt I made for the 4th of July before Halloween comes around. I am pretty proud to share this one. I have made two other quilt tops and am still hand quilting the double ring wedding quilt I started years ago, but this is my first completely finished quilt. I even quilted it on my home machine myself! Talk about challenging a small basic machine.
I had been wanting to make a 4th of July quilt for a few years now. There are so many quilts pinned to my 4th of July board for inspiration that I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to make a literal interpretation of the flag. I also did not want any prints that were in the Independence Day-themed section. No, fireworks, stars, or eagle prints period. I wanted a modern quilt full of fun patterns and vibrant reds and blues. I added in the turquoise as a way to pop with the reds. I really tried to pick prints that went well with the others without singling anyone out as being different. I think that I achieved that. I really love every single print I picked out and I think that is why it took me so long to collect them all before starting. It was totally worth taking that time too!
I settled on making a variation of this July Star Blocks Quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew. I opted to make the star out of different white on white cotton prints surrounded by random other prints. I also alternated my star blocks with a basic 9 patch block. I like the overall look with how the white stars pop out from the craziness of the reds and blues. The finished quilt size is slightly bigger than a twin size with the measurements of 75″ x 95″. It is the perfect size to throw on the ground for Eric and I to stretch out and watch the fireworks display. It is also big enough that we could put it on both of our laps if we are sitting in chairs too.
I started collecting fabrics in 2016 that fit the aesthetic I was hoping for even though I didn’t know what design I was going with. It was when a local Jo-Ann’s was closing, so I was able to get so many pieces of fabric for a super low price. By super low I mean, I was able to get my fabrics for $1.50-$2.50 a yard! I ended up using 11 different prints from what I bought in 2016. I added 24 new prints, including the white on whites, and 2 others that have been in the stash since 2008. Total wise, I used 11.25 yards of fabric for the top. I also used 4 yards of the Warm & Natural Cotton Batting that was also purchased during the closing sale for $4.25 a yard ($17.00 total).
I love the overall look of the quilting pattern I went with. It has a window pane kind of feel that really stands out from the back. Speaking of backing, I used 4.5 yards of a dark indigo denim chambray. I picked it up back in 2016 from the same Jo-Ann’s closing sale as I got some of the front fabrics from. I got a great deal on it at $3.09 a yard for a total of $13.91. Originally, I had wanted to patch denim from old jeans together to make the backing. I ended up not having enough old denim to repurpose for this quilt, so I will save it up for another one down the line.
Overall, I used 19.75 yards of fabric for a total fabric cost of $85.87, which doesn’t even include the thread costs. I went through three brand new spools, and three partial spools. So much thread! This qualifies as one of the more expensive projects I have made. I am glad I quilted it myself because that would have added another $150-$200 if I had taken somewhere to be done. I think straight lines is probably the limit of my machine quilting capabilities. Anything more detailed I will have to take in to be done.
I pushed myself outside of my box of garment sewing to make this and it worked. It was so incredibly easy compared to garment sewing since it is all straight lines. Don’t get me wrong, what it lacked in difficulty it more than made up for in how time-consuming it actually was. Quilts are not the instant gratification projects that a lot of garment sewing can be. Every tiny 1/4″ seam was pressed open before I could stitch anything else to it. I am so incredibly proud of this quilt. It turned out exactly how I had envisioned it once I started. I have already started thinking about what kind of quilts I want to make in the near future. I think I might have a new obsession with this.
Have you tried quilting? What did you like about it? Or what didn’t you like?