Making My First Quilt

By Deborah Breckenridge, aspiring #sewist.

I never thought I would learn how to quilt. I didn’t even know how to sew. (I know, it’s tragic!). However, I love learning new things. When presented with the opportunity to spend 5 days learning how to quilt with the one and only, Judy Niemeyer, I jumped at the chance! Here’s a little overview of my week with Judy.

Step 1: Bring Quilt to Life in Quiltster

I chose to start with the Summer Solstice pattern using the Wildflowers fabric collection from Timeless Treasures. The center star is shown below is where I started and filled in fabrics.
Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.13.33 PM
Blank Summer Solstice pattern in Quiltster’s project editor.  
Building in Quiltster
Filling in pattern using Wildflower Collection from Timeless Treasures.
Snapshot of final color way choice in Quiltster.
Using Quiltster is so much fun!!! Seeing the completed quilt sure was a little intimidating… just look at all those pieces! But I was up for the challenge.

Step 2: Start at the Beginning


“Oh, that must be it, it’s bobbin up and down!” Lucy, looking for the bobbin, but pointing to the needle as it moves up and down. | Source:
This was me, I’m afraid. Just like our friend Lucy here, I didn’t know how to wind a bobbin, thread a needle or sew in a straight line! Yep. Not exaggerating. It was going to be a long, but fun, week!

Step 3: Paper Piecing it all Together!

Each day was spent watching live demos from Judy then attempting to mimic what I saw. Watching Judy demo quilting techniques was like watching Leonardo da Vinci casually explain how to paint. Gulp. For all the newbies out there, if you start feeling overwhelmed, just start with the getting the rhythm: Match, Glue, Sew, Press, Trim, Rinse & repeat! It didn’t take long for me to see why people enjoy spending hours and hours sewing. It can be very therapeutic.
#paperpiecing #focus
A few key takeaways from this process (newbies, make note!)
  • “Measure twice, cut once.” I think we all know how I learned this lesson. That ¼ inch seam allowance sure is important!
  • We’re working with “thread,” not “string”.
  • We’re making “quilts,” not “blankets” (very key).
  • “The purple thang” is an actual – and very important – quilting tool.
  • Basting is not just something you do when cooking a turkey.
  • Matching points is super fun!

12644955_1078688428818115_5921777606314717087_nCheck out these center points! No pins, no glue, (only on the center seam) #JudyNiemeyerStyle #NailedIt #Quiltser #Quiling #SewistInTheMaking

  • Air sewing happens.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 4.49.52 PMSource:

  • Last but not least:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.43.16 PM

At the end of day 5 with the finish line in sight and 16 pretty little Y-seams standing in my way, I almost broke this rule. #breathe Bound and determined to finish, I hiked up my big girl pants and got to it! Thank goodness for Judy and her calm, “Mistakes happen. They can be fixed” philosophy! With her help (and more than a few adjustments to my Y-seams), I finally finished my quilt top! Hooray! Time for a celebratory glass of wine!


Just look at that concentration! LOL!

Step 4: Admiring the Handy Work

There’s something so fulfilling about creating something with your own two hands, especially when it’s something that you’ve never done before. I sewed for 5 days straight and up to 15 hours each day. I was exhausted and super happy! I feel so accomplished and empowered now; a door to a whole new world has been opened for me. A huge thank you goes out to Judy. Without her, I would not have gone home with a completed project. She is professional, smart, creative, inspiring and an overall amazing person to be around. I’m going to love being a #quilter and #sewist! I already have fabric picked out for my next project… now I just need to pick a pattern. That’s how it works, right?
 Me and My First Quilt
Rockin’ my new quilt top! #followyourbliss #feelingood #lovinlife #sewistinthemaking
Fabric for my next project. #fabricaholic

Sign up here for YOUR chance to use Quiltster today!  New beta testers are chosen every day to help test and perfect this new product before it launches in spring 2016!

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