Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Making a Machine Made Quilt and a Sewing Machine Pin Cushion

Back in May, I started a machine-made quilt using strips of various new and reclaimed cotton fabrics I had in my stash.  Most of them had been curtains at some point and were bought at car boot sales, jumble sales and charity shops.   I made one side by machine sewing the strips together.  It is a single sized quilt.  I bought some synthetic wadding which cost a few pounds.  I know it probably isn't as good as the proper cotton quilting wadding, but I couldn't justify spending nearly £20 on my first attempt, so I stuck to a cheaper version.

Anyway, this is what it looked like after I'd completed one side.  I deliberately used wide strips as I didn't want to get caught up in sewing tricky small squares together using the machine and this made it so quick and simple.

I wasn't sure what fabric to back it with and so left it unfinished on a pile of unfinished projects in my sewing room until today that is, when I resolved to try to finish it, in an attempt to de-clutter the room a bit and as a diversion from some trouble I've been having with my computer due to a very pesky virus that OH was trying to remove.  Whilst this was going on I couldn't really use it so decided to use my time in other ways.

So this morning I found a fabric that was perfect for the back of the quilt, but it was just a bit short so I sewed an extra panel of another fabric I'd used on the front, on to it and it was perfect.  I then had to sew the wadding, the front and  the back together.

I wasn't sure if the thickness of the wadding would make this impossible, but I pinned them together and started by sewing the top edge and it seemed to sew okay.  I then sewed down the sides and the bottom and then finally sewed along the seams where the strips of fabric were sewn together.  This gave it a lovely puffed up quilted look. 

The finished quilt is far from perfect, I broke five (yes, don't ask) sewing machine needles in the process and did a lot of unpicking to get rid of rucks and gathers, but I am actually very pleasantly surprised by the final outcome.  Here it is with just the binding left to put on all around the edges.

For the back I used this pretty floral cotton fabric.

I'm not sure which fabric to use for the binding as yet.  I need to have a good look through my stash so it may sit for another 5 months before I get around to it, but I think I will sew the binding on by hand as it can be tricky.  It will also be a nice way of finishing it as I can do this whilst watching TV one evening.  I'll post again with the final finished quilt.  I can see us all arguing over who gets to use this whilst watching TV on a cold winter night as it is lovely and soft and snuggly.

Anyway, whilst in the sewing room I decided to set about another very small project I had been meaning to do for ages now, namely to make a pin cushion to attach to my sewing machine.  I've wanted to make one because I find it annoying to have various things on my work surface whilst trying to sew on the machine and this idea takes everything off the surface so it doesn't get knocked onto the floor or caught up in your fabric.

It was a very simple idea whereby I sewed together two squares of fabric, with a band of elastic across the middle.  I left one side open to add the wadding, which in this instance was left over from the quilt, and then I sewed up the end and looped the elastic under the needle and around the body of the machine, sitting the pin cushion on the inside. 

The elastic around the main body of the machine also enables you to pop some scissors and a stitch cutter behind it, so they don't get knocked off the work surface too and you can find them easily when you want to use them.

In the end that pesky virus got me making again which is always a good feeling and I also didn't have any opportunity today to spend any money at all.  Double result.  My machine has now been finally cleared of the virus after a mammoth 24 hours of trying, so it will be back to normal from tomorrow.


  1. If you look in my blogroll - Kath at Hillside Cottage is a wiz with quilts. Am sure she would help/advise you. xxxx

  2. This is so pretty. I love your choice of fabrics and the pin cushion on the machine a great idea !