I’ve been sewing for about 40 years but I’ve only just learned quilting. I’m not sure why I waited! Maybe I started now because my wardrobe consists of dark, mostly solid colors and quilting is a way to play with fun patterns and colors.
Naturally, I did not chose a beginner-level quilt block to learn from. I had to choose a fairly tricky design, but, I learned a lot of techniques! I also made a lot of mistakes!
I chose this Hazel the Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman because I bought this hedgehog fabric over a year ago in the Netherlands.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That fabric is for my third hedgehog: the charm one! Here is my first attempt, you can see that I needed to practice at being precise. I hadn’t learned mitered seams for the border yet at this point! And the binding is a mess.
My Mom, who is a very experienced and accomplished quilter, taught me the basic techniques of sewing quarter inch seams and diagonal seams.
A quarter inch foot on your machine is essential! This one makes it really easy for a new quilter like me to sew quarter inch seams. But, it does not work when you have to sew diagonal seams. I had to switch feet a lot for this pattern.
When you sew diagonal seams, you usually have to cut off the extra triangle. You need to watch what you’re trimming off!
Waaaahhhhh! This is my second block. After several mishaps, it finally turned out okay, even if it does look like the hedgehog is hiding in the jungle. This time, I learned mitered corners for the border fabric and the binding was much better.
For my third block, I used the hedgehog fabric as the background. That fabric is directional, so it needs to be cut going the right way. This seems obvious, but directions don’t always tell you to cut the fabric from a different direction. I found out the hard way.
I still have one mistake that I didn’t fix: the background fabric next to the nose is sideways. Oh well, it kind of looks like the hedgehog has a mustache!
Now that I successfully did one binding, I was ready to step it up: a binding with mitered corners! But why?! Well, I decided to use directional fabric and I wanted the fabric to go the right way. But you can’t do ordinary mitered corners, nope, you need to sew V-shaped miters so that you can fold over the binding on the back.
And it worked!
So third time really is a charm (although my daughters each love the block I gave her). Not perfect, but I’m happy. I made it into a pillow cover.
The hedgehog in its natural environment.