Waggons West Etsy Shop

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Teddy Bear's Picnic Blanket.

Teddy Bear's Picnic

I've been quilting for quite awhile now.   My grandmother was a serious quilter but as I grew up and she grew older she made comforters.  Quilt tops that were tied and not quilted.  I started making comforters when my kids were small.  We made a lot of comforters for them and for all of the other babies that were happening around us.  I say we, because my husband was directly involved in the pattern design, cutting and hand sewing of the binding.

Corners on the binding. 

When we started, I wasn't really aware of the world of quilting.  I knew that there were the county fair quilters.  The ladies who had been quilting forever, could make tiny stitches and just seemed to hatch full blown quilters,  For the rest, I understood you went to the fabric store, picked out 5 fabrics that looked good together and cut it up.

Strips all sewn in order.

I talked my husband into doing the cutting because I kept getting smileys in the strips.  He cut some strips and blocks and decided there had to be a better way.  As a mathematician he figured out a plan.

The cheerful apple backing to match the apple picking bears.
 We would sew the five fabric strips together.  Then we he cut them in half and I sewed them together.  We would repeat this until we had one giant long stretch of blocks all the right width and all sewn together.  The quilt race quilts remind me of this process in reverse.  Once we had the strip of blocks we would count and rip the seams to get strips of the same length. They were all carefully offset to get the proper arrangement of blocks on the quilt.  The shorter segments were then sewn together into a panel.  We would make enough panels to build a quilt of the size we wanted.

Worn binding.

This quilt is the very first one we made.  We made it shortly after the birth of Spud 1.  It was our playmat/baby blanket/picnic blanket for many years.  You can see from the binding that it has been through the wringer a few times.  The double blocks are there because we really didn't know what else to do with it.

Some of the better corners!
A closer look at this quilt will show the mismatched corners and lots of other amateur mistakes.  I didn't know how to do the binding.  I had heard of a quilt shop in a nearby town.  I'd never been into one before, but my friend assured me that they would be able to answer my questions.

It is clear that the ladies in that shop were dedicated to increasing the number of quilters.  They took one look at my top and saw the possibilities along with the flaws.  When I asked how to match up the corners, the explained how to iron the seams in opposite directions.  When I asked if I should rip it all out and make it work better they said, "finish it up and move on".

The Teddy Bear's picnic blanket. 
Those were the the best words of advice they could have given me.  Because they were encouraging, I did just that.  I finished it up and I moved on.  I have a funny, lopsided quilt that we used and loved for years.  I learned a lot from that quilt.  But mostly those sweet ladies gave me the confidence to take on the next project.    A lot of next projects.  Thank you ladies! 

 Linked to the Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

Amy's Creative Side


  1. Il quilt è molto carino anche se un po' sbilenco ha un fascino particolare, il fascino del quilt più amato dalla famiglia

  2. I love these kind of stories of "first" quilts. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. That's a great quilt flaws and all. The first one always teaches us soem great lessons =D

    I'm hosting a new swap over at my blog if anyone is interested please pop over for a look =D


  4. Hello neighbor in this great sharing of creativity! What a nice story. Such great advice from those quilt shop ladies! I like the name "Spud1"!! thanks for sharing!

  5. How wize of those quilt ladies and how wize of you to take their advice. The lessons we learn by doing are much more lasting than those of just being told.

  6. I love you, my wife. Thanks for helping me help you make this, together.