My First Quilt! by Jessicalam


Apple of my eye


My first quilt is for my niece, Alexandria Ryann, who will be born in just a few weeks. I am using the Apple of my Eye bundle from Riley Blake. Besides loving the colors and prints, it just suits this project perfectly!  Alexandria's big sister has been wanting to name her "Apple" since the beginning so it has become her nickname. 

October 1
This is my first time ever hand sewing so I probably should have held off on contrasting stitching. I'm using deep red embroidery floss and it looks very nice.  It would be even nicer if I could make evenly spaced straight stitches, but since this is my first attempt ever not so bad.

October 5
So far things are going well! Definitely plenty of mistakes but I'm learning as I go. Tomorrow I'm going to stop at the fabric store and pick up some thimbles... I learned how painful it is to sew without them and I'm not doing that ever again! My fingers are back to normal tonight so I went back to quilting the squares. At first I had these high hopes of patterns and prettiness. At this point I'm just doing some sort of messing loopy thing. Not what I envisioned but I am happy with it. Someone asked if I'm hand sewing everything--  No! I'm not. I am using my little Brother se-400.  I'm only hand sewing the red stitching and maybe the binding.

October 6
I came across this tutorial for hand binding a quilt. I have read several tutorials about the ladder stitch and I just can't get it to sink in.  Here's the simple hand binding tutorial that I think I will be using for Alex's quilt:   

October 7
I removed the red floss and decided to machine quilt the sashing. My sister was in the hospital today and we thought the baby was coming. False alarm... so now it's a race to get this quilt finished because it seems like baby Apple is planning an early arrival. I ended up stitching with a light gray/white-ish cotton thread. Right now I'm working on wavy lines between the squares. My hope is that the wave in the lines distracts from my not-so-squared quilt. So far it doesn't seem to be working. haha! :)  At this point I've been working on this quilt since July and I am ready to be done. I want to get started on my next one! I already have plans and fabric for my next 3 quilts. My mind just keeps coming up with things but my poor hands can't keep up with it!

October 11
Made a lot of progress tonight! I only have 14 more long stretches to go in my sashing. Then I have the border and binding. I posted new pics showing the new stitching and what the binding will look like. The baby is scheduled for delivery on Tuesday morning so I'm trying to get this quilt finished and mailed within the next few days. Her big sister, Lily is 5 and couldn't be more excited. I told her her mom is my baby sister just like Apple is hers. She just said, "Hm. That's weird. You used to be a big sister?  Wow. Aunt Jexka's just like me. That's so cool!" :-)

October 13
All finished quilting and squaring up the quilt! I was ready to bind and I picked up a binder foot (so I wouldn't have to hand stitch), but realized I pre-made the wrong size bias tape!  I have 1 inch tape but my binder foot is only 1/4". Back to Joann's again tomorrow for either a larger foot or a new doohickey to make smaller tape!  So excited to be finished! It looks and feels like a real quilt now! It's so exciting. :)

October 16
Baby Alexandria has arrived! She couldn't wait for her appointment and decided to show up in the middle of the night.  She's a tiny peanut- just 5 lbs 7.5 oz and 16.5 inches long. Her big sister is so excited and can't stop touching her and caressing her cheeks.  I posted a pic of the two of them. :) The excitement of the last couple days has definitely distracted me. I need to finish the binding still. I'm stalling- Not sure if I want to remake my bias tape to be 1/4" and machine it with my binding foot, or if I want to use the tape I already made and hand sew. Honestly I'm not looking forward to the binding.

October 18
It's finally finished! Yay!  :)   Now on to my second quilt!

November 5
Just uploaded the final pics. Love how this quilt has turned out! 






Awww, what a sweet gift for your niece. I love" Apple of my Eye" I've been sewing with that line this summer. Congratulations, on your first quilt!! It is very cute! Love the little 4-patch blocks.


Thank you so much! It's been fun to create. I now have more rows completed and have sewn them all together. Working on a border now. Apple of my Eye is such a darling pattern! My sister came across it, and I adore it!


What a lovely gift and great fabric! Love the connection to what her sister calls her:-)


Very nice! What fun that you are sharing your first quilt with us as you go. Pretty exciting...and a pretty quilt!


What a great idea to use fabrics that represent her name!! Such a sweet're doing great on your first quilt :)


Thanks everyone! I'm new here and I love this community already! You are all so friendly.


I have this line as well and love it. I like how you are mixing up the 4 squares with the solid squares and adding the white sashing. It is lovely for little "Apple". Post more pics!!!


Great job on your first quilt Jessica! Have no worries about your stitches, by the time you finish you'll be a master of hand stitching :) Trust me, the baby won't care if they're a little wonky. They'd get wonky after washing anyway. Did you hand piece the top too? I can't wait to see some more pictures!


What a sweet quilt! You've done great! And Katisquilting is right, by the time you finish you'll have it down. :)


This looks awesome!! I love the colors and think it's cute the nickname is the same as the fabric!!! I give you a lot of props for the hand stitching!!! I don't think I have enough patience to sit down and hand stitch, awesome, awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks for the feedback everyone! I just posted pics of the progress I've made so far. :)


This is just an all round lovely quilt! I love your stitching and am most will be so loved. I don't hand stitch except for bindings but do know they also make some little stick on pad things for your fingers to help protect them at someone once told me were great? Have not tried them but thought I would pass it on... Good luck stitching!


I like your quilt. Good job! Now have you caught the bug and are you on to the next one?


Thanks so much! I have seen those stick on pads and wondered if they work. I might have to try them out!

Thanks everyone for your support. Yes I am absolutely hooked! I keep telling my husband I'm practicing for when I'm a little old lady. My quilts will be (hopefully) amazing in 40+ years! :) I'm already planning my next quilt for my grandparents. I plan on starting that one right after this one's completed. :)


I used a different tutorial (many moons ago) to learn to hand sew the binding on but it was basically the same and it was really easy once you do it for a bit. I just kept the picture up in front of me until I got hang of it! I love how it looks when done:-)


I hope it isn't your last!


Definitely isn't my last!


You should open a pinterest account where you can save tutorials and stuff you need. I have a 100+ tutorials there and will never have to look where I saved them :) Do you attach the binding by machine and then hand stitch it down on the other side?
Leah Day has a very good Free Motion Quilting Project page with youtube videos and all. If you're interested She starts with the basic machine quilting skills that you can practice on your next quilt. She has her starting videos up here:
Good luck and hope it'll help! It helped me a LOT to start FMQ-ing on my machine.


Yes I have an account! The problem is I'm so obsessed that I pin too many things - I have thousands of things pinned so it's hard to find them again. :)

I've never attached binding so I'm not quite sure what I do yet! Hopefully will get to that this week though. :) Thanks for mentioning Leah Day- I will look into those videos! I need all the help I can get!


Jessicalam This is getting exciting! Your quilt will be beautiful as it was made with love for this little bundle of joy and remember once you wash and dry quilt alot of things you see will disappear. We are also much harder on ourselves than others are...and as I read once and now tell myself all the time...get your nose out of your quilt no one looks at it that closely unless your in a competition! What a loving gift this is...and soon you will be on to your next one taking with you all the lessons you have learned;-) LOL about pinterest I spent last reorganizing my quilt related boards so I could more easily find things! Looking forward to hearing the great news that baby "Apple" is here and all is well!


True 's right Jessicalam ...once you wash and dry that quilt, many things will simply sink in and fade from view. Washing a quilt will always hide a lot of imperfections. And we ALL have imperfections in our quilts. ;) (Love her quip about judges being the only ones that inspect a quilt...and it's true!!) Don't be too hard on yourself, it's a beautiful quilt, and you've done a fabulous job on it. :)


Jessicalam If you make a tutorial board on your pinterest you'll be able to find everything you need later on.


I LOVE your quilting it is perfect! And the binding is also perfect your niece's comment and best wishes to all for Tuesday!!


I Love your little wavy quilting. It is so befitting to this darling baby quilt! You KNOW that your next quilt is going to have to be for Apple's big sister don't you. Once Lilly see's this she will insist! Maybe you can tell her you were waiting to go fabric shopping together and make a little outing of it to make her feel extra special because even though she's excited to be a big sister her nose is going to be out of joint a little once Apple arrives. It's inevitable. As for Pinterest, I've had to start new quilt boards because my one general one is way too big and cumbersome. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started Pinning except to stay up all hours pinning like a mad woman. My family thinks I'm certifiably insane and I'm as happy as a lark. Go figure!


P.S. I just Pinned this!


Terryt1955 Lol!




I think the quilting ended up making the squares look like postage stamps. That wasn't planned but I think it's sweet. It's a rainy, dreary day here and I'm snuggling with the almost finished quilt while I work. It's my first one and I just couldn't resist. ;-)

You are definitely right about Lily. We've been planning hers for a while! All I know is her quilt must include mermaids, seahorses, and that weedy stuff in the ocean.

haha I love that you pinned it! My pinterest is:
It has mostly wedding related things for work, but I have lot of personal boards too. I really need to add some more quilting boards and organize those pins someday. Such pain to move pins around though!


Very nice quilt & I love the fabric choice! I made a baby quilt from the same line.
Your niece is very lucky to have an aunt who will make something so wonderful for her!


Love the fabric and your quilting is wonderful. I know a niece that is going to be warm and toasty. And it can grow with her. Nice job


I really love the serpentine stitching to quilt it.


Wonderful job and just darling! Just think, pretty soon you will be teaching Lily and Apple how to make heirloom quilts too!


@Laweigel - that would be so fun! I will definitely need to teach them someday.


Congratulations Auntie! Don't stress the binding. You know you could always just fold it over and do the same serpentine stitch on it to hold it on. The quilt doesn't have to be perfect, as long as it is just right, and it will be.

How early was the baby? baby


Thanks! I might have to do that!

The baby turned out to be only 33 weeks along. They had a c-section scheduled for this afternoon due to some complications. She was on oxygen for a couple hours but all is well. She's eating perfectly, and is completely healthy otherwise! :) :)


Congrats and so glad she is here and all is well!! What an awesome picture and so agree do not sweat the binding it will be wonderful no matter how you finish it:-)


Congratulations! It's a wonderful treasure of a quilt - love it all- and I have a feeling this is going to be a well loved quilt by your new niece:)


This is such a sweet quilt! Just an FYI, on my first quilt (for my grandson) I was in the same boat as you and racing against the clock. I basted the binding on fully expecting to get back to redoing it with tighter stitches. 14 months later the basted binding is still holding strong. Solike it's been said, don't sweat the binding too much!


So glad I am not the only one! I learned I loathe binding with a passion! I used my seam ripper so much that it became dull. Finally I just gave in and stitched the binding multiple times in some spots. I just couldn't do it the "right" way. Hopefully the next time around will be easier. I have been using the blanket and I barely even notice those types of things. I am sure my sister won't notice either. :)


Jessicalam...your quilt is beautiful. That's a big quilt for your first!! I to just recently finished my first quilt for my grandaughter and it was so exciting. But mine was lap size!! Your niece will treasure special. Now on to my second you. Just so much to learn along the way and I love it also. Happy sewing :)


Jessica, this is beautiful. I can;t wait to see the second one. Another quilter is born; no stopping you now. It is an addiction.


Jessicalam , your FIRST quilt is magnificent. You are a fine quilter already and look at the future you'll have with your quilting. It's lovely and I'm sure the new baby (congratulations!) will be so adorable snuggled up in it. Maybe a photo of baby and quilt to follow up the finish? Well done.


Thank you! Yes a photo of the baby on the quilt is in order! In all the excitement of the visit we never thought to take pictures of her with it. I do have a few photos of me with the baby though. I'll load those now. She is so tiny and precious. She's a month old now and still only 6 pounds! :)


What adorable pictures!! Thanks for sharing and yes next time get a picture with quilt:-)


Lovely quilt, very fresh and great use of colour placement and pattern. Congratulations on the new niece, and welcome to the quilting fold! Also congratulations on getting the quilt made before the birth of the baby - that's pretty rare!


Wow! That's an amazing quilt! I love it all, but the amount of effort you put into the backing is fantastic :) congratulations! x


Thanks everyone! :)


Hi, Jessica!
This is so amazingly beautiful. I can't wait to get home in ... 10 hours and start stitching again. ;)

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