My First Quilt, From Start to Finish

I said I’d never try quilting. Who cares that much about blankets? Well, I was wrong. So wrong. I love quilting. It’s like a puzzle, and I love puzzles. And surprise, I love making quilts!

I had a moment this summer where I’d had a really hectic week, finished up a major project, cleaned up my office, and then sat down in the clean empty office thinking, I want to do something completely different. Still sewing, but I want to change it up, learn and experiment.

So, I went shopping, and bought a book, Learn to Make a Quilt from Start to Finish. Actually, I’d started with Sunday Morning Quilts, for making scrap quilts, recommended in the comments of this post ‘Do You Quilt?’ But while the book is great, it expected me to know a little more about making quilts, so I bought a beginner book to start with.

And fabric.. isn’t it pretty?

quilting fabric

I love the turquoise and orange colour combo. The back is going to be navy so it won’t show dirt. Smart, right? (Maybe not.. see what you think when you see the finished quilt.) Fabric is from Spool of Thread, in Vancouver BC.

I used this quilt project as my ‘in-between’ project when I needed to keep on moving but take a break from what I was working on. A bit of a reward project – finish that, work on this for a bit to change it up, then go back to the original thing. I found it relaxing and repetitive enough that my mind was free to wander and process whatever was in my head.

The wildest thing I learned right away about quilting? You don’t match your thread when sewing pieces together!? Madness! I find this hard to believe. Both books as well as the wonderful team at Spool of Thread assured me it was the truth, but it goes against my garment-sewing nature!

The cutting part of quilting is nice and relaxing. Tidy, neat strips. Slice, slide, slice again. So far, so good.

quilting cotton strips

Next was the chain piecing – this is fast! Now I’m thinking if can I work chain piecing into my garment sewing somehow. Basically you sew two pieces together, then the next two, then the next two, all without backstitching, cutting, or stopping your line of stitching. Just keep feeding the next pair of pieces under the machine.

chain piecing

This is probably an obvious benefit to quilting but I like that I can pick super-fun, playful prints that I probably shouldn’t wear in real life. I love the paper crane print, but would I wear a dress in it? (actually, I probably would. So there’s that.. but perhaps I can get some of my print-love out of my system through quilting.) I can snuggle up with cranes on a blanket instead of wearing them. Or wear them too, why not? What I think I’m trying to say here is, if you really love a fabric but aren’t sure you want to wear it out of the house, quilt with it! (Or make Tofino Pants. They’d be lovely with paper cranes and bird feet!)

first quilt block!

Oh, my first quilt block! It’s so neat. I made that.

The whole process of quilting was completely foreign to me. But here it is: you make a block, like the above photo. And then a bunch more. And then sew them all together to make the quilt top. Here’s the quilt top in progress.

more blocks

Then you layer it with a layer of batting, and a backing, and sew through all three together. Then bind the edges and you’re done!

nice looking borders

What if you are quilting in a small space? Where do you lay out this batting and such?

laying out quilt back in the hallway

In the hallway of the office on a Sunday, that’s when! I was praying none of the people who owned these offices was coming in on the weekend. Luckily, no one did. Whew!

quilt top and batting

So then the batting goes down, and the quilt top on top.

And then you pin through all the layers.

pinning quilt top

And crawl on the floor a lot.

pinning the quilt top

Then, the fun part! You sew through all those layers. (Quilters, this is probably super boring for you to read. I was just so fascinated with the process of learning something completely new!)

I tried my hand at free-motion quilting. Wow does that ever feel foreign! If you have no idea what that is (like I had no idea before trying it) you turn off the feed dogs that help guide your fabric through, and instead you do all the pushing of the fabric, moving it around to draw shapes with your stitch lines. It is not as easy as it looks! Here is my very terrible first attempt:

free-motion quilting

(here is my sad attempt at free-motion quilting. I thought, how hard could it be? Turns out, harder than I thought. Oh this project sure helped keep me humble!)

It’s humbling to be so incredibly bad at something, when I feel so confident with regular sewing! Impatient me wants to be good at everything right away, and my ego says you know how to sew, you should be amazing at everything sewing-related! That’s so not the truth. Every new technique has a learning curve, especially one as different as free-motion quilting! So yeah. I decided to straight-line quilt my quilt.

quilting

That’s a lot of bulk to handle. When I sewed the first row I was like, how am I ever going to manage it all? It gets easier as you go as the stitching holds it in place.

Quilting is HARD. I have a new respect for quilters, especially free-motion quilters. That is hard stuff. I can’t even imagine doing fancy shapes, it was hard enough to manage my balled-up quilt and keep my lines reasonably straight! I kept bumping the stitch functions on the side.

quilting stitching

Sometimes this happened. My squares didn’t line up perfectly.. so I just followed the crooked paths.

stitch in the ditch quilting

I bought a stitch-in-the-ditch foot for the quilting but I’m so going to use this for garment sewing too!

Then I cut off the extra batting.

trim excess batting

And then the binding! I hand-sewed the binding. Used a thimble for the first time ever, because I’d made the tip of my middle finger numb by pushing the safety pins through the quilt. It helps! (And don’t worry, the next day my numb finger was just fine. But I didn’t want to do any damage so on went the thimble.) You can use the thimble instead of your fingertip to push the eye-end of the needle through the layers. After a couple of feet of binding was done, I couldn’t imagine hand-sewing without it.

quilt binding

So there’s that navy backing – you can see my white stitching lines very clearly and my stitching isn’t perfect!

quilt backing

Next time I would choose a print for the backing. Here I thought the navy was a smart choice, it would hide dirt, and solids were half the price of prints. Except you can see my crooked stitch lines! Printed backs from now on. (I’m warming up to the look of it, but when I’d just sewn two or three lines it looked bad!)

Ready to see way too many photos of the finished quilt? Here you go!

my first quilt!

I think I am just impressed with the fact that I made this quilt. I made a quilt! It feels like a real, thick, cosy quilt. I get it. I see what the point of quilting is.

my first quilt!

I love how fresh and modern it looks, even though the shape of the  quilt blocks is very traditional.

my first quilt!

It’s so awesome. I want to make more. It’s so fun to see it all come together and take shape. When it’s just pieced-together bits of fabric, it’s a little exciting, but nowehere near as cool as the finished quilt.

my first quilt!

My first quilt!

my first quilt!

Artistic folded shot:

my first quilt!

And some more:

my first quilt!

Who knew? Quilting is fun.

my first quilt!

Perfect for taking a break in the park.

my first quilt!

I promise I’ll keep sewing clothing… but there will likely be more quilts in my future!

,

143 Responses to My First Quilt, From Start to Finish

  1. Annabel Vita October 9, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    Hooray! This is so gorgeous!

    I love quilting. I’ve made three so far (two for babies, one for my mum) and am currently working on one that’s going to be ALL MINE. I’ve never made a complicated pattern like the one you made (I LOVE IT though!), but I enjoy playing around with the shapes till I get something I like. It puts my brain in a happy daze!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks! This is an easy pattern, the book tells me exactly want to do. I’m looking forward to trying a quilt where I get to play around more!

  2. Tasha October 9, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Oh it’s beautiful! I love the color combinations you chose. I haven’t succumbed to quilting, but a friend is making us a quilt and let me do a little bit of helping. I learned about chain piecing, as well as the don’t-care-about-thread-color too– mind blown! Your quilt is beautiful, and I can imagine how proud you must be of it. And now you have a quilt! To use and love and snuggle under! That’s got to feel great. :)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Oh nice! What a good friend you have. Isn’t that the craziest, thread colour doesn’t matter? What?! Except for the top threads of course. I hope your handmade quilt turns out beautifully!

  3. Sew & Sew October 9, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Great job on your quilt, love the colors!
    Maybe an art quilt could be next for your studio wall.
    If so try Winter Trees by Jane Kennedy at http://www.treequilts.com

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Thanks for the suggestion! I don’t think I have enough wall space but that is a neat idea!

  4. Erin October 9, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    I tried quilting for the first time this summer and found I love it too! I’m now on my third baby-size blanket and I’m taking a 6-week class starting next week. I guess you can say I’m hooked now. Haha! A couple tips I’ve picked up so far that might help: re-measure and trim each pieced block before sewing them together to help the corners match up better and roll up each end of the quilt to eliminate bulk at the machine. If you’re going to keep it up, you should also think of investing in a running foot for your machine as well — I love mine and have found many uses for it outside of quilting! What pattern will you try next?

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Thanks for the tips! Next I’m going to try a more modern pattern, I also bought The Practical Guide to Patchwork which has more modern designs but still lists fabric requirements as opposed to scraps.

  5. Rachel October 9, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Congrats! My mother is an amazing quilt maker… But I never had the patience! When she needs to baste a big quilt she goes down to the local fire station (my dad’s the chief) where she can stick all the large meeting tables together and climb up on ’em!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      That is awesome! I bet the firemen get a kick out of it.. and probably want quilts of their own!

  6. Hanne October 9, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    It’s adorable and fun! I like the colours you picked. Enjoy your quilt when it gets colder!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks! I will!

  7. Samantha October 9, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Lovely! Congratulations on joining to quilting world. I fell down that rabbit hole almost two years ago and had the exact same reaction as you have when I first tried it…. I realized that I had been drawn to all these prints that I wouldn’t wear but so wanted to work with. Now I can be happy making wearable garments in neutrals and solids and get my crazy on in my quilts! It felt so right when I made that discovery. Luckily for us newbies there is a ton of info out there about quilting, so have fun exploring!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Exactly! I am drawn to the wild and crazy prints, but sometimes I don’t want to be so bright and obvious with my clothing. This is the best of all worlds!

  8. Tsigeyusv October 9, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Take a look at Leahday.com and learn more about free motion quilting. She has some amazing quilt projects she’s working on and has a (free) series teaching others to free motion quilt.

    • Tsigeyusv October 9, 2013 at 6:56 am #

      Oh, and I do have to say, very nice job on the first quilt. It looks great!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Thank you for the recommendation! I’ll check it out as I would love to learn more about free motion quilting.

  9. Amy October 9, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Amazing quilt! It looks really professional,especially as its your first try! I love the colours!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks!

  10. Amanda October 9, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Oh my goodness I’m in LOOOOVE!!! It’s so beautiful, Tasia, you did a great job!!! And you are so brave for taking that thing to your machine and quilting it yourself!!! I was so scared of that with my first quilt that I hand-tied it, and to be honest, to this day I only quilt very small pieces of fabric, like a tiny baby quilt or pillows. :( But you have inspired me, I should be doing my own quilting on my machine (rather than sending it off to a long-arm quilter)!!!

    Quilting is my go-to when I need something to do to de-stress in my sewing room. I love sewing garments, but I think I worry about it too much, like the fit, and the finishes. I especially love working on a modern quilt pattern, like wonky log cabin, where I don’t have to use my ruler at all until I square up!!! It’s very liberating.

    I really hope you do post more quilting projects!!! The thing I love the most about quilts is that they are very practical pieces of art… especially in Canada, where I”m sure you’ll get a lot of use out of them in the winter-time!!!

    Congratulations on such a beautiful project. :) xo

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Thank you! I was a bit apprehensive as well.. but really wanted to see if I could do it or not. I figured I could handle the straight lines and it wasn’t too bad. It was pretty hard to manage that much fabric though! I’d love to send a quilt out to a long-arm quilter for fancy designs. Perhaps when I make a bed-size one! Did you like how they did it?

      I agree, there’s a lot to consider when sewing clothing – will it fit? does it suit my style? does it flatter me? But then again that’s half the fun, trying different patterns and fabrics and seeing if you like the end result. I love the idea of modern quilting with less of a pattern and more of a scrap approach, where you sew it up and then cut it to the proper size! That sounds very liberating, like you said.

      I will certainly post about my quilting projects! And yes, they will be super useful in Canada. It’s already quilt season and they’d be wonderful layered up in the winter.

  11. Jess October 9, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    I’m a first quilter too, in fact i havent finished quilting my first quilt, so bulky under my machine …

    However, I figured that maybe try using two different thread if the top and backing are so contrasting in color. White top and navy on the bobbin (or was it the other way around?) so the top will have the white showing and the navy will blend with the backing …
    That way you can use solid for backing or any color at all …
    Two threads color in the machine …

    Hope this helps …

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks Jess! A couple of people made that suggestion too, so that’s something to think about for next time for sure! Or use a lighter fabric on the back so the same thread looks good on both sides.

  12. Andrea_R October 9, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Go you! I actually got into sewing via quilting, many many years ago.

    Chain piecing is also done by garment manufactures so there’s a LOT of crossover tips you can pick up from quilting.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      I bet a lot of people do it the other way around like you, quilting first! It must make the 5/8″ seam allowances feel huge, after all those 1/4″ seams.

  13. sewlittletime October 9, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    gorgeous! i love the prints you chose. one day i will find the time to make a quilt!

    re the reverse side, you could have changed your bobbin thread to blend with the navy and make the stitching lines less obvious. or is there a good reason not to do that?

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      I wasn’t sure, but other commenters have suggested it as an option so it must be OK! Brianna mentioned that you might see little bits of the dark thread on the light side and vice versa, which is what I thought and why I used the same colour on both sides.

  14. Joelle October 9, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    amazing!! quilting is on my to-do list… someday, somehow, i’ll make a quilt. quilts are just too cool to not to! yours is beautiful! the colors are wonderful. you must be so proud of yourself!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you! The colours are one of the best parts, it’s so easy when they have coordinating fabric collections in stores! Easy to make them all match and look good together.

  15. Brianna October 9, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I’ve only done a bit of quilting (two quilts a few years ago), but a tip to avoid seeing your stitching on a solid backing is to use a thread that matches your backing in the bobbin and a white or lighter thread on top. So, on your quilt, you would use your white thread for the top thread and navy blue in the bobbin. It isn’t perfect, as you can see little teeny hints of the top thread through the backing and vice versa, but it’s almost unnoticeable and will hide those inevitable imperfections a bit better. :)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks! That’s what I was worried about, having teeny hints of the top thread through the backing and the same on the right side. I figured I’d be looking at the top more than the back anyways! Good to know that it’s an accepted solution to try.

  16. Shannon October 9, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Looove! I’ve been eyeing quilting sections from a distance lately, and I think this might be the push I need to actually go for it. Now I’m excited!

    I’ve basically blown up my sewing and knitting budgets this month with expensive winter fabrics and yarn for Christmas gifts, but maybe I’ll blow it up some more, because how great would it be to face November with something that awesome?

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      It would be very awesome! I think it took me about a month to make mine, from start to finish, working on other things in between.

  17. Catherine October 9, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Wow, that’s beautiful. Well done!

  18. Erin October 9, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    I meant WALKING foot. Haha!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      I knew what you meant!~ I have a built-in walking foot on my machine, there’s a little attachment behind the presser foot that hooks in place and makes it a walking foot.

  19. Jessica October 9, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Love it! I started my first big (queen) quilt last November, and I still have a few quilt blocks to go before I can even start sewing the whole mess together. Here’s hoping I’ll get it done this year with a little spurring on from seeing your beautiful quilt.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Ooh, a queen sized quilt! Good luck!

  20. Nicole_boldgoods October 9, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Great job! I’m so happy you tried. And yes – re-arranging the steps so I could chain-piece is the first thing I started doing when I went from quilting to garment sewing.

    For any readers who are interested, all the fabric Tasia used is from the Tsuru line by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cloud 9 fabrics. We quilters usually credit the designer rather than the store, as it makes it easier for others to find it.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Thanks Nicole! Thanks for the fabric information. I was thinking I should note it down in the store but it’s printed on the selvedge so it’s easy to remember.. will try to include that next time!

  21. Holly October 9, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Congratulations, Tasia! It’s awesome to see you taking up quilting! You did a fantastic job on your first quilt! Here’s hoping you keep going! Any time you want some inspiration, come on out to a Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild meeting and check out the show and tell. (p.s. I’ve been told it takes 1000 hours of free motion quilting practice before you really master it, so be gentle with yourself!).

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks Holly! I would love to come to a Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild meeting and see what everyone’s making. 1000 hours eh? I think I put in ten minutes before I decided to stick with straight lines. That’s a lot of thread!

  22. Mariana October 9, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    It looks great Tasia! I HAVE to try this sometime too! A very exciting thing to sew especially now that the weather is getting colder here :)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Thank you! It is getting to be quilt weather, that’s for sure!

  23. Beth B. October 9, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    I really enjoyed this post! I’m terrified of quilting because I’m not always very exact in my garment sewing. I also want to be good at everything right away! This post has given me the courage to at least start thinking about making a quilt, especially now that the colder months are here. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Isn’t that the way it works, we want to be experts at everything? Check out my non-matching corners, it’s probably not ideal but it still ended up as a quilt. I’m sure there are precise quilters who would cringe at my first attempt, but I’m happy with the result, and that’s all that matters. Over time we improve, the more we try and the more we learn and read and absorb information and tips. Try it! I found the squares and rectangles easier to sew accurately than the diagonals, so that’s my one beginner suggestion, aim for a design with plenty of straight lines.

  24. Qui October 9, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Beautiful quilt!! I’m doubly excited about your post because 1, I just started my first quilt in over 15 years this last week, and 2, I just discovered that beautiful crane fabric recently! It makes me happy to see it worked up in a beautiful quilt.
    I fell in love with a quilting cotton a while back, and that is the reason I’m now making a quilt–I just needed to use that fabric for something, and it wasn’t wearable. :)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      Oh yay, your first quilt too! (First in a while can count as a first all over again I’d say.) It is beautiful crane fabric. I just loved the colours. (Although I do have a lot of cut-in-half cranes all over the quilt, poor cranes.)
      I like quilting for the same reason, I just can’t wear every single awesome quilting print, and in fact I probably shouldn’t, but I can work ten different printed fabrics into one quilt and still get the joy of working with the fabric. Good luck with your quilt project!

  25. Inna October 9, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Great stuff! If you put a gun to my head and say: “Do a quilt or you’ll be dead” I’d probably be dead. It looks like some insanely amount of work! Respect!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Ahaha! Too funny. It looks so much harder than it is, I swear. It’s a lot of small steps making up one big piece. Thank you!

  26. Loretta October 9, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Oh Tasia! Your first quilt is gorgeous!!! How very lovely. You are also brave. I haven’t yet made a real quilt. I once hand pieced a baby quilt which had a printed pattern on top, and that nearly killed me off. My 80 year old mother has always wanted to make a quilt but she never got around to it. Maybe we will make a small one together. I just love the colours in your quilt.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Thank you! I once did a baby quilt with a sew-through pattern, there was a dinosaur on top and you sew around his shape to make the quilted lines. That was a pain. This I found quite fun, especially if I can make quilts from scraps of clothing, it’s a good way of using up fabric I love. The quilt might even outlast the garment!
      I love the colours, I think that’s probably key in enjoying quilting, so you love seeing the colours come together as you work. (I sure did!)

  27. Emmely October 9, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Congratulations on finishing your first quilt, it looks great! If you use a solid backing you can also choose to use a matching thread in the bobbin, that will hide crooked lines better.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      That’s a good tip! I was thinking it would look worse on the front side if I did that, probably a test sample would be a good idea and then decide from there.

  28. Jenny October 9, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Congratulations, I remember my excitement after my first quilt. One tip I found very useful – sew your binding down, then cut your batting and then finish turning your binding and sewing it on. On my earlier quilts where I cut the batting first, it does not hold well, especially it everything is not perfectly straight and square. If you sew before you cut the batting will definitely be caught in the binding.

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Thanks Jenny! That’s a good tip. Would you do that even if you have an extra 12 inches of batting, or cut some of the excess off, then sew the binding, then trim exactly?

      • Jenny October 10, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        Yes, I would trim some down then trim exactly after sewing the binding.

  29. Becky October 9, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    The quilt looks great, and I love your fabric picks! And yeah, free-motion quilting is crazy hard. I’m not much of a quilter myself, but my mom is, and she suggested it when I was recently making some placemats as a wedding gift for one of my friends. It was such a disaster–skipped stitches everywhere, some so close together that I could barely pick them out, etc. I ended up ripping out the one part I did and just drawing straight lines to follow!

    I did make one quilt, though I find that I get bored quickly just sewing squares and rectangles. So I think I’ll mostly leave that to my mom! (I should blog the quilt she made me as a wedding gift, it’s pretty amazing.)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Oh yeah, I had the same thing! Wide stitches, super densely-packed stitches, it’s just not that easy to do. Straight lines is where it’s at until I get some practice and perhaps a book on free-motion quilting!
      I like the boring-ness of sewing squares. It’s so soothing, I found. It depends on what you want out of each sewing session – a challenge? Calm repetitive motion? A finished garment? I think everything has its place!

  30. Ms. SpoolTeacher October 9, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    It’s so wonderful to have a repertoire that shows diversity, not to mention the stress reduction benefit of just doing something for fun. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I’m not a quilter (yet) either but I’m inspired now. I want to do the rag effect. If you might not be aware of Mary Adams of The Party Dress Book, she pieces for finished garments as well as other amazing tricks with basically one pattern. http://www.maryadamsthedress.com/boutique/bits-and-pieces.html Congratulations for going the distance! JoaT ST

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      I have that book! I like her use of patching and piecing, especially the bias strips. It’s great to try different things, you never know what you might like! I hope you like quilting if you try it. It is less stressful than sewing clothing, but then that may also be because I sew clothing and design patterns so it’s more work that it is pure pleasure.

  31. Angela October 9, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    The girl at the fabric store just asked me if I had tried quilting. I said no, and she looked at me like I was crazy and said I have to try it. And now you post this! I think I am going to wait, although I have a free quilt pattern from Amy Butler that looks like a bunch of flowers… Also, I read a blog about industrial sewing tips, and they said to sew in chains like that, and cut and press all at once. Been doing that ever since, love it!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Haha, I never thought I’d try quilting and here I am! Neat to know you’ve been using the chain-piecing technique for your clothing projects as well.

  32. Lynn Douglass October 9, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I think you did a fabulous job! It looks a lot better than my first quilt! I’m so glad you enjoyed the process and want to make more!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you! I did enjoy the process, very much so!

  33. colleen October 9, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I think it is wonderful! And, in quilting UNLIKE APPAREL SEWING, there can be no mistakes. I am of the position in quilter land that quilts should never be perfect. Your cat scratches a hole in your quilt? You patch over it. And so on. A quilt is made to be loved and used and slept on and under. It’s a different mindset, one that I left 3 years ago and I want to get back to, soon. It’s just that everyone keeps releasing these patterns and I keep buying apparel fabric……

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Oh good, I like your way of thinking in quilting. I’d rather make quilts that get well-loved and used than perfect art quilts that I’m too afraid to sit on!

  34. ClaireE October 9, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    What a gorgeous quilt and it looks so professional from the photos for your first attempt. I’ve only made one quilt but I keep seeing opportunities to use the technique for so many other things. I’m lining up a series of Christmas presents now. Be warned, it could become a little addictive!

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      I can totally see how it can be addictive! I feel like a whole new world of possibilities has opened up, and at the same time, I’m conscious of how much time I have and don’t have to spend on fun projects.. there has to be a balance I bet. It sure is fun to make a quilt! Have fun making your series of Christmas projects! You’re right, you can totally use the techniques for smaller projects, placemats and coasters and such.

  35. Miss Crayola Creepy October 9, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Ahhhhh it’s so cute! I am very impressed with your first quilt! You don’t want to see mine, you might throw up haha :)

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      I bet it’s great! I thought my mismatching corners were a terrible thing but they’re not so bad in the finished product.

  36. Sandra October 9, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Kudos! It looks great and thank you for posting the process. I may give it a try and would not have ever THOUGHT I would say that had it not been for your post. I’m fairly new to sewing and LOVE LOVE LOVE it but had a different idea about quilting, like it takes too much time. How much fabric did you use?

    • Tasia October 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you! It’s neat eh? It’s so different from sewing clothing. On one hand, it doesn’t have to fit! But on the other it’s a big project to make.. but then again, you can use scraps!
      I’ll look up how much I used, it says in the book but I did have a bit extra left over. I needed 5 yards for the backing but had plenty left over, and about 5 yards for the front too but over 3 different prints.
      It is faster than I thought, quilting, I thought it would be a year-long project or at least a couple of months.

  37. Jessica October 9, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Augh!!! You’re making me want to start up quilting again, haha. I love all the finished shots of it! It looks like a quilt that’s already been well used and loved. There’s something so nice about snuggling under a quilt in winter – on the couch, at a desk, in bed … really changes the mood of the room. I know I’ve said it before, but your first quilt looks amazing – congratulations on it, I do hope to see more popping up in the future! And kudos to you for tackling free motion quilting on the very first go – love the ambition :-).

    Oh yes, and I definitely chain piece when I sew garment clothing. I pretty much stack up as many seams as I can and sew them all in one go (so I tend to sew out of order from garment instructions – basically, I look for all pieces that I can sew until I have to press, and then I sew them all and press in batches. So I often sew a dress skirt and bodice simultaneously, because those seams won’t intersect until later — and when they do intersect, they’ll need to have been pressed already, so I plan ahead to maximize chain sewing and minimize ironing batches.

    I guess if I was being super efficient, I’d stack up 2-3 garments that use the same colored thread, and assembly line them accordingly … but the thought of that much cutting in one go makes me go a little cross eyed. It makes the process so much faster. I’ll also do 1-2 backstitches, not at the very end of the seam but around the 1/4″ or 3/8″ mark, if I’m worried about stitches unraveling. It’s a little bobble that goes quite quickly.

  38. Kelly October 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Very nice job! So many people get intimidated by quilting and end up with lots of pieced tops with no backing. It’s awesome that you just went for it and got it all done! And it looks great! I love doing both kinds of sewing (clothes and quilts) because when I’m bored with one I can switch to the other. Really awesome of you to go for it! Welcome to the quilting community!

  39. Chantal October 9, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Wow! Your first quilt turned out great! You’ve made me want to try quilting!

  40. Alexandra October 9, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    This is SOOOO PRETTY!!

    I’ve also said that I’d never quilt, but I reckon it’s only a matter of time! When I see gorgeous quilts like this I feel compelled!!

  41. Reyna Lay October 9, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    It looks so wonderful! I am about to start my first quilt! My 94 year old neighbor is teaching me and boy does she make it look easy. I hope it looks okay. Yours looks great! I’d want it for myself :)

    -Reyna

  42. Heide October 9, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    It is beautiful! I love your color combinations.
    Quilting is very much like sewing in that once you know the basics (i.e. piecing, layering, quilting the layers, binding) you can really go wild and do just about anything!

    Isn’t it fun to learn something new?!

  43. knottygnome October 9, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    congrats on your first quilt! it looks great. solids are definitely less forgiving of mistakes. i learned that lesson well very recently.

  44. Sylvie October 9, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Well done! You did a great job for a first quilt!
    I started sewing to make a quilt for my baby, 8 years ago, and I make several quilts since.
    I now make sew clothes for the whole family, but I still find quilting easier. It is funny to read that you think the opposite ;)
    What I like in making quilts is the possibility to use many many different fabrics, and of course, that the result will not have to fit. I mean, it all has to stay flat, and it is easier.
    Anyways, I am happy to see some quilts in a “sewing” blog, because for some strange reason the sewing and the quilting communities don’t have much in common.

  45. Amy October 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Yay! I’ve been doing the same thing – working on a quilt slowly in between bigger projects, but I haven’t gotten to the finished quilt yet. Good for you! And, it’s also good to hear your humbling story about free motion quilting. I’m not there yet, but I thought it would be easy enough – I now know otherwise!! Anyway, gorgeous quilt. I hope find a reason to enjoy it often!

  46. Jen October 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Very timely post! I am making my first quilt right now and am super excited about it. Thankfully, the recipient is a baby who won’t care about my mistakes.

  47. Marie October 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    This is so beautiful Tasia, well done for conquering such a steep learning curve! My first ever attempt at something like this was a patchwork tablecloth for my mum and that was hard enough even though it wasn’t technically quilting, didn’t include any wadding…etc! So I totally get how hard real quilting must be!

  48. Rachael-Lynn October 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    It’s Sew cute! Love it! I am a quilter, fashion sewist, and knitter as well. I always seem to make delightful quilt tops which are like queen sized and when I start machine quilting them I say “i’m never doing another big quilt again!”! And yet, I have one right next to me! But your sewing machine likely has a larger throat which is always helpful. Someday, I will be able to afford to send mine off to be professionally quilted (so nice, but so expensive!) Welcome to the world of quilting and more projects in your queue!!!

  49. Diane @ Vintage Zest October 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    So beautiful! I love the look of quilts, but they’re just not practical here in Southern California, much like knitting and crocheting. Although I would love to utilize both more often, it’s just not needed here 90% of the time! Besides, it looks like tons of work!!!

  50. Joanna October 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Fabulous. You have inspired me to have a go at making a quilt! Not something I had ever imagined doing, but I am now already deciding what fabrics to use!!!

  51. SewSleepy October 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    very beautiful and I love your colour choices too. Are you planning anymore soon? It looks super cosy

  52. Sandy October 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Here is a tip if you want to camouflage your white thread on your backing. Use a permanent
    Ink (sharpie)pen and color the thread. I did this on the front side of a purse I made for my sister that had pink and brown fabrics. I used pink thread, then when the purse was finished, I colored in the pink quilting design that was one the brown fabric with a brown pen and it all looked very professional as if I had sewn with 2 colors of thread when I quilted. I have also used the pen in places where my quilting was rather “wonky”, to fool the eye. You did a great job with your quilt. one of the first rules I learned in quilting was, there are no rules, only adventures! Be brave and experiment!

  53. Fiona M October 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    It’s lovely! And you are way too self critical.
    I hope you are feeling much better now, but next time you fall sick you can wrap yourself in your beautiful quilt to recover!

  54. Sandy October 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Oh, don’t forget to put a label on the back of the quilt. Name, date, and where it was made. Put your maiden name in too. Good for documenting the quilt in the years to come.

  55. Sylvie October 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    I LOVE it! I’m also skeptical about how much I would like quilting. Now I can see how rewarding the end result is!

  56. Melissa October 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Your quilt looks great! I finished my first quilt earlier this year (just in time for my baby’s arrival) and for some decided to make it twin size and freehand it. It was such a learning experience.

    I am now working on my second. It is also teal and orange! It is also going to be a hexie quilt…all hand sewn…so far I like the hexies better since I can work on it for 5 minutes or for hours and I can do it anywhere.

    have fun with your next quilt; I look forward to seeing it.

  57. Krista October 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I’m an occasional quilter. I find free motion quilting goes so much more smoothly after a glass of wine ;-) I do so much better when I’m more relaxed. You just have to be careful not to sew through your finger!

    Also, my mom has a fancy quilting sewing machine and it has super precise speed control. The needle automatically goes up and down in time with how quickly you’re moving the quilt. It makes a huge difference and her quilts are so much more professional looking than mine.

  58. Sue October 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Like you, I quilting hasn’t appealed to me, but oh my goodness, I am so blown away by what you’ve done. I think I might buy the book and have a teeny go at this. Your stitching looks pretty jolly good to me, much better than mine would be.

  59. K-Line October 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    What a beautiful job. You should be really proud!

  60. Claire October 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    Congrats Tasia for your quilt! This is impressive, I can’t believe this is your first one! Beautiful work.
    I am exactly like you, I said I’ll never quilt. But since my mother-in-law offered us this gorgeous quilt (old style) she made, I am starting to change my mind… Good to read you had fun! :0

  61. Pauline October 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    What a fantastic job. And big respect to all those free motion quilters. I still find it challenging but maybe it’s the fact I am a perfectionist and need lines and structure to follow! Maybe I will succeed one day too. I am just finishing a wall quilt for Christmas from a blog called As Sweet as Cinnamon. It’s called Frosty Flakes and has quilting and embroidery elements. I have made it in modern colours and it should really pop. All the best with your future quilting escapades.

  62. Mary October 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Good job Tasia, it’s lovely. Very impressive that you have taken up quilting along with everything else you do. I am pretty sure I will hear fewer negative comments about me buying “small pieces of fabric”. As for thread choice, you can definitely have one colour on top and one in the bobbin. Unless your machine tension is perfect it is best to choose the threads that are as close as possible in value (light and dark). If you are using white on the top going with a medium value blue for the back may have worked well. The closer in value the less show through from the other side. Made that mistake once which required a lot of picking out and do not want to do it again.

  63. mokosha October 10, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    beautiful! i tried quilting earlier this year, and i loved it so so much! it was only a baby quilt, but your version inspired me to try making a regular size one

  64. Adrienne October 10, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    You never stop impressing me! I must admit that your post really warmed me to the idea of making a quilt one day, although for the moment my first priority after learning tailoring is to learn to knit!

  65. Jane October 10, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    That quilt is lovely – congratulations on your first finish! I just learned to quilt in the last couple of years, and am still fairly novice at it, so this post is just a lovely read. It’s so nice to watch someone else discover a new craft and fall in love with it. Hopefully we’ll see more quilts in the future.

  66. Mary October 10, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Another thought. You could have chosen an aqua thread for the front and a medium value blue for the back again lessening the amount of contrast between the threads. If the threads pull through a bit they will be far less noticeable.

  67. Carolyn October 10, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Way to go! Your quilt is beautiful! You’re in trouble now though, quilting is terribly addictive. Also, I had to laugh when I read your comment about chain piecing – I totally do that when garment sewing. It was a big time saver when I was working on my robson coat, with all those pieces and topstitching.
    Oh, and piecing your blocks together is a great opportunity for using up random colors of thread. Whenever I’m piecing blocks I make a point of using up bobbins that are filled with a thread color I might not use again soon. I don’t have lots of extra bobbins for my machine, so this helps me keep a few empty for when I need to wind a new color for some other project,
    One last thing – I saw that someone else had posted a tip about binding, so here’s mine: after you’ve sandwiched the layers together, and before you stitch on the binding, try serging around the edges of the quilt. It helps keep the edges together neatly for sewing on the binding, plus you can use the blade on your serger to trim off any extra batting or backing. I learned that tip from a long arm quilter, and I’ve been using it ever since. I think it really helps my binding come out neater.
    Happy quilting! I look forward to seeing your future projects!

  68. Carrie October 10, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    You have given me the courage to try quilting – thank you!

  69. Helen Peemoeller October 10, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I have been chain stitching garment pieces for years. I do a back stitch or two at he beginning and end of each seam. Not only does this save time,it also saves lots of thread.
    I am so taken with garment sewing that I have never considered making a quilt, but perhaps I shall reconsider after reading your blog. I may start to save all my cotton scraps instead of giving them to a quilter whom I know. Does anyone have suggestion what do do with true scraps? Your quilt and your comments are truly inspiring.

    • Carolyn October 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Try making a crazy quilt with your scraps! I actually save all my scraps of any fabric to make these with. You don’t need a pattern or anything, and it doesn’t really matter what size or shape the scraps are. There’s a good wikipedia article on crazy quilting if you need more info.

  70. Yoshiko October 10, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Wow, your quilt is so beautiful! The composition is balanced, yet really vibrant. I love it! I’m glad that you gave quilting a try.

    If you’re looking for some quilting reference books, I would recommend anything by Elizabeth Hartman and Denise Schmidt.

    I made my first quilt 8 years ago, and just fell in love with the craft. I naturally gravitate towards colors and geometry, so it was a good fit. It’s like figuring out a big puzzle. The downside is that quilting took over clothes sewing for me. Hence, you inherited my collection of vintage sewing patterns. I’m happy that they’ve found a good home.

    Kudos to you on your many talents, Tasia!

  71. Roswitha October 11, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    It’s a gorgeous quilt. Beautiful colors and fabrics. – It’s wonderful to take a walk on your great blog.
    Have a nice day and take care
    Roswitha

  72. RobinD October 11, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    What a pretty quilt! I can really relate to your experience, as I just started quilting, too. Right now my house is set up to be sold, and my entire sewing room is packed away in a storage unit. I just can’t wait to get moved and I feel like my first project will be a simple quilt similar to this. It will be happy and cozy and easy and fast. Then back to dresses!

    • Tasia October 11, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Good luck with the move! I can’t imagine packing up my sewing room and not being able to sew.. I suppose I’d do a lot of planning and sketching and list-making.

  73. Jessica October 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Tasia, this turned out really well for a first quilt (you should see mine :/)!! It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered quilting myself, so it was fun to read along with your process. As always, thanks for sharing!

  74. Caitlin October 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    This is wonderful! The colors you picked are simply gorgeous. The projects I’ve mainly worked on are quilts, but now I’m learning to sew garments. So, it’s really fun to see someone who did the transition the other way–garments to quilts!

  75. Sarah October 13, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Love the quilt and it looks great! Hard to believe it is the first one that you ever made. I really want to make a quilt but it looks so complicated.

  76. Lori W October 13, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Love your quilt! Well done, Tasia!!

  77. Kelly October 13, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    It’s so pretty! I love a the cozy feel and look of a quilt. My mom’s a quilter and we made a wounded warrior quilt together a couple summers ago, but I have yet to venture into quilting myself. With all the babies starting to pop up in my circle, though, I may need to!

  78. Mary October 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Beautiful, Tasia! I actually really like the white on blue of the back. It reminds me of sashiko, which fits with the Japanese style of Rashida Coleman-Hale’s fabric. I love that crane print from Tsuru. I saw the line made into little girl clothes on Rae Hoekstra’s blog and I loved the navy version so much I had to buy it immediately, even though I’m not a quilter. (I ended up making it into a nursing cover.)

    I’ve made just one quilt, and I knew so little at the time that I cut out every single triangle by hand with dressmaker’s shears. Ooof. At least it was a baby quilt. As you can imagine, my blocks didn’t line up and it took forever, but once I was done I was SO proud.

    Your joy is infectious. Perhaps I will make another quilt!

  79. Carol October 17, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Oh this was a really inspirational blog. I too have always eyed quilting from afar…. I’m afraid I’ll end up with quilts that nobody wants. But the relaxing side of it as a break from stressing about fit does appeal… l feel like that about knitting too. Good for when you lose the sewing mojo temporarily. Thank you so much for doing such a picture heavy, assume nothing blog. I have a few questions, what is the batting made of, wool or polyester? How warm are they? Do you think they would be quite strong?

    • Tasia October 17, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks! I’m so glad it was inspiring, it was a lot of fun to try out a new type of project! And who wouldn’t want a quilt? I’d like a few for my house and then they’ll make nice gifts for milestone birthdays, new babies, housewarmings, and other worthy occasions to people who might like one.
      Batting can be either wool or cotton or polyester, or a mix. I used a 100% cotton batting. Wool would be warmer but likely more expensive, polyester is puffier like a comforter. That’s all I know about batting so far but everything I learn, I’ll write about here!
      This quilt lives on my couch now and it’s held up to a lot of lounging, before that I used it in the park as a park blanket. So far, it’s holding up well!

  80. Rashida C.H. October 19, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    How fun that your first quilt is made with my fabric! Congratulations! It’s so pretty! Well done! ^_^

  81. Peggy October 20, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Tasia, I love your quilt! I am a quilter that is now a beginning garment sewer. A crazy way to have something in common. I wanted to tell you that you kept mentioning your stitching wasn’t perfect. It’s hard to be a perfectionist and a sewer of any kind, but there is no such thing as the “Quilt Police”! I didn’t read every comment, but my first didn’t look quite as nice as yours! Don’t try to be perfect, these very small imperfections are what make our quilts so special to the people we share them with. It is a singular unique creation and there will never be another like it. That is what is so different comparing quilting to garment sewing! Enjoy your creations! I am trying to be patient with myself learning garment sewing….I don’t think there is “Garment Police” either right? Haha! Thanks for all your inspiration….

  82. christy October 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Your first quilt is beautiful! Great JOB!
    Oh you must try hand quilting at least one time! Do it on a baby quilt or something small. It’s very relaxing and nearly a lost art! I have wanted to try free motion quilting lately though! Thanks for sharing sew much of yourself!

  83. Danielle October 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    I love your fabric choices! The quilt looks amazing — you’re so talented.

    I’d love to work my way to a quilt someday – I’m not quite confident in that just yet!

  84. Lyric November 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Good job!

    I started my first quilt yesterday and i a quite excited. I seriously need to get a better digi cam. Your pics are so crisp and the colors are lovely. I will be blogging about it along the way;

    Lyric
    http://www.sewandcro.com

  85. Rachael Martin January 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Tasha! I meant to comment when I saw this a few months ago (too late even then). I learned to quilt on my own, so I just wanted to let you know that I used Harriet Hargraves “The Art of Classic Quiltmaking”. It really helped me, since I had no idea what I was doing. And I still reference it, as I really don’t make quilts more than once every few years!

    One thing I enjoy about quilting (well, I guess just sewing in general) is that you can always challenge yourself. Each quilt is a little more complex than the last. I will say, though, that I have to keep putting it down for a while, as it can take a very long time to complete, and sometimes I need some more instant gratification! Still, I’m so very excited to pass the quilts down to family members and loved ones (one size fits all!).

    • Rachael Martin January 9, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      So embarrassed that I spelled your name wrong! Sorry Tasia!

  86. Genie January 9, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    What book did this pattern come from. Love the simplicity and the tumble of the blocks.

    Thanks
    Genie

  87. Emily January 17, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    This is SO cute! I’m working on my first quilt to bring to college, and I’m so inspired.

    If you’re just doing straight-line quilting, do you need a special foot? That’s what I’m planning for mine, but I don’t know if I need it.

    • Tasia January 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      I used a regular foot, but my machine has a built-in walking foot function. If yours doesn’t, then you might want a walking foot to make sure both layers feed evenly through the machine. (Not an expert by any means though, that’s just what I have read!)

  88. Debbie May 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Love Your Quilt!
    Have a question for you or for any of you that would know… I’m attempting to make a quilt out of cloth calendars! My grandmother gave them to my aunt from 1960 to 1992! My aunt wanted to see if I could quilt a queen size quilt with them! The calendars are about 11×14 some 11 x 21. Their are about 22 cloth calendars!
    My question is should I cut them all in strips or try sewing them together with out taking out the print on them?
    Any suggestions?

    • Tasia May 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

      Hi Debbie and thanks for the comments on my quilt! I have no idea how you would make a quilt from cloth calendars. This was my first ever quilt and I followed the instructions to the letter! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful and good luck :)

  89. Julie BC May 22, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    Just read your blog on your first quilt. I have made a couple of quilts myself but only now feel brave enough to get a website and start blogging. It was great to see how you did a start to finish summary instead of just showing the beautiful finished product.

  90. Georgeann September 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Awesome post! I have piles of old Army uniforms, and for years, my husband and I have been discussing how we will turn them into quilts for the kids. Since we haven’t found anyone who has the time to make quilts for us, I was thinking of just learning to quilt on my own. But I’m NOT a sewer! I will definitely read your blog for advice, and hopefully I have what it takes to be a quilter!

  91. Rachel October 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m making my first quilt (Doctor Who), and the people at Jo Ann said to try tie quilting. Instead of making stitch lines to hold it all together, take pieces of yarn and make cute pom poms to hold it all together. I don’t know how many quilts you’ve made since then, but just to make it a little easier. :P

  92. Monette Cabrera October 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    Hi Tasia,

    I read your blog about this first attempt to quilt on your own. I just love it and enjoyed reading at the same time!
    I’m a newbie into quilting actually, but my youngest sister was the one who encouraged me in doing so!
    While reading this blog, I can’t help but nod at the postings because it’s the same feeling I felt upon doing my very first quilt bedcover for my son!

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Best regards to you and more quilting days…

  93. Cindy May 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi. I found your blog about quilt looking for navy teal and orange material to make a baby quilt.
    I am interested in the print on the white background that looks like rows of navy teal and orange. It would be perfect to bring all the other single colored pieces together. Can you give me any assistance in how I could locate some? I am only looking for 1/3 to 1/2 a yard.
    Thank you.

    • Tasia June 1, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      Hi Cindy! I bought it at a local shop called Spool of Thread, here in Vancouver, you could try contacting them and see if they still have it in stock. Other than that, I’d check with your local quilt shops, someone may be able to recognize it by a photo and know if they have it or can order it for you!

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