Saturday, February 28, 2015

My first ever quilt: Jeff's Packer Blanket

Last month when Jeff was in Valdez for a week, I spent two and a half days making this:
aaaand I just realized that Jeff is holding the blanket side-ways...  oh well!
This picture is taken in our yard, to the East of the house.  Jeff is standing in the walkway (dug into the snow)
that leads to the fuel tank so when they come out to fill up they don't have to wade through a few feet of snow.

Yep, it took me a whole month to go and take photos!  It's well-used by now; Jeff has slept under it each night since I gave it to him.  It's layer #4, and he claims he's still cold.  Well, I guess I've got my work cut out for me if I need to make enough blankets to keep him warm!

taken at the edge of our "driveway", on top of 5 months worth of piled up snow!

This is actually the first ever thing I've made!  Everything else has been things like fixing jeans, or starting a project that was never finished.  I don't have a lot of sewing experience; my high school Home Ec class consisted of making a sweatshirt.

So when I saw this Packer flannel I knew that I wanted to make Jeff a blanket!

(Okay, blanket or quilt?  I didn't do any piecing, but I did sew 3 layers - top, batting, bottom - together.  I look at it and my brain says "blanket" but the dictionary says "quilt")

I have a beginner sewing machine, which means there is not a whole lot of room for stuffing a quilt through it.  It was, ahem, a pain in the ass.

this was the easy part - adding the binding.
This is pre-wash; can you tell the difference in the fabric from the other photos?
And as I was sewing this thing, I thought to myself "Never again!"

But then, as I was putting on the binding (black blanket binding), I started to get really excited, and really proud of myself.

And when it was finally done, I knew that it wouldn't be the last!  I don't have a great place to work on quilty stuff, but I know what I want to work on next, and I have a pretty solid idea in my head of what I'm going to make, I just need to cut!

A little more info:

  • The flannel is from Joann Fabrics, and man did it fade and pill the one time I washed it.  It also had to have shrunk at least 6 inches in each direction.
  • It now measures about 5 feet square.
  • I used 4 yards each of the top and back fabrics.  For the front, I cut that into two 2-yard pieces.  Then, one of those was cut again.  I then took those narrow pieces and, matching up the pattern, I sewed them to the outside of the wide piece.  You can see if you look closely, but obviously not visible if you're not looking for it.
  • I used high-loft polyester batting.
  • I'm scared to try actual binding, which is why I used blanket binding.  It did allow me to use a decorative stitch, which I LOVE, and just might use on the next quilt too...

linked to 


  1. Pretty good for a 1st attempt. You'll make more.

    1. Thanks Mom! I can't wait to show you in person!

  2. You did a great job! I'm so proud of you! You jumped right in! It looks very cozy!
    BTW, next time you might want to try cotton will be warmer and not as bulky.
    I can't tell from your you have a "walking" foot on your machine?[pla]-(ho)&ref=DF4rcI_udU6GfakKSQwtHg&kpid=3369571

    They make straight-line quilting a breeze!
    Can't wait to see what else you whip up!

    1. I do believe that I have a walking foot that came with the machine - it came with LOTS of feet. foots? feet?
      I have 2 yards of an argyle flannel that I want to make into a baby* blanket/floor mat/whatever, sewing on the diagonal lines. I'll use the walking foot for that so I can get a feel for it.
      Then I'm going to whip something up using some fabric I put on Instagram (to get opinions). You should be on Instagram. There is lots of quilty goodness out there.

      Also, Thank You! Getting a compliment on a quilt from a long-time quilter like you is definitely a compliment! I still wish I could just come to your house for a week for you to teach me how to really quilt...

      I do have cotton batting also. I used the poly because Jeff likes "fluffy" quilts, and I though the poly high loft would give it that.

      *The church is putting together a donation basket for the Pregnancy Center, so I would have someone to give a baby blanket to and not have to worry about gender or style preference of the parents...

  3. It's wonderful!!!!
    A few tips: Go to and take their course "quilting big projects on a small machine", you'll love it. I also took "walking foot quilting" with jacquie Gering (sp).
    i am so sorry about your Joann's flannel. It is always that way with their flannel! But they do have some here in town, in the quilt shops, but you can also get it very cheaply and much better quality, online. Moda make many wonderful flannels. I almost exclusively use wool batting in my AK quilts. It washes like a dream, and is so warm, yet light. Again, online is your best source.
    I cant wait to see what you make next!!!!

  4. Nice job! I love it, and of course Larry wants to know where his is... Thanks a lot, I guess I need to get busy really organizing/cleaning up my office/sewing room...
    Isn't if fun and gratifying to get the project done? I'm always so excited when it's finished and I can finally give it away to whomever it's meant for!

  5. What a wonderful first project - I'd call it a quilt as it has three layers (top, wadding, back) which have been stitched/secured together. I think this makes this your first quilt - congratulations!!

  6. Another suggestion...always prewash flannel so that it doesn't shrink up as much afterward!

  7. Fabulous! I hope you did a happy dance - you should be proud of yourself! Creating beauty and function...doesn't get any better than that. I used to live in the Yukon so am speaking as one sourdough to another. Popping over from A Fresh Sewing Day. :)

  8. Well done, it looks a wonderfully cosy quilt! A quilt is a quilt as long as it has three layers, no matter how much piecing (or not) goes into making the top. There is always more to learn about making quilts, but the main thing is just go for it and ENJOY! And quilters are generally very helpful, so if you're not sure, ask around.

  9. I'd say this is definitely a quilt, and a great first attempt. I promise that my first quilt didn't look half as good. And as a fellow Packer fan, it can't help but look great! A Packer quilt is the only one my husband has ever asked for. Still hasn't gotten one, but it gives him something to look forward to. :)

  10. Great job on that quilt! I used to be afraid of binding, but now there are so many videos and tutorials on them that make them so easy.

  11. CONGRATS on your first quilt! How awesome. Go pack go!

  12. Congratulations on your first quilt. It looks great.

  13. That looks awesome! And so comfy and warm!
    I'm waiting on my sewing machine I ordered from Amazon....would love to try a quilt, but I think I need to start with something small first. :)