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My First Country Cross Stitch Quilt – A light at the end of the tunnel.

Hi Everyone

Before I go any further, I need to say I really big thank you to everyone who responded to my last couple of posts about the top 10 things I’m crushing on and the 5 things I’m yet to perfect (and things I may never!). Also, a very big hello and thank you to new and existing subscribers and followers. The responses I have received via the likes, views, new and existing readers has been something I was not expecting and all of you have helped to reassure me that I’m on the right track with the topics I’m writing about. Thank you!

Cross stitch quilt progress…

It’s been a long time coming for me to dedicate another post to my quilt. I’ve talked a little about the progress of my quilt in earlier posts, but it’s been a splash here and there.

Last weekend I was really excited about finally finishing the binding on the bottom of the quilt. For a number of weeks, I had been putting off bringing out the quilt to try and complete that part of the quilt. Initially I had wanted to have it all symmetrical, but it just wasn’t going to happen because of the way I had attached the back of the quilt to the front and how the other three sides had been attached. However, I’m happy with how I’ve finished it off now and the picture below was taken this morning and shows my current progress…

Quilt progress as of 2nd June 2019

Blue borders around the cross stitch pictures

In the above image, you may notice that some of the borders around the cross stitch pictures are looking a little thicker or symmetrical. A few months ago I had bought some more navy blue quilting fabric and I cut it into strips of about 2.5 centimetres (cm) to 3cm wide. For ages I was trying to figure out how I was going to attach the strips to borders and have them be neat and straighter than how they are at the moment. During one of my stitch ‘n’ bitch sessions, my friend reminded me about the special heat activated binding tape and that I already had some! Below are pictures of how I’ve used the tape.

Heat activated tape attached to the back of the blue fabric before I attached it to the quilt.
Mare and Foal – updated border with the heat activated tape.
Palamino with the heat activated tape.

Light at the end of the tunnel…

The good thing is that I have about 8 more borders to go! Internally I’m groaning because I have a lot more ironing to do. But it’s only 8 and if I motor along I will hopefully have it all sorted by the end of next weekend! What makes next weekend extra special, is that it’s a long weekend for many parts of Australia! We’ll be celebrating the Queen’s birthday (even though her actual birthday was earlier in the year) and for my boyfriend and I, we’ll be heading to the coast and/or celebrating my brother’s birthday!

The next question will be how to celebrate the completion of the quilt? What do you think I should do?

Until next time,

Happy stitching!

Related Posts:

To see how this quilt started out, check out my post from the 23rd February 2019.

Posted in Uncategorized

My First Cross Stitch Country Quilt

Years in the making

This quilt has been years in the making. Each picture has taken me an average of 3 months to complete, whilst working full-time and studying part time (for 6 years) and other projects in between. The pictures that make up this quilt are mostly Country Threads. The cottage and cat at the fish pond are from two different cross stitch magazines I’ve had for years. The mare and foal are a Dimensions Gold Collection kit (aka Dimensions Good Morning (Horse and Foal)).


Each picture represents an element of my family’s farm. Growing up we always had two dogs, two cats, many horses, many cows and bulls, chooks (aka chickens), ducks, geese and briefly, a flock of sheep. We’ve also had wild foxes, wombats, cockatoos (that love eating the oats and grass seeds in the round bales of hay), lorikeets, rosellas, galahs, crows, rabbits, hares, the odd echidna and once a pelican! On the farm, we also have a shearing shed that we’ve never used as an actual shearing shed. Instead, it has been a fantastic place for us to store our horse-riding gear, cattle drenching equipment, a place for chooks and ducks to hatch and raise their young, places for the cats to snooze (sleep) and catch mice and rabbits, a place to store square bales of hay, a place for the horses to shelter from the weather and mend from illness or injury. The shearing shed has also been a place for us to store bits and pieces we have wanted to store from the weather.

The creative process

For years I’ve known that I’ve wanted to make a quilt out of these pictures, but I’ve never had a firm idea of how it would look, how big it would be and how many pictures it would exactly it would have. As the pictures progressed and accumulated, I started thinking about the farm on a broader scale and the common colours they involve. Which is how I decided upon the blue and green shades you see in the pictures.

Image shows how the navy blue and lime green looks as the border and connecting pieces for the cross stitch pictures.
Choosing the colours for quilting fabric.

The closer I got to finishing the pictures and being ready to assemble the quilt, Pinterest became my best friend for all quilt related things – to the point that I created a board on Pinterest! I also decided that I would back/line the cross-stitch pictures with calico before I attached the navy blue and green borders. Below is how I attached the pictures to the calico and I made the most of the huge floor space at my parents space.

Five metres worth of calico flat on the floor with cross stitch pictures pinned to it for me to cut out and sew.
Cross stitch pictures pinned to calico.

Layout options

Once I had the cross stitch pictures lined with calico and the pictures had the navy blue borders, I had a lot of fun and stress with trying to figure out how it should be set out. The images below are just a few of the ways I had the pictures set out before I decided on the final setting…

Quilt lay out option 1. Row 1 - left to right: Mare and foal, lorikeets, rose and border collie. Row 2 - left to right: Butterflies, small cat, Palamino horse, wheat, rusty old car and galahs. Row 3 - left to right: Labrador puppy with chick, English cottage, droving cattle across a creek.
Quilt layout option 1.
Quilt layout option 2. Row 1 - left to right: Hay shed, palamino horse, droving cattle across a creek. Row 2 - left to right: cockatoos, English cottage, labrador puppy with chick.
Row 3 - left to right: Rusty car, galahs, border collie.
Row 4 - left to right: mare and foal, Lorikeets.
Layout option 2
Layout option 3
Layout option 3

Once I was happy with the layout, joining it all together with the green fabric proved to be harder than I thought it would be – mostly because I wasn’t following an official pattern and I didn’t have any specific measurements in mind. All I knew was that I wanted it to be as square as possible in the end.

Things I have learnt to date about this quilt.

To date, this quilt has taught me a lot about myself and as much as it may frustrate me, I can make decisions on the fly. Other things I have learnt include:

  • Patience when I’m frogging something (a cross stitch term I’ve recently learnt that refers to un-picking something – aka ‘ribbit’ like the sound a frog makes);
  • The amount of thread I’ll go through for the sewing machine because of the amount of frogging and because I’m not following a set pattern;
  • How heavy the quilt becomes the more it comes together;
  • Best intentions with sewing straight (including having pre-determined guidelines to follow) doesn’t always mean that I will sew straight!
  • Perfection. In quilting I’ve found the need for it is more important than ever – especially if I want things to be square and line up just so;
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way. I accept that this quilt will not be as perfect or as flat or as straight or as square as I want it to be. However, I have found that there are alternate ways to achieve what I want.

Where to from here?

Quilt progress as of 3rd February 2019.
Quilt progress as of 3rd February 2019.

Now that the quilt is reasonably square, I can now measure it up for batting that I aim to purchase soon. Meanwhile, I have purchased additional navy blue quilting fabric that I will sew over the top of the existing navy blue borders around each cross stitch picture. My aim is to have the borders as even as possible whilst trying to flatten out the quilt as much as I can. In the image above, I’ve tried to flatten it out as much as I can with no avail. To try and ensure that the borders don’t slip as I’m sewing them, my aim is to use double sided tape to hold the fabric in place. My additional aim is to sew the borders on whilst the batting is attached, to reduce any potential movement that the batting may do over time.

Once I’m happy with the borders and the batting, I’ll attach the back of the quilt and the trim/final border and it should then be finished!