Are you intimidated by all the beautiful pictures of quilts you see on the internet?
Do you think you can only make a quilt if you do it perfectly?
I have a tendency to take myself too seriously and it can hold me back from trying new things or completing projects. "Perfectionist" has been coming up a lot in my life lately, and I've decided it's not something I want to take with me on my quilting journey any longer.
Perfectionism shows up in my quilting life in a few ways. It can stop me from even starting a project. My mind will tell me I don't know what the next perfect project should be or I don't know the perfect fabric to use for a project. The combination of needing something to be perfect and the resulting thought of "I don't know" will stop me in my tracks. The fear of not quilting a finished top *perfectly* paralyzes me. The quilt top will sit unfinished waiting for me to get over myself. The funny part is, the only way to get better at something is to do it, so wanting to be perfect actually stops me from becoming better - irony at it's finest!
And instead of having FUN with a quilting project, I lament over the details and create nothing.
I needed to free myself from the grips of "perfect" and have a little fun. This quilt was a wonderful antidote to my mind's attempts at perfection!
No Ragrets is an ode to a character in the movie "We're the Millers". He tattooed "No Ragrets" on his chest, not realizing it's misspelled. No ragrets - not even a letter. You can watch a clip on YouTube here if you've never seen the movie.
The pattern I used is Letter Board Quilt pattern by Melissa Mortenson. I love this pattern! It's precut friendly, easy, goes together quickly, and the possibility for different sayings is endless! I will definitely be making more quilts with this pattern.
The pattern includes the whole alphabet so you can create any words or phrases you want. If you want to save time on cutting, use 2 packs 10" white squares and fat quarters or another 10" stacker of printed fabric for the letters and clamshells.
For my quilt, I used a fat quarter bundle of Pirate Tales by Echo Paper for the clamshells and 1/8 Black Stripe basic for the letters. I backed the quilt with Moonscapes in Jet from Dear Stella and added a pop of red by binding it with Riley Red solid fabric from Riley Blake Designs.
I want to say one thing about fat quarters bundles - BUY IT! Sometimes bundles can seem expensive, but if you love the collection, buy the whole bundle! I used the Pirate Tales bundle for this quilt and for two nap quilts for my boys. You can do so many things with a fat quarter bundle. It goes a long way!
Even though the pattern is super easy to understand, I made some mistakes along the way. I'll share them with you so you don't make the same ones!
Tip 1: When cutting out your fabrics for the clamshells, pay attention to directional fabric. I didn't, but no ragrets here. Some of the pirates ended up sideways and others were upside down. Lesson learned!
Tip 2: For the applique letters, don't iron your Heat N Bond to the right side of your fabric. Here's a picture of the WRONG way to do it:
Tip 3: The Letter Board Pattern has 6 lines of 6 letters each. Check the letters in your phrase before you start! For instance, Ragrets has 7 letters so it won't fit on the line. (Yes, I failed to check before I did it. No Ragrets.)
Once my top was finished, I spray basted it and pinned it in place. I stitched in the ditch along the row seams to keep everything in place. For the clamshells, I did organic waves across the quilt since I get an ocean vibe when I think of pirates.
I consulted my favorite book, Walk: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering for inspiration on quilting the letter board portion of the quilt. I decided to go with organic lines echoing out in each quadrant. I was really happy with the way it turned out.
And I have no ragrats.