Amy Butler Lotus Quilt (My First Quilt!)



This is my first quilt (I’ve never even quilted a coaster or ‘mug rug’!). I took it off my sewing machine 2 minutes ago and wanted to jump around and start dancing!! It was definitely a monster project, but I’m so glad that I made it!
I used the Amy Butler Lotus quilt pattern, which I thought looked uncomplicated for my first outing. When I sewed the front of the quilt together, it was so sweet and fun. You can see my progress for this quilt in my previous blog posts for days zero, one, two, three, and five.

Fabric – This quilt took 198 squares, and I used fabric scraps that I’ve had shoved in a drawer for the past 4 years. I used each fabric once or twice, so it truly is a random work of art. These are all fabrics that I have used and loved over the years, and since I’ve had them for a bit, some of them are discontinued or hard to find. Besides the scraps, I purchased a yard of Alexander Henry Diamond Eye fabric for the binding; I love how the black and white pulls all the colors together. I used 4 yards of blue Kona cotton for the back, and Fairfield 80/20 twin quilt batting for the middle.

Illustrations/Instructions – Amy Butler’s instructions are most always easy to follow. It was only one page of instructions, since you’re mostly just sewing squares together, but I also appreciated the diagram showing how to connect the rows together.

Since this was my first attempt at quilting, I had no prior knowledge of what to use or how to do it. I consulted my sewing friends Kim, Amy, and Monique to answer my gazillion questions, and I also watched some videos on YouTube on how to sew the quilt binding to the quilt. My biggest difficulty was attaching all my layers together with the spray baster, and you can read my full headache on Day 5 of my progress (I don’t want to relive it, lol). Thanks so everyone who offered so much helpful advice on my blog!!

The actual quilting took me a very long time. I used a pink thread in my needle and a blue thread in my bobbin (to match the backing). I feel like the two different threads gave it more coordination, as the front of my quilt had a majority of pink in the squares. In addition, when I cut the quilt binding, I used the cross grain and cut 4″ strips (for double-fold bias). I wanted to make a thicker boarder in order to show more of the design of the border, as well as my main reason: I thought that a thicker boarder might hide any little design flaws I might run into (such as the batting/backing not being exactly straight from my ‘wonderful’ basting job).

Also, the quilt pattern called for the quilting to be done in stitch in the ditch. I had several people suggest I sew 1/4″ off each seam, which I did for the vertical rows. When it came to my horizontal rows, the squares were not perfectly aligned (it’s a brick pattern, but the imperfection was not that noticeable), so I sewed a straight line every 5 inches (as seen below). I think it turned out fine. I’m not a perfect sewer (ever).

Conclusion – I loved making this quilt pattern. The design was easy enough to build my confidence at the beginning to get me through all the tough spots in between. I definitely give credit to those of you who make quilts all the time…this was definitely a huge project, and I don’t know how you do it! I promise that I will make another quilt in the future, but for now I’m back to sewing some more clothes and handbags. :-)

P.S. I’m posting this, my first quilt, for Quilt Festival. Please stop by and check out all the other quilts! And if you’re visiting my blog from the Festival, please leave me a comment with any helpful nuggets that I can take and use for my quilting future. Thanks! :-)

33 thoughts on “Amy Butler Lotus Quilt (My First Quilt!)

  1. Wow, you jumped right in with this quilting thing! Good for you!!! You have great enthusiasm for a wonderful hobby. I enjoyed hearing about it in your post.

  2. Wow, Sara. I can not tell you how incredibly impressed I am with you for going at this full force and getting it done! It looks so darned good! I love that you used all “scraps”; what a great way to hang on to all those fabrics you have loved!

  3. Congratulations on a beautiful finished quilt. It’s so bright and cheerful, and has issued you into a world of having comfort in your crafting !
    It’s so great to be able to snuggle up in these fabrics that you love, warmed by not only the quilt, but the memories too !

  4. first quilt??!!! WHAT?? Are you lying?? it looks too good for your first quilt! Im so glad you quilted 1/4″ off seam…Its sooo much easier than trying to stitch in the ditch and is quick and lots of fun!! xx Looks amazing!

  5. Wow! Love this quilt and all the colors! It is a great first quilt. I’ve only made 3 (well, 2 are complete and one is almost done.) I look forward to reading your blog. :)

  6. This is a great quilt. Are you sure it is only your first? It looks wonderful and the quilting looks great too. Love all the colour. I hope you make many, many more.

  7. Congratulations on finishing your first quilt- It is a very happy looking quilt with lots of fun fabrics and bright colors. I bet you smile every time you look at it.
    You did a very nice job of quilting it. I hope that it is the first of many more quilts to come- when one gets the bug for it, it is hard to resist VBG…
    Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
    Anna

  8. I am so excited for you!! I still look lovingly at my first quilt even with all its flaws and weirdness! Yours looks wonderful and it got done just in time for some chilly weather! Thanks for the reminder about the Quilt Festival, I better go link up!

  9. fun and vibrant quilt and so nice that you got it done in time for the quilt show. nice you were willing to work so hard and just try it!! thanks for sharing and have a great day

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