Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The finished top!
This baby quilt has been a while in the making as well, though not quite as long as my previous post.  I began it at quilt retreat in November, but was unable to finish it at the time as I needed to order backing, border, and binding fabric.  Have I mentioned that I really like to use white in baby quilts of late?  I do recognize that it is not necessarily the most practical color to use for babies, but at the same time, I do associate white with babies. Perhaps it is the idea of newness and a clean slate, etc.
This pattern, Dora (which I assume has nothing to do with the television show), is from the Leisure Arts book 3 Times the Charm! by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me & My Sister Designs. This $10 book has a lot of great ideas and I have a feeling I will use it a fair amount for smallish baby quilts in the coming years.  I chose the Kate Spain line Terrain as I loved the bright colors and designs and hoped that they would be fun for both mom and baby, providing some visual interest to look at.

The pattern in the book used a setting of 5x5 blocks, but I chose to make the quilt a bit larger, with a 7x6 setting and a slightly wider border (6" versus 3 1/2") to show off the large-scale print. I hadn't realized how much of a line the border fabric had to it until I had cut the print and applied it!  My finished version of the quilt is approximately 42"x38" (book quilt finished at 30 1/2" square).

I quilted the center part of the quilt with white thread and chose a pink thread to meander with in the border.  This was the first time that I used two different threads and rolled the quilt through the frame more than once.  Needless to say, the pink thread required some tension adjustments and I had to rip out a good portion of a row of quilting after I discovered the tension issue. Note to self: check on the tension more frequently to avoid this in the future! Ripping quilting out while it is loaded on the frame is painful work (in more ways than one). In the end, I think I could have meandered the entire piece in white and it would have been fine, but I now have more confidence in my ability to do some thread changes on my frame.

This quilt is in the mail and I hope the recipients love it!  It sure feels good to be finishing up some of these projects that have been lingering on my sewing table.

Call Me Crazy!

Finished quilt with sashing between all blocks.
This quilt has been a little while in the making.  I began it in a workshop with Weeks Ringle offered through my quilt guild in May 2011.  I enjoyed being able to use some wonderful blues from my stash to crazy piece (improvisational sewing) fabric for the blocks, and working from my scraps allowed me to reflect upon and remember previous projects that used some of the same fabrics.

In the end, I didn't end up following instructions terribly closely, however.  Blocks were supposed to be trimmed to 6 1/2" square, but I made a error with my ruler, so they were all trimmed at 5 1/2" square. No big deal, right?  I further departed from the instructions provided in the workshop as the blocks were to be set side-by-side in rows and I decided I preferred to sash them all white.  Finally, I opted not to use the super-wide 7 1/2" border around the entire quilt, choosing instead a 3 1/2" border, which was closer in size to the 2 1/2" sashing strips I employed.

Quilt as pattern directed.
I quilted it on my frame in the basement, meandering over the entire piece with white thread.  Aside from running out of thread in the bobbin a couple of times, I didn't have any problems, thankfully.  I washed the quilt in Dreft after binding it and love how the cotton batting puffs up after a wash.

In the end, my quilt finished at approximately 47" x 57", a bit smaller than the napping size the pattern finished at 50" x 73"!  In my mind, it's just the right size for a baby boy and it's off on its way as of this morning.  I hope he enjoys it a lot (even if it is months late), and that his mama will let him love and play with it (yes, I do know it is white!).

Closer view of the quilting.