Baby Quilt #2 and #3

 

This quilt was a fun one. Yuri’s godparents were expecting a baby girl, and I thought I had another month, but I had the due dates wrong, and so I was in quite a rush when I got the text saying she had been born, and I hadn’t even started cutting the fabric!

They told me they were decorating in a jungle theme, so I tried to stick with colors that would work for that. It’s a baby quilt, and squares are easy, but I didn’t want to do plain stripes or random placement, and I saw something similar on pinterest, so this was perfect for something that I could get together in just a few days.

I think echo quilting is great for baby quilts because it’s so fast, looks good, and keeps the quilt fluffy and soft, so I did that for this on every seam going horizontally. I didn’t want the quilting to disrupt the fabrics too much vertically, so I opted for just every other block, and it made a nice stacked brick effect. Definitely a design I will use again for future baby quilts.

I have a few designer fabrics in this one, and several solids. I have some Kate + Birdie (the orange), and some Art Gallery scraps from a scrap bundle I bought years ago (the yellow). The rest were just randoms from my stash.

The back is actually my favorite. I wasn’t crazy about Far, Far Away, by Heather Ross, but when I picked out this back for this quilt, I realized I just hadn’t found the right use for it. My local quilt shop sells this in a few different colorways, so I bought some more for future use, because it makes just the *perfect* quilt back for a baby quilt. Those unicorns are so adorable and whimsical. I kept some scraps of complete unicorns just in case I need to look at them again.
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I really apologize for these pictures. I took them quickly and haven’t bothered to edit.

This is the third baby quilt I’ve made this year, for another little girl. Mom said she’s decorating in teal and gray, and I have always wanted to make a plus sign quilt, so this was the perfect opportunity to make one. I love the plus sign quilts – they can be modern, scrappy, or all over the place, and they still look good.

Again, the fabrics that comprise this quilt are an assortment of solids (all of the grays and one blue), a few designer fabrics, and a few randoms from the stash. Quilting was simply echo quilting, and I think it works perfectly. The binding is scrappy from leftover blues I’ve got laying around, from this quilt and baby quilt #1.

The backing is a simple gray print I bought from my LQS, and even though it’s got a fancy designer name, I cannot for the life of me remember it.

 

All of the baby quilts I have made measure around 30″x36″.

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Here’s one baby quilt finished!

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My first official baby quilt! Pretty happy with this one. It’s my own design and thoroughly modern. I was able to use some of the lovely blues I seem to have a habit of collecting, but hardly ever actually put into quilts, AND got to try my hand a bit at some free motion lettering, in the child’s name.

The back
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Quilt stats –
Name: I’ve been calling it, simply, the Random Chevron Baby Quilt
Size: Small, but still cuddly and great for a baby at 30’X36″
Materials: Kona cotton, and various blue prints (I used some Tula Pink in there – that’s how you can tell I loved who it was for)
Gutermann thread for piecing and the blue quilting, and Superior Threads Bottomline thread for the quilting. Binding was done with scraps.

Celestial Star Mini Quilt – Done!

I finished! And about a month ahead of when the QAL ends, but  I was on a roll and needed to finish it before my enthusiasm ran out.

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I really like it, and learned a whole lot. It was my first paper pieced anything, and my first mini! I finally have something to put on my wall.

I love the way these corners look
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Some stats:

Completed in August 2014 for the Celestial Star Quilt Along by Fromblankpages.
18″x18″, made with primarily Kona solids and prints from my stash
Pieced and quilted with Gutermann polyester thread
I was originally going to call it something like “Diamonds in the Sky” or something, because, to me, the pattern looked like looking at a cut diamond from the top down, but then I thought the name was kind of lame, so I’m calling it “Toclafane”, from the Doctor  Who episodes at the end of season 3. You know, because that’s somehow less lame. 😀
(The Toclafane were humans who came back as little metal balls of spikes that the Master brought from the future. They had been searching for, and did not realize that they would become the “diamonds in the sky”)

This was such a great side project, since I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by my other quilt projects, AND I even won a prize, which is a first.

It’s done.

After what, two years, it’s finally done – the green, yellow and gray block of the month sampler quilt I started with a group on livejournal in 2012. I’m not going to link all the posts I talked about it on here, but you can check the tag at the bottom if you are interested in the very slow progress I made on it.

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I’m really happy with this quilt. I enjoyed doing the different blocks, and learned a great deal. I think the fabrics are fresh and summery, and I think the quilt managed to stay away from being super feminine, which was one of my original goals. The quilting I chose may make it less masculine than I intended (this was supposed to be the “boy” and the brown and pink one the “girl” of the two), but  I don’t regret any of the decisions I made.

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What I’ve learned, or how this quilt has made me a better quilter –

I need to take so much more care piecing and cutting. I had lots of oopsies that I didn’t correct both in cutting and in piecing. I am not a perfectionist by any stretch, and I’m pretty lazy, so when a mistake happens, unless it’s just terrible, I don’t go back and correct it. As a result, I’ve got a lot of chopped off corners in the blocks. I know myself pretty well, and I know that experience is really the only way I would learn this lesson (and most others). I just have to learn the hard way why some people are more fastidious with their construction techniques.

holy wonky piecing and chopped off points, batman!

holy wonky piecing and chopped off points, batman!

Anyway, so for next time the lesson is definitely follow the saying “measure twice and cut once”, and work on my 1/4″ seams.

The same could be said for my basting. I now know why pin basting on a floor isn’t a great idea, at least for me. I just could not get the fabric taut enough, and so I have some areas on the quilt where I’ve got puckering. It’s not super awful, but enough so that I do wonder if I should bother putting this up for sale. I wouldn’t want someone to spend decent money on this and see those puckers and be upset. I  know we can be our own worst judge, but I am not happy about the puckers. I don’t have a great space in my house to baste quilts, especially anything larger than lap size, but my MIL just bought a house and now has a 17’x19′ sewing studio, so I can take my quilts there to baste.

soooo many puckers

soooo many puckers

In making this quilt, I found several traditional blocks I think I love, and a few I definitely do not.  The card trick and churn dash ended up being my favorites, and I’m considering doing a quilt in the future of just one of those.

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What I’m really pleased with is the quilting. Perfect it is not, but I’m a fan of “good enough”, especially for a serious first try. I had some hiccups – I had to buy a new table so my machine could sit flush with the sewing surface because I had gravity issues, but once I did that, quilting was much easier and very enjoyable.

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I’ve taken two classes on craftsy by Cindy Needham, and she has a wealth of great quilting information on a domestic machine. I stuck with simple techniques – an easy stencil in the center of each block, a small stencil in each cornerstone, and repetitive lines everywhere else. I think the repetitive lines create enough shadow and contrast to be quite striking. My favorite are the stencils I used in the corner of each border.

I loved using this stencil.

I loved using this stencil.

Some stats:

Name: “Jun”. I started it in June. I finished it in June. It’s named after a special little boy I met (through the wonders of the internet), who died in surgery on his heart. He was just 8 or nine months old.

(P.S., if you get a chance, please check out the organization that took care of him during his time here, Little Flower Projects. They are AMAZING, and I truly love those children)
Size: 54″ x 54″
Design: Blocks sourced from Quilter’s Cache
Quilting: Bottom Line thread, 60wt, by Superior Threads, light yellow.
Favorite part: The quilting. I rocked it (for a first attempt, at least). Also, having some sort of inspiration helped me finish this, because before I decided to dedicate (at least, internally, prayerfully) these quilts to the babies in Little Flowers and Love Without Boundaries, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore, and I didn’t know if I would finish. But after the loss of some particular precious children, I used this as a way to constructively work through some feelings. If this quilt sells, part of the proceeds will go to one of those organizations.

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