In my effort to get caught up on baby quilts (and get it sent out with the long overdue quilt in my last post), I decided to make the quilt for this baby boy very simple. Two half yard cuts of the green animals (by Eleanor Grosch, one of my favorite illustrators / surface pattern designers – still available some places) separated by strips of blue (from Connecting Threads).
The problem is that even simple quilts have to be basted and quilted! Quilting a baby quilt doesn’t take long and isn’t a dreaded part of the process any more (yay for my vintage Bernina 830!), but I always procrastinate on the basting piece, and then the quilting falls to the end of the queue behind several other projects. This almost-whole-cloth design was fun, though, for trying out a couple new to me designs, along with my favorite meandering loops. I thought the zig-zags looked a little like grass for the animals to be hiding in.
When I was done I realized that I had left the feed dogs up this time, but it didn’t seem to make the quilting any harder. I just had to make sure to slow down how fast I was moving the quilt when the stitches started getting too long. I backed this one in a solid green (Kelly from Connecting Threads) that shows off the different quilting stitches well.
I originally had this fabric set aside for a top for myself (AMH Good Folks), but when I pre-washed and realized how stiff it would be and that I wouldn’t get anything cute out of 1 yard of quilting cotton, I set it aside for awhile. I like it better as a baby dress, anyway! Totally not the regular cutesy baby girl print (and hopefully the stiffness won’t be too uncomfortable). This should be the perfect outfit for a hot Virginia summer, assuming it fits her. I’ve heard that Big 4 kids patterns can run on the large side, and it’s tough to estimate when the pattern for the bloomers asks you to measure the legs and waist and cut elastic to the right length. (The closest current pattern looks like McCall’s 6303)
It’s lined with a coordinating Loulouthi print. You could easily make it reversible by putting a second pair of buttons on the straps, because it’s fully lined, but I didn’t this time.
I’ve been wanting to get more comfortable sewing knits for awhile now, and this was just the right project to boost my confidence – it came together easily and filled a gap in my wardrobe (t-shirts that are long enough to cover my growing belly without gaping!). It’s Megan Nielsen’s Ruched Maternity T-shirt pattern , and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Plus, I bought a four pack of her maternity patterns and I’m glad that I got around to making one of them (which makes this kind of an expensive project, shh). I don’t have much more than a month left in this pregnancy (if that) and I’m already tempted to make another one! I made a medium, and my only concern with it is that she calls for a stretch knit, and I’m not sure if the knit I have on hand has quite enough stretch. The shirt definitely would have been tight if I hadn’t used a stretchy fabric. I found this one at Joann’s – their April Johnston Project Runway collection, but I don’t see it online now. It looks like it might have been a rayon spandex, though. I serged the seams, didn’t use clear elastic to stabilize the sides, and used a twin needle with fusible knit interfacing on the neckline and hems. It was my first time doing that and I didn’t do it quite right, but you can’t really tell on the outside.
This can also serve as my 34 week picture! I’m glad I took plenty of pictures of my growing belly the first time around – that definitely wasn’t going to happen this pregnancy with a toddler running loose. Most days when I get home from work he’s primed and ready for dinner, and by the time that’s done I’m ready to not be dressed in my work clothes anymore. Plus the first half of the pregnancy it was dark when I got home, so outside photos weren’t an option.
I started this quilt and finished the top before Will was born, so in fall 2010. I was mostly just playing around with fabric in these colors, but it’s a good thing we’re having our own girl now so I have a reason to keep it . Some of the prints are vintage, some are repros, and many are Amy Butler.
I picked a variety of pastelly sherbety prints from my stash and went from there. I cut them into random strips, sewed log cabins, and cut those log cabins into fourths. The green solid is such a soft linen. I sewed a piece of the linen to each of the quarter log-cabins, sewed each of those into rows, and then used the navy and pink as sashing to set apart the design a little bit (Is that clear? I could draw out a tutorial) which made it slightly less sweet and more preppy.
The leftover pieces are sewn into random bits on the back of the quilt.
I finished the top and back at the same time, but was too pregnant to baste and sit behind my machine doing much quilting. When I got the Pfaff last summer I was much more excited to spend time quilting than on my Singer, so I used the free-motion foot to do these straight lines in an evening or two (and eventually got around to the binding, too!).
This project is so old that it could really count as one of my first quilts. I know I bought the fabric & pattern & “planned” it back in 2008. I was thinking of some friends that were getting married that year, so I wanted it to be in colors that would be somewhat unisex. I bought a few earthy colors and something like 5 yards of khaki kona for my solid. It was supposed to be a cross quilt (from this pattern) but after I cut out all of the fabric and made one block the way the pattern wrote it, I realized there was no way I was going to match up an inset center for each and every block. So I sewed each of the blocks without the cross-bar of the cross, and left them in a pile for a few years!
I thought about a few different ways that I could set them – randomly slashed strips across each block, different kinds of sashing, etc, but last year I decided enough was enough and I needed to get it out of my WIP pile so it could stop cluttering my brain unnecessarily. I set out a layout that worked well enough, and quilted it with an all over loopy design in a variegated thread.
The backing is pieced of coordinating prints.
If anything, it’s good to see how my visual sense of what a quilt will be before I start has changed over time, and that my design sense has matured somewhat for how I choose a project at the beginning.
Yup, it’s going to be fun sewing for a baby girl! Especially when it’s this easy and only takes 1/2 yard of fabric – I have plenty of fabric that would look sweet as a little dress. I used the Leila & Ben Sweet Little Dress for Babies pattern, which is a convenient download. There was just one part where I didn’t like the directions, so I probably won’t make the casing until after I sew on the sleeves next time. Now the only thing I’m debating is whether I want to make a pile more before the baby comes, or wait until I see how big she is!
I have a long sewing “to-do” list – clothes for me and the babies, occasional ‘work’ sewing (if there’s money attached it generally goes to the front of the line, which is still pretty fun at this point), stacks of fabric for quilts that are planned/dreamed to one day get sewn, home dec type projects, etc. This one falls nowhere on the list. I thought the tangerine tango challenge would be fun, and made it with that in mind, but didn’t even let the deadline get in my way of enjoying myself (only the binding didn’t get done in time, but I knew I wouldn’t get very good pictures late at night). This is definitely my favorite kind of piecing – cutting up pieces of fabric and seeing the best way to sew them back together as I go. I was reading (Rayna Gillman’s book) at the time, so there’s probably some influence from that in the process. The orange is from a Marimekko remnant I received as a gift (via the Crate and Barrel outlet), and the navy is a lightweight import from Taiwan (? – faux Japanese style etsy seller). Because I was just playing, I used thread I had on hand from a craft store, not my favorite quilting threads, but pebble quilting uses up a lot of thread and the yellow-orange spool ran out before I got to the end so I switched to pink halfway. It all adds to the character, right? I wish I could make free motion pebbles/circles without so much repeating, but maybe that would come with more practice. The binding that wraps to the back.
I may never actually get caught up with making quilts for all of my friends who have had babies and are having them now, since we’re all in that phase of life together, but when I have a stack of fabric set aside for a certain kid it’s hard to think of it as anyone else’s! This was given to a “baby” who is 16 months old now and long past needing a play mat, but at 41×49″, at least it’s still bigger than he is!
This was a pretty simple strip quilt to make – I cut the strips to different widths and added the gray at varying lengths to the ends. I could have used less fabric if I planned it out first, but it was easier to do visually. I lost almost 2 rows when I was squaring it up, so either my rows needed to be straighter or my backing a little bigger (or both). The scalloped quilting was super fun and easy to do (although there are a few puckers).
Just wanted to pop in and post about this contest I entered recently. Here’s how it works: you buy a random pack of scrap fabrics from this Australian fabric company called Umbrella Prints, make something cool, and then submit it and some judges pick a winner. But if you want to help me out in winning the People’s Choice award, you can click here and re-pin my teddy bear!
That’s it – the entry with the most re-pins wins that part.
Oh, and here’s the scrap pack I started with – it was a challenging set of colors to work with (and some of the other entries are really great, not gonna lie!). I made this cute little bear with the Wee Wonderfuls Kitty Bunny Bear pattern, which was pretty much the first idea I had and what I carried all the way through. Thanks for your vote!