November 12, 2014
I started this baby quilt as part of my post for Craft Buds Craft Book Month in September. The pattern is from Emily Cier's book Scrap Republic, which offers 8 bright and colorful patterns and loads more ideas for using scraps and mixing things up. When my turn came around to post for Craft Book Month, I only had the quilt top done -- you can see that post here.
I decided to finish this quilt as a baby quilt for someone special, so I sifted through my stash looking for potential backing fabrics. Luckily, the front is so colorful that almost anything looks good on the back. I decided on a large piece of this pink apple print that I'd picked up at a backroom clearance sale at my mom's local quilt shop in TN. I added a coordinating green print from DS Quilts to make up the difference.
This small quilt with straight column seams was a great opportunity to experiment with some new machine quilting. I used my walking foot, increased the settings for my zigzag stitch, and quilted on either side of each vertical seam. With so many seams in the piecing, I think any denser quilting patterns would have made the whole thing just too stiff. The minimal zigzag quilting secures the quilt and adds enough visual interest and texture without going overboard. For binding, I got lucky and had enough of this bias stripe left over from another quilt (seriously, I had about 6 inches to spare - perfect fit!). The colors were right, and I was happy to not have to make binding for a change.
I love how this quilt turned out. Everyone who sees it in person says "It's so much smaller than it looked in your photos!" But I think that surprise is part of the fun, and it makes for a perfect baby quilt. I can't wait to send this one off to its new home where I know it will be used and loved for a long time.
November 11, 2014
This quilt has been a long time in the making. Back in February 2012, I'd finished teaching 2 of my friends the basics of quilting with some simple patchwork quilts for donation, and they were eager for another project. We found the free Craftsy Block of the Month (or BOM) series that was just getting started with instructor/blogger Amy Gibson. For 10 months, the series supplied patterns and instructions for 2 blocks each month -- all different and each one using new skills and techniques.
We bought our fabric and got started, meeting after work at each others' homes to work on our blocks together, and I posted most of our finished blocks here on the blog along the way. Amanda went on maternity leave and had to put her project on hold, but Caitie and I kept meeting and eventually finished our 20 blocks.
Caitie was the first to assemble her quilt top and begin quilting. I was drawn into some other projects and took a little more time to figure out what kind of border I wanted to add to my quilt. Then I changed my mind and needed more time to actually piece the border, a scrappy variation on Dresden plate wedges.
I have to admit that by the time I'd finished my quilt top, I was pretty tired of looking at it and not at all interested in attempting to quilt it myself. So after letting it hang in my closet for a while, I contacted Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting. Best. decision. ever. Melissa was great to work with -- responsive, skilled, affordable, and fast. I sent my quilt top and backing to her in Utah and had it back -- longarm quilted beautifully -- in around 3 weeks.
I bound it by hand with a green print that I had in my fabric stash (yay for not spending more $!), and following a spin in the washer and dryer, the quilt that was more than 2 years in the making is finally cozying up my bed, just in time for the chill of fall and winter.