Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Quilting

You may remember that way back here, I talked about making a quilt.  I cut all the pieces, but I had a really hard time committing to the arrangement and the coordination of colors.  So I decided to take a step back and warm up on a couple of smaller versions.  I have a friend who is gloriously pregnant with twins right now, as well as a friend who just had an adorable baby girl.  It's a perfect time to make a round of baby quilts!  Baby quilts are the perfect amount of effort, doable even for the beginner.  Best of all, due to the simplicity, you can cut loose and make up your own rules!

I made the two quilts for the twins on similar lines.  I invented the pattern, but it's just a simple 9-patch with a sort of diamond design.  I wanted to do some similar colorways while still having a distinct color for each sibling, so I did a brown-and-turquoise and a brown-and-pink.  I think they turned out really well, don't you think?
I think I actually like the blue and turquoise better, something about the blue and white really plays off of the brown and it makes the nerdy (and quilting?) art director in me really happy.
I was in a furious time crunch for these quilts.  I was trying to finish them right before my first trip to China.  The shower for the bebes was on a Sunday morning and I was supposed to leave Sunday afternoon.  So my brilliant plan was to work all day on Saturday, go to the shower with the quilts and my suitcase and head straight to the airport straight from there.  Ahhh, the best laid plans of mice and men...

My flight got moved up a day.  SO, I had a 24 hour period where I had the quilt tops done, but had to turn them into actual quilts.  Just to be clear, the steps of quilting are: cut long strips.  Cut strips into squares (this is probably the most time consuming part.)  Pin and sew the quilt top and press seams.  Make the back, layout the back/batting/top to make the "quilt sandwich".  Pin the quilt sandwich, cut edges even, tuft the layers together with yarn, tie, trim.  Cut binding, stitch binding to quilt, and finally, hand finish binding on back side.  Whew!  (If you're looking for more detail on this process, please see The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker by Elizabeth Hartmann.  She taught me everything I know!)  My husband stayed up with me till 4am while I finished both of these suckers.  I was especially proud of the binding.
Not bad for 4am, right?  The binding is like the frame around a painting, it makes everything look better!

I also wanted to do something a little fun on the back. On the back you get to just experiment or add a little secret feature.  I wanted to do something to nod to the brother-sister pair, so I incorporated a blue/pink block in the center of each quilt.
Cute right?  Side-by-side just like they are right now!
I have a third baby quilt on the way, but the mom in question hasn't actually received it yet, so I'm not going to ruin the surprise here.  (That one was done on a way more relaxed time schedule, luckily!)  3 quilts in 4 weeks?  Not bad, right?  Considering I was in China half the time?  I know quilting is on the old lady side of crafting, but I love futzing with great fabric and making something that could become an heirloom.  I'm already looking forward to the next one!!  Yay for fall crafting!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, Martine! Sorry I'm so late at responding to this...finally catching up. But, well done!!!