Category Archives: baby quilt

New Fabric Crush

2016-08-23 16.27.37
A few weeks ago a line of fabrics from Maywood Studio called “Neutral Ground” came into the Pine Needle, the quilt shop where I teach. The line features a contemporary rendering of leaves and florals in shades of grey and aqua on a greyish-white background, with sprinklings of silver metallic. I was sorely tempted but withstood the siren call.

Then an unrelated line of fabric by Riley Blake Designs, “Knock on Wood,” came into the shop. The colors blended beautifully with the other line, although the overall themes of the lines couldn’t be more different. That uneven stripe on the left and the uneven block print on the right in the photo above are the Riley Blakes.

Combined with a couple of fabrics from other lines, I suddenly had a grouping of fabrics I could get excited about. Excited enough to buy them? Well . . . yes!

I was preparing to tuck them away, vowing not to start something new until I had finished at least two other quilt tops, when I realized these fabrics would be perfect for the two girl-baby quilts I still need to make this year. I went through the patterns I’ve purchased over the last few years and pulled out several candidates. Those have been narrowed down to two. As soon as I have the first test block made, I’ll share it with you.

That uneven block print is the wild card in the mix. I’m not positive it will work with the other fabrics but I’m going to give it a go.

I can’t wait to get started!

 

 

 

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Mini Rings Update

I thought I would have my Mini Rings quilt top (pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful) assembled by now, but I still have two blocks to go:

Mini Rings in progress

I’m making a square quilt of nine blocks; the blocks finish at 11″ so the quilt will finish at 33″. My plan was to make a block a day but alas, I have fallen behind. Too many other things going on at the Portland White House. Plus, I’m still waiting on that shipment of my background fabric (Garden Pindot by Michael Miller).

Still, my top will be finished soon. I’m going to keep it borderless and bind it in that acid green.

Speaking of binding, I’m halfway done sewing the binding on a baby quilt you’ve seen come together recently:

Stefan's quilt, binding detail

I am really liking the narrow border, using a pale lime Fairy Frost from Michael Miller for both border and binding.

It’s an absolutely beautiful day here in Portland, Oregon. The delicious aroma of something cooking on a neighbor’s barbecue is wafting in the open windows, the DH is happily working outside in the garden, and our new cat Coco is stretched out on a chair in the TV room. It’s been a lovely three-day weekend.

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, too!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 4 Comments

Babies and Cats

Stefan's quilt, front

The baby quilt I sent off to be quilted recently is back, and I’m tickled pink. Make that blue, as this quilt is for a little boy. Longarm quilter Sherry Wadley and I picked a modern swirly edge-to-edge design that echoes the waves in the sea-themed fabric.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting that also shows off some of the prints in the quilt, including a stylish seahorse sporting a bowtie:

2016-05-26 09.39.44

You can see why I fell in love with this line of fabric, Into the Deep, designed by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics.

On the back, the quilting motif shows up well on the batik stream that flows alongside the jellyfish fabric, part of the Into the Deep collection:

Stefan's quilt, back
Here’s a close-up of the stream that shows off that organic-looking quilting:

Stefan's quilt, detail on back
I’m going to bind and label this quilt as quickly as I can so I can deliver it to Baby Stefan. Here’s hoping it will keep him warm and wrapped in love well beyond his toddler years.

In other happy news, there’s a new resident feline in the Portland White House. My husband and I had planned to visit the Oregon Humane Society yesterday but last Friday night I got a call from my friend Colleen, who lives out in the country. A calico cat, obviously hungry, had been hanging around her house all day, and was I interested in taking a look at her? Yes, please!

I picked the kitty up Saturday afternoon, and it was love at first sight. She was thoroughly checked out by our vet on Monday, who thinks she is about one year old. She’s gotten all her shots, been treated for ear mites and fleas, and been microchipped and licensed. She is ours.

And she’s a beauty, don’t you agree?

Coco May 24, 2016
What a mellow cat she has turned out to be, especially for a stray! Now that she knows there will be a next meal, she is totally relaxed. She absolutely adores my husband. This photo was taken on Sunday, the first full day we had her:

Coco with Charlie

We have named her Cordelia, after the daughter of King Lear. (We name all our cats after royalty and I figure literary royalty counts, too.) We call her Coco for short.

Babies and cats. Irresistible!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, bowties, cats, family, update | 11 Comments

A River Runs Through It

In this case, the river is running through the backing for a baby quilt:

back of Stefan's quilt (3)
Quilt Back, 56″ Square

My starting point was a length of fabric from Patty Sloniger’s Into the Deep line for Michael Miller Fabrics.  I needed to piece the backing to make it wider, and somehow a straight strip of fabric just wasn’t going to cut it. I blame it on those undulating jellyfish. The backing clearly needed something that emulated the motion of their tentacles. I needed to go with the flow, so to speak.

My batik stash yielded a watery print that picked up the blues and greens in the jellyfish fabric. I cut some gentle free motion curves through both layers and then sewed them together. It was easier than I thought, although I did have to pin the concave and convex curves.

Here’s a close-up of those two fabrics:

stefan's quilt fabrics
Catching the Waves

Don’t they look good together? I suppose that batik is a bit more fern-y than watery, but it still gives the effect I was looking for.

I used several other pieces from “Into the Deep” on the front of the quilt, which you may remember seeing in this post a few weeks ago:

baby quilt final choice
Quilt Front, 48″ Square

This is the third of five baby quilts on my to-do list this year. Baby Stefan won’t have to wait too much longer for his quilt, and I’ve already started Number 4. Now that’s progress!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 8 Comments

Cause for Celebration

natl quilting day 2016Tomorrow is National Quilting Day, and I’m celebrating on the eve of its 25th anniversary with my third finish of the year:

Abe's quilt
This baby quilt (40″ x 49″) is a fraternal twin of the one I made from the same fabrics and wrote about here. You saw the one above a couple of posts ago before the binding was applied. This is the first time I’ve ever made a scrappy binding and I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I made sure that each side of the quilt received a bit of the striped fabric, which looks so good on the bias.

The quilting motif of bubbles, very nicely done by longarm quilter Sherry Wadley, helped me solve a dilemma when it came to the quilting label. I usually fuse a round label on the back of my quilts (following my own tutorial). Since this quilt is backed with an incredibly soft and plush polyester known as a “cuddle fabric” (aka Minky,) I didn’t dare put as much heat on it as a fusible would require.

The solution was to stitch the label on the back by machine:

Abraham's quilt stitched label

From the front, you can’t tell which circle was made by the label:

Abe's quilt detail

I started the year with four baby quilts on my docket. Now it’s five. Granddaughter #3 (in birth order) is expecting her second child, a girl, in a few months, so my list is expanding rather than contracting. I already have a pattern in mind, and the perfect focus fabric is already in my stash. Another cause for celebration!

 

 

 

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Swimming Upstream

My plate is very full at the moment. In between prepping for classes, teaching classes, crafting birthday presents, and doing various and sundry other things not quilt-related, I’ve been working on this sweet baby quilt, made mostly from Into the Deep, Patty Sloniger’s new line of fabrics for Michael Miller:

baby quilt blocks

The blocks finish at 9″ so at this point the top measured 45½” square. I felt it needed a light colored containment border to offset the intense turquoise in the sea waves blocks, and I wanted the border to be green to further highlight the green blocks containing those dapper little seahorses sporting bowties:

dapper seahorse
I added a 1″ border of a pale green Fairy Frost (also by Michael Miller), then dived into my stash (sorry, couldn’t resist) for this P&B blender, which reminds me of seaweed:

baby quilt blender
Do you ever audition a fabric you think is perfect but then are surprised to find it isn’t? That was my experience here. The seaweed fabric looked too dark and heavy, and I didn’t much care for the three other options I tried:

baby quilt border options

Actually, the seahorse fabric might have worked but I would have wanted to fussy cut it and I didn’t have enough.

Then it dawned on me: this quilt top is just fine with its narrow 1″ border!

baby quilt final choice

It will finish at 47″, already on the large side for a baby quilt. I have just enough Fairy Frost left to bind the quilt.

Now all I need to do is piece the back. I’m going to use this wonderful fabric from the same fabric line:

baby quilt backing fabric

No doubt about it: this is the perfect backing fabric.

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, bowties, family, update | 11 Comments

Happy Leap Year!

Isn’t it nice to have an extra day in the month? I could sure use an extra day more often than once every four years. How about you? Think of all the Unfinished Objects we could cross of our lists!

I have several UFOs that I would dearly love to work on but I’m still playing catch-up with baby quilts (and greatly enjoying the process). Two down, two to go.

This top, one of two featuring abstract giraffes from the Migration line by Michael Miller Fabrics, went off to longarm quilter Sherry Wadley recently . . .

giraffe baby quilt top #1

. . . and came back with circles all over it. Here’s a partial view:

giraffes and bubbles

Don’t those circles remind you of soap bubbles floating in the air? Such a happy motif for a baby quilt! (That’s Minky on the back — first time I’ve ever used it.)

What little fabric I had left from making both tops is going into a scrappy binding:

circles and scrappy binding

Sherry also quilted the other giraffe quilt, which you can see here.

I’ve already picked a design and cut out the fabric for the third baby quilt:

baby quilt to be
Five of those six fabrics are from Into the Deep, a new line designed by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller fabrics. It’s a wonderfully whimsical line featuring jellyfish and waves and sea anemones and seahorses wearing bowties. Seahorses wearing bowties? Irresistible!

dapper seahorse

The pattern I’m using, Just Can’t Cut It by All Washed Up Quilts, is one of my “go to” patterns for baby quilts. I reduce the block size from 12″ to 9″ for baby quilts. The quilt top before borders will measure 36″ x 54″ if I use a 4 x 6 block setting or 45″ square if I use a 5 x 5 block setting. Right now I’m leaning toward the 5 x 5 setting.

Just looking at the fabrics makes me smile. This quilt is going to be fun to make!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, bowties, update | 5 Comments

Second Finish of the Year

My second completed project of the year is this baby quilt:

Malachi's quilt 1.2016
Malachi’s Quilt, 42″ Square

Most of the fabrics are from the Migration line by Michael Miller, featuring slightly abstract giraffes and pineapples in shades of blue, aqua, and charcoal. The line also included some blenders and an irregular striped fabric, which I cut on the bias for the binding. I just love the way the bias binding frames the quilt:

Malachi's quilt, detail of binding
Bias Binding

Sherry Wadley quilted this for me. We chose an edge-to-edge motif that beautifully echoes the spiky tops of the pineapples and the trees:

Malachi's quilt, quilting detail 1.2016
The Perfect Quilting Motif

Leftover strips of fabric went on the pieced back (including the leftover bias binding strips) :

malachi's quilt, back 1.2016
Scrappy Back

The label is on now, and the quilt is being washed and dried as I write this, not only to assure that it’s clean but also to give it that wonderfully crinkled look that quilts only get when they’ve been laundered.

Malachi, for whom this quilt was made, is no longer a baby; he is a toddler. Now that he’s walking, it would please me enormously if he is allowed to drag his quilt anywhere he wants. It was made to be used and loved.

Linking up with Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation on NTT (Needle and Thread Thursday).

 

 

 

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Bricks and Blocks for Babies

Back in September 2015, I made this baby quilt top, the first of four I planned to make in short order for babies in my extended family that had either arrived already or were soon to make their appearance in this world:

giraffe baby quilt top #1
Quilt Top #1 — 42½” x 50″

 

The fabrics are from the Migration line by Michael Miller Fabrics. The giraffe panel print was printed along both sides of the fabric, from the selvage to the fold, so I knew I would be able to make two baby quilts from one length (two half widths) of fabric. Wonderful!

I decided to make a similar top for quilt #2 but make “bricks” instead of squares. Days passed into weeks, weeks passed into months. On January 1, I realized that four months had elapsed since Quilt Top #1 was completed. Four months! How could I let this happen?

Well! There’s nothing like a New Year to galvanize one into action. I decided to get cracking on those three unmade tops. By the end of the first week of 2016 I had finished Quilt Top #2:

baby bricks quilt top jan 2016
Quilt Top #2 — 42½” square

 

The next order of business in 2016 is to get these two baby quilts quilted, bound, labeled, and delivered to their rightful owners. The quilts are small enough that I could quilt them myself on my domestic machine but they will surely get finished sooner if someone else quilts them for me. This also gives me the opportunity to support the longarm quilting industry, which I am happy to do, especially as we have a plethora of talented quilters in the Portland metropolitan area.

Babies #3 and #4 — a girl and a boy — have since been welcomed into our world, and I vow to get their quilts to them in a more timely fashion. I already know what I’m doing for Baby Quilt #3. Inspiration should strike soon for Baby Quilt #4. When it does, you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

 

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One Down, Three to Go

Slowly but surely I’m making progress on the four baby quilts at the top of my “to do” list. Two of the four quilts will contain fabrics from the Migration line by Michael Miller Fabrics.

Thus far I have one top made:

giraffe baby quilt top #1
Isn’t that giraffe fabric charming? It’s a border print. I wanted to set it off simply, so I cut 6½” squares from the other fabrics and made a double row of squares above the giraffes and a triple row below. That should have gone very quickly.

Should have, yes. But my (slightly) obsessive-compulsive nature took over. I got it into my head that I couldn’t have the same fabric appearing in a row or a column. The result? I spent an inordinate amount of time moving those squares around to avoid duplication, also taking into account the need to balance color, texture, and value. I am quite sure that the baby who winds up with this quilt won’t care a bit about which fabric ended up where. But me? I couldn’t sew those squares together until I felt I had it right.

This top measures 42½” x 50″ at the moment. It will shrink slightly after quilting but it’s a great size for a baby-to-toddler quilt.

The second quilt using the Migration line will have a slightly different setting. I’m thinking of cutting 3½” x 6½” rectangles and stacking them like bricks above and below the giraffe panel. More obsessing ahead?

 

 

 

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