Monday, October 4, 2010

"Welcome Baby" Quilt - Part 1

By-Jenny2

Good morning! I was hoping to have a finished quilt top, if not a finished quilt, to show you today. However, the weekend's productivity wasn't what I had planned. I am 33 weeks pregnant now and had a bunch of Braxton-Hicks contractions this weekend. They weren't painful or anything, but frequent enough to make my husband (and mother via phone) force me down on the couch, feet up, with a glass of water, for most of Saturday. There went my beautiful plans of progressing on this little quilt to welcome baby #2...

I did make some progress on it toward the end of last week, some of it with a 3-year-old on my lap! Turns out, matching quilt block pieces is "so much fun!". However, involving a little kiddo also leads to errors and sloppiness in the sewing process... Ugh. Let's just say I'm a bit frustrated by this project, but determined to finish it, perfect or not. So, without further ado, let me just show you what I have so far.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

My inspiration for this quilt came from Cluck Cluck Sew's Orange Quilt and Carly of Quiltville's Simply Sweet Baby Quilt. I knew I wanted to do alternating squares with white and a couple of coordinating colors. I liked the idea of blue and brown and found the cute Chirp! line by Katie Hennigar for Robert Kaufman fabrics. Along with a bunch of brown and blue prints from my stash, the quilt started taking shape.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

For the backing, I found a snuggly flannel with brown polka dots on white for super cheap at Joann's. For the binding, I will use Kona Cotton in chocolate. Based on the design I drew, I decided I needed more blue prints and found a couple of them in my stash. I debated at length about including them, since they are not exactly the same hue as my other blue prints. I decided to go for it but now have some regrets about that decision (see further down in the post).

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

I moved forward with cutting my squares of white, blue and brown, along with a blue-polka-dotted white border.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew has a great trick for prepping and sewing these blocks. I intended on following her instructions but ended up finding my own way.

First, I chopped off my blocks as follows. There are 2 layers here, as I cut 2 squares of each fabric at one time.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

I was going to sew each square at a time in an orderly fashion, but found out that doing an "assembly line" process worked much faster. You just have to keep all your pieces in the same order. I didn't cut the thread between each block, I just fed the next block into the sewing machine until I had a long garland with all the blocks.

Here are all the pieces after I sewed and ironed the first 2 sides to the center square:

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

The next step was to add the next 2 sides, and here again I did the garland of blocks for each side, cutting the threads when they had all gone through the machine.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

The next step was to trim the excess fabric around the blocks and square off my blocks. The more this pregnancy progresses, the less my brain is working. At this point, I should have made sure that ALL MY BLOCKS WERE THE SAME SIZE. And I did not. This may be due to the 3-year-old child running in circles around the dining room table during the trimming process.

This is as far as I got that afternoon:

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

During the next day's nap, I started assembling my strips of blocks, having completely forgotten about the blocks-having-to-be-the-same-size thing.

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

Due to the discrepancies of 1/8 inch here and 1/4 inch there between block widths, assembling the strips into the quilt top was a humongous pain in the ass. I had to tweak seam allowances a bunch of times, and still ended up with this type of stuff:

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt
Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

And, not only did I forget to check measurements on the blocks, I also forgot to trim my strips to make sure each edge was straight. So, the seams between strips on the back are quite uneven, some barely catching the fabric. I am going to have to increase some of the seam allowances before moving forward to make sure that all the strips are securely attached to one another. Once again, where oh where has my brain gone?!

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

Since this post about a lovely baby quilt has turned into a bitching session, I'll get in one more complaint: I am bummed out about including those other blue prints. I feel like the difference in color is quite obvious, despite having the white and brown in between. What do you think?

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

So, here's where I am as of today:

Jenny: Welcome Baby Quilt

I am hoping to fix up the seams today, add the borders, begin basting and perhaps even quilting this puppy if naptime allows it. I shall keep you posted...

Oh, and I am not forgetting about my Scrappy Squares quilt! I FINALLY found a flannel fabric I like for the back, from a cute sheet set I found on super-duper sale (guess what, polka dots!), so the quilt will hopefully be finished soon! Also, the work for my future Etsy shop is on-going. I just have had some nesting urges that needed addressing, hence the work on the baby quilt instead...

Angel-mini-button Oh, that nesting urge! I remember that well. I made Ian's special baby doll a quilt for its crib right around the same point in my pregnancy with Silas, it was quite satisfying! Of course I had all the same issues you had, maybe I should take some close up photos to show you? I think up until now I'd assumed that wonkiness was just par for the course where quilting is concerned.....

It's so hard for me to give my opinion about the shades of blue, you know how computer screens don't always give true representations of color. I'll bet that once you've finished it and it gets some use you won't be bothered by your fabric choices at all.......

6 comments:

  1. I don't know how accurate my computer screen color is, but I think the various shades of blue look good. To me it makes it look more handmade, and less like a factory produced quilt that you would pick up from a big box store... the ones where all the fabric comes from the same dye lot.

    Good luck with the nesting, and best wishes for a comfortable last trimester!

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  2. Aila, thank you for the encouragement and good wishes! Very appreciated!

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  3. Loving the quilt you made. So pretty.

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  4. I love the different blues! I used to be caught up in making sure all the colours were the same 'tone'. I don't do that any longer, and I love the results! It makes for a much more interesting quilt (in my opinion). I love starting with one or two fabrics and seeing what I can come up with! I think this quilt is adorable and I'm sure it will become a treasure!

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  5. I just found your link and I have to say I love everything you have on your site!

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  6. Thank you so much! What a nice compliment!

    And I am so sorry to only be responding now to This Is My Life and tabbiegirl: thank you both for your comments!

    ReplyDelete

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