Oh. Em. Gee. It has been forever since we last posted! And, far too long since you and I last Skyped, ahem! I know Kaleidoscope is keeping you very busy. You'll need to give us a virtual tour here on the blog soon. I'm dying to find out more about this Community Center for the Arts you're growing in Nashville.
Fall is in full swing in Seattle. School is back in session and with it, playdates, soccer practice, swimming lessons and routine (hallelujah!). Before that, I have to admit we had a super summer -- intensely busy but wonderful. We went camping 5 times, heading out for 3-day weekends in various corners of Washington State. Family time, beautiful places, open-ended outdoor time, delicious local foods, hikes galor -- it filled my heart in the best of ways.
In August, we also paid a visit to my large immediate family in Austin and San Marcos, Texas. I have a brand new little nephew named Hugo and we got to meet him for the first time! In the weeks before our trip, as time allowed between camping, beach dates with friends and playground outings, I put together a baby quilt for Hugo. Here he is on it! My brother sent me this photo a few days ago -- it's nuts how much he's grown already!
And here's the full quilt (thank you, dear husband, for holding it and letting me boss you around while I took photos!):
Since I did take a good amount of photos of the quilt in progress, I thought I would provide a little info about the process.
I drew this pattern from scratch, simply sketching it in my notebook and filling in colors. Using the final size I wanted, I determined block size. I think it ended up being about 40 x 55 inches or so. A nice size crib quilt.
Colors and Fabrics
I wanted the color scheme to fit with Hugo's nursery (two shades of blue with white, beige, red and brown accents) but stand on its own. The nursery has a classic look with a subtle vintage car theme. I decided to stay away from any baby-ish fabrics, but stick with somewhat masculine motifs -- things that reminded me of flags, tire tracks, rain, balls. I picked navy and cobalt blue, along with red and grey, as my main colors, paired with a lot of white.
Prepping and Stitching
I prepped fabric by cutting lots of large squares. I then stitched fabrics together according to this fabulous tutorial on Whip Up, which allows you to create 4 half-square triangle blocks in a blink.
Here's my stack of half-square triangle blocks:
At that point, I was seized by doubt. Should I follow the layout I sketched, or do something funky? I played around with block layout.
3 options, which is best?
In the end, Kevin picked his favorite (the middle one) which matched my sketch!
I assembled my blocks into rows, and my rows into a full quilt top.
I love embroidering and really wanted to add a personal touch to this quilt. I had been very happy with how my cousin's wedding quilt turned out, with the embroidered invitation lettering. I printed out Hugo's name and birth date in a font I like, then transferred it onto a corner of my quilt top and got to work with needle and floss.
When the embroidery was finished, I backed the quilt with a lovely, soft grey and white Michael Miller flannel (I cannot find it anywhere online to link!). I basted and quilted in a very straightforward straight-line fashion (both vertical and diagonal). I then bound the quilt with two kinds of grey fabric I'd used in my blocks.
And there you have it!
I finished it with one day to spare before our departure for Texas. That's one day better than my usual M.O. (scrambling with finishing a project when I should be packing!). I was able to hand-deliver this labor of love to Hugo's parents directly. I sure hope they like it and that Hugo will get to enjoy it for play time, picnics and cuddles.