Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby Quilt for K

I come from a family quilters so when my cousin, KU, announced she and her husband were expecting a daughter this fall, my mom and I started planning a quilt. My quilting experience is pretty much the T-shirt quilt for DH and mom hasn't pieced a quilt in a while. So it was a learning experience. We ended cutting 1.5 times the pieces because she used a different seam allowance for her first half and I made those blocks into a mini quilt so we had something for the baby shower (no pictures that I'm aware of).

Roughly the size of the mini-quilt.

I was originally going to use quilting cotton for all the blocks and make it an outdoorsy-mostly-gender-nuetral theme. I was thinking Woodland Pals Fat Quarter Bundle Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics or Angela Yostens Bloggers Choice Fat Quarter Bundle with some textual solids thrown in. But then Mom saw a quilt made out of oxfords somewhere (probably pinterest) and started collecting oxfords from family members- especially my uncle (cousin's father). I would say 75-85% of the quilt top is stash or family shirt fabric, pretty awesome cost wise, and because the fabric was all preworn is nice and soft and broken in. It also kept it pretty gender neutral. K and I were subjected to years of very PINK gifts growing up and neither of us are particularly pink people. So there is some grey-and-pink fabric and some purple fabric but otherwise is all white and blue. They painted the nursery blue with silver trim so it goes nicely.

DH holding it above his head. Before binding it was 43" x 57"
I never realized how much the joining between the kitchen and the living room looks like ketchup and mustard. I did not choose the paint colors, mind you.

The backing is a mystery fabric my mom picked up somewhere. I'm assuming a dry goods store near my hometown. We were trying to figure out how to bring in yellow somehow and thats what she found. it's a little thin but nice and soft.

The binding was problematic. I wanted some sort of print, but not super geometric and I wanted to tie in the colors of the quilt. I stumbled upon Tule Arid Windmarks and debated between on grain (so chevrons) or bias (stronger and straight lines). I thought biased looked better but somehow my cutting got off (mixed two different methods of making continuous binding) and one corner is on grain. It's not too noticeable and if asked I can always say it's Wabi-Sabi**. I didn't discover it until afterwards but I kind of wish I had used Heather Roth Style's Modern-Scandinavian as an homage to our heritage. Maybe I'll make little ?*** a jumper or something in the future.****

We ended up machine stitching the blocks and hand quilting the top. I machined half the binding and used a ladder stitch on the back of the binding. Waiting for ? to be born to see if K wants the back embroidered or not. I have a pattern for a monogram (assuming that ? is the name I think) and the threads picked out and washed.

The Facts:
  • Fabric: Various Oxford Shirts and lengths of fabrics, plus a mystery yellow cotton(blend?) for backing, Soft and Natural batting, and Tule Arid Windmarks for the binding.
  • Pattern: Amy Smart's Double Cross
  • Year: Early 2010s 
  • Notions:Walking foot, Quilting needles, white thread, embroidery thread, embroidery needles
  • Techniques/Tutorials: 200" from 1/2 yard Continuous Binding, Machine Binding Tutorials,  Invisible Ladder Stitch
  • Cost: No idea, less that $40, I think, thanks to the donated shirts.
  • Time: Ahahaha... 5 months?
  • Make Again?: Maybe, if I really need to make another baby quilt
It still needs a good steam before I send it out (so happy I found a tyvek container at a reasonable price. I hated the idea of using a plastic bag (off gassing!) and was afraid of it getting wet in transport if I used cotton.

The pattern itself sewed together nicely. I wouldn't rate it a particularly difficult pattern if you are careful. I had to pin ease some blocks to match up. Using a jelly roll would have been easier for the isolating lines but it worked out cutting up a shirt instead. I would want to play around with each horizontal line being a different color family to create a chevron pattern instead of Xs but that's for the future.

*K and I had/have very similar initials- our middle initials are one different. It was a joke in my family that since K and I both went from our N last name to the same married J last name, my brother has to marry someone with that same J last name to make it almost even.
**I think it qualifies anyway. I'm in a material culture class and my notes on what wabi-sabi is across the room, and I'm lazy.
*** K won't tell anyone the name until the baby is born. I think it's a particularly Norwegian name she asked her mom how to spell a couple of weeks (months?) ago. But we'll see. She'd be pulling a Dr. Jones, Sr if she did use it.
**** I have a couple more baby-related posts pending. One is waiting for velcro and the other I need to resew.

****** UPDATE****** She had the baby! Initials are HEJ, now waiting to here if they're going on the quilt. It's a pretty name so I've already started sketching out designs.

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