Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Lively Quilt

I'm back, to share my very first solo quilting project with you! Over the last year or so I've been challenging myself with new and more complex sewing projects, including quilting and making various items of clothing. A dear friend of mine recently returned to our hometown after nearly six years of living in Southeast Asia, and she returned not only with a wonderful husband, but with a bun in the oven! I latched onto the opportunity and decided to try my hand at a baby quilt. I had been involved in quilting projects with my mom and aunts while growing up, but never attempted anything on my own. I used this tutorial, and found it was flawless (the tutorial, not my quilt).

I mostly used fabrics I already had. Knowing that this baby would have a big, bright personality, I went big and bright with my fabric choices. I also knew it would be a boy, but I try not to let gender have too much influence on colors and patterns. My favorite tip from the tutorial was to include a "zinger fabric" to really get a color that pops out and catches the eye. After going through my collection and cutting out squares, I ended up buying some bright red and yellow to get the zinger effect.

I think my favorite stage of the process was arranging and rearranging the squares until I got the perfect layout of colors and patterns. 

 Adding a bright yellow border

 I used a double layer of 80/20 cotton/polyester batting since I was machine quilting. Love the feel and weight of it, and it feels a bit more wholesome than the completely synthetic stuff. I used a pale yellow gingham for the backing.

Learning how to use basting pins. 

Learning to quilt with my shiny new sewing machine (!!). It was a little cumbersome but went quickly. Looking at this picture, I'm not entirely sure why I was trying to feed all the rolled up part of the quilt under the machine arm rather than turning the whole thing around and sewing from the other direction. Well, you live and learn. 

Perhaps not entirely straight corners and quilting, but I'm pretty pleased with the result. 

Adding the binding!

Learning how to make mitered corners. 

Done! Bright, soft, and a really nice weight for a wee one. 

Washed and ready to go. I love the crinkled antique-y look it took on after washing. 

 The quilt was posted off at the end of January, along with some burp clothes and bibs. I learned so much, had a very satisfying result, and am looking forward to trying my hand at another (small) quilt soon. Also, you might like to know that Baby Boy was born strong and healthy, at home, on February 5th. I get to meet him this weekend and can't wait!