Category Archives: Baby Quilt

For Lea

Our 7th grandchild was born early, and I was caught unprepared. I finally have the quilt done for baby Lea. I started it soon after I finished Callan’s in June, and I even had a shortcut. I already had a lot of small patches cut, and several were joined in various formations that I could use in this one. I had found a photo on the internet, which is how many of my ideas happen, and knew I wanted to try my own version of it. It didn’t matter what sizes the original poster had made hers, I was using what I already had. I can’t find the person’s blog where I found the design, so I can’t give credit. If you recognize this, please comment and let me refer to your post.

A couple of things slowed me down – I have arthritis in my hands and it is getting worse. The patchwork didn’t bother me, but even machine quilting isn’t comfortable for very long. I even gave up finishing the binding by hand, using the machine only. I also fell and sprained a wrist and the opposite hand’s thumb, so it really hurt to quilt by machine!

So, enjoy the photos, and the baby will soon be enjoying the quilt.
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Quilt finished in time

I love it when I can deliver a baby quilt before the baby is delivered. Grandson Callan is still expected, as I write this, and the quilt is in the hands of the parents, completed a couple of weeks ago.

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I did the binding differently this time. I machine-stitched it to the front and folded it to the back, but what is different is that I machine-stitched it to the back as well. I made sure the stitches would catch the binding, and used a blind hem stitch (3 straight stitches then a zig zag). The arthritis in my hands just won’t allow the tug of hand-stitching binding any more. I did hand-stitch the label into place, which I created on my 12-year-old Brother embroidery machine.

I have already begun the quilt for the September grandbaby.

 

Change of plans

Once before, I made a baby quilt and it was sized more for a twin bed (almost) than a baby. That was the fireworks quilt from 2011, posted here. I almost made that error again. Somehow, when I added the sizes of the blocks and the sashing, it didn’t seem as large as when I started sewing it all together.

When I had several rows sewn together, still 6 blocks wide, I realized it was far too big. I laid it on the floor and reimagined how it should look. I decided it was one block wider than it should be, and I would only sew rows 3-8 together. That meant some stitch ripping, which is not unusual for me in any project. It made for a much friendlier, crib-sized quilt.

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Examples of twins:

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The floral fabric above and to the right is leftover from sewing the baby’s aunt an Easter dress when she was about 7 years old.

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The baby’s father requested the Hershey print fabric for a wall hanging project when he was a teenager.

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Sadly, the block from this fabric didn’t make it into the quilt (poor planning on my part) but I’m glad there are two cornerstones with the bowling pin fabric. I spent a lot of time with the baby’s father and the rest of our family in a bowling alley while he was a young teenager (and a very good bowler, I must add).

 

Blocks into rows

The next step is to add sashing and cornerstones. The pattern of the blocks and the colors make it far too busy to simply sew them together. I added white sashing and cornerstones of the printed fabrics. I laid out the blocks and chose the cornerstones so that they would not obviously match the block before or after in that row. I did not go so far as to make sure rows above and below were the same way, so there could be some adjacent matching that way. There is only so much OCD I can stand in myself!

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I started with the first row and made the sashing to the left and top of the block. The final block on the right side of the row would need an extra sashing and cornerstone on the right side, and the final row would need an extra sashing and cornerstone on the bottom of the block.

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I always mark my rows with a piece of paper, or I’d never keep it all straight.

After sewing blocks into rows, I had this:

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My plan was to have 8 rows with 6 blocks in each row. More about that in the next post. “The best laid plans of mice and men…”

June baby

Our daughter-in-law announced just after Christmas that she is expecting another baby boy. Two years ago I finished this star quilt and presented it for their baby boy born that year.

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After recovering from my stem cell transplant in January, I knew I had a short time to make the new baby a quilt of his own. I like the shortcuts the Eleanor Burns comes up with, and remembered seeing a televised episode of her quilting show that featured the “Twin Sisters” quilt block. (You can watch it online here) Anything Eleanor says can be done quickly would work for me. After I completed the wall hanging for my niece I had less than 2 months left.

I intended to shop for fat quarters, but decided to dig into my scraps and see what I could find. I estimated about 50 blocks would be needed for a baby quilt. I found I had plenty of fabrics that I could cut up and use. I had already begun working again from home (love telecommuting!) so I only had evenings and weekends again to work on it. Here is a look at one of my first quilt block pairs:

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You may have noticed my pinwheels spin backwards. Story of my life! Once I began that way, I had to continue that way. After sewing the strips, cutting blocks, cutting the diagonal, then sewing again, I ended up with 56 blocks, plenty to lay out for a baby quilt with some to spare. I really enjoy the shortcuts, making it slightly over-sized then trimming. Makes the blocks more accurate than I could normally accomplish!

I was able to incorporate some of the star patterned fabrics from big brother’s quilt, and also other fabrics the baby’s father might recognize from other projects.

New and Improved and Now In Michigan!

Yes, I’m excited. We have moved into our home in Michigan. My husband has already found a new job and is working daily, with overtime even. I’m still trying to fit everything into a house 1/3 the size of the old one.  Something has to go!

Before we left Missouri we had a garage sale and sold quite a bit. Once we arrived we found a lot more had to go and had another garage sale! Now I’ve got an ad on Craigslist, looking for a local quilting group that will use donated fabric for charity quilts. I know there is no way I can make enough quilt tops with my stash to make a dent any time soon.

I’m looking for work, and meanwhile I found a little time to work on the maze quilt. This is a baby quilt, for a player to be named later. It’s simply a design I wanted to challenge myself to make.maze quilt topThe “entrance” is on the left, 10th row from the top, and the “exit” is on the right, 16th row from the top. Yes, a reading teacher cannot do it otherwise, left to right is the rule. I just need to make a “go” symbol for the entrance, and a goal or home symbol for the exit, and incorporate them into the border.

I am so happy to be in Michigan, and if a job doesn’t show up on my horizon soon, I’ll be happily quilting here.

 

Finish – the Plus Sign Quilt

I’ve been unable to find much time for quilting or patchwork in the past month. My husband and I took a 10-day trip to our future home in Michigan, and that required a couple of days of loading the trailer beforehand. We moved more furniture and belongings (even some fabric and sewing machines!) and had plenty of work to do.

Once we returned home, I knew I had to get the plus sign quilt finished. This is intended for the granddaughter due at the end of the month. I started, then started over a couple of times. I tried to stitch in the ditch, and finally I decided to do something I hadn’t seen before. I call it a stitch in the meandering ditch.

You can see the stitches in this dark patch. I could not accurately quilt a straight line and wanted to follow the color outlines. I think it worked out well.

This photo shows a floral fabric that I used for the baby’s mother’s custom pillow to use in her toe-ring business. Something for the customer’s foot to rest on while trying on rings. I love putting significant fabrics into quilts.

Now I’m on the final 7 weeks of school. I hope to find time to work on the maze quilt, though I still have the second denim circle quilt to finish. Lots on my plate!