Tag Archives: baby

I saw a picture…

Some of my favorite projects begin with seeing a photo of someone else’s project. This one didn’t turn out exactly like the original, but I love it just the same.

First, the complication. We are moving again, and I already packed up my patterns, foolishly thinking I wouldn’t need them. There is a baby shower coming up and I wanted to sew a gift, so I turned to the internet for inspiration. I found a photo of a baby drooling bib that looks like flower petals and calyces (the green parts that protect the bud before opening).

I eyeballed it from the photo, drew the pattern pieces, and started digging for fabric. I counted 4 large petals and 8 calyces, so I cut twice as many pieces of fabric for each, sewed them together right sides together, leaving the top portion open, and turned and pressed the pieces.

I found some bias tape in the dark green. Although it’s very wide, it would work. I would have preferred half the size. I opened the tape and laid the pieces inside, layering how it pleased me. I pinned it all and topstitched. I found I missed some places in the back, so I topstitched again. I’ll never admit that the original plan wasn’t double-topstitching!

If you have made your own version of something you’ve seen in a picture, I’d love it if you share it with me.

Flower bib

Flower bib

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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.

 

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.

Pictures so far: Maze quilt

I was able to carve out a couple of hours to work on the maze quilt this weekend. I didn’t actually keep track, but I think it was between 4 and 5 hours.

Here are some of the strips sewn into sets of two.  I had some extra lengths that I left as is, and some small pieces that will do a single block where needed.

Next I sewed some of the two-sets together, to make four-sets. These will be a shortcut for the places I need four colored blocks in a row.

Then I cut the four-sets in half, so that each row of four is now the correct width.

The white fabrics I will leave as strips in the places I can sew a longer piece in, or cut as needed. As I sewed, sometimes I needed the equivalent of one block, two pieces, three, or four. Fewer seams that way.

Here is the top row completed. All the blocks are sewn together. You can see I have neon green sticky notes telling me this is row 1, blocks A-F. I have 9 rows total to do.

Here is the total progress as of Sunday evening! I’m so pleased with it. I was afraid the walls, with darks, brights, and lights in prints and solids, wouldn’t look so much like walls. I think it looks great, and I’m looking forward to making more rows, as I can.

Coming up, though, more of all my other projects going on right now.

  • Circle quilts for my friend’s daughters – she’s getting more of the embroidery patches done for me.
  • Plus sign quilt for my next grandchild – a girl who is coming anytime from early to mid-March. The top is complete, but I have to quilt and bind it.
  • Doll clothes – I’m starting to get an inventory, but a few more outfits and samples are needed before I can open the Etsy store.

My full-time job sometimes gets in the way of my hobby! I’d much rather be sewing.

More design on the maze

I decided that sewing together my maze quilt will be done in 16-patch. Of course, with the odd numbers, the far right column will have patches that are 5 squares across by 4 squares high. The bottom row of patches will be 4 squares across by 5 squares high. The exception will be the bottom right square, which will be a 25-patch. I copied the maze design into Excel using the fill function. Then I spread the columns apart, then the rows. I had to fill with yellow in order to clearly see the separate patches. Click below to see the result.

quilt grid

Now I see how many rows of 4 color patches I’ll need, and I’ll be able to gauge whether I have plenty of the little blocks sewn together.  I’ll be working on it more this weekend, and hope to have a photo update by Sunday evening.

Progress on the maze quilt

I love a new project, I’m so excited to get going on it that it seems I have twice the energy and endurance of normal sewing sessions. I had to get started on the maze quilt.

I decided the first maze I showed would be the one I would make. I counted the blocks and found it to be 25 wide and 37 long. Odd numbers! I’ll put the characters in the border, so I’ll think about them later. I have a large version of the maze printed and posted in my sewing room to refer to.

I dug out all the bright and dark scraps I had, plus a few on the lighter side. I didn’t want anything too light, as the path will be white and I don’t want part of the wall to look like path. I discarded some of the fabrics as too heavy, or not appropriate for a baby or child. The squares will be 1 1/2″ square finished, so I started by cutting 2″ strips.

2" strips

At my sewing machine, I stitched together two random colors/prints. I left the strips whatever length they were, and didn’t care if the ends matched. Next would be trimming them.

trimming strips

Over at the cutting mat, I decided to trim the strips into 4″ lengths where possible, and 2″ if needed. Nothing smaller would work. My goal is to have a very random and colorful arrangement of fabrics as the wall of the maze.

stacks

I’m ready for the next part of the piecing. I’ll probably toss all the pieces in a small box and mix them gently so I’ll grab out two and have all different fabrics showing. Then I’ll stitch them together. (I started to describe the next step, but I think I’d better show it when I get there.)

If you plan to also make a maze quilt, I’d love to see it and hear about your ideas!