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Entries in baby quilt (3)

Wednesday
Nov142012

Daisy Garden Baby Quilt

Making baby quilts is my favorite gift to give. It's a joy to plan the quilt with the new baby in mind and hoping that it will be something they use and cherish. This quilt I made for very special friends, Jennifer & John. They were the first "couple" friends from our first year of marriage. We watched them date & marry, lived in the same apartment complex, celebrated numerous events together, prayed for them as they traveled the world on a missions boat, and now attempt at keeping in touch as they live in Florida and have just had a beautiful baby girl. Jennifer knew I wanted to make her a quilt, so she requested that I make something with flowers. Here's the process of her quilt that I'm calling, Daisy Garden. 

I wanted to piece together monochramtic prints to make flowers. So I sketched out a few different ideas but finally settled on something like this: 

I liked the idea of alternating the colors, but in the end decided on option 3. I liked how each "flower" would pop out of the design, more than alternating the backgrounds with yellow and green (like options 1 & 2). To make the block, each square is a 2.5" square. To make the points, it's a half square triangle made from 5" blocks to form a 2.5" square when completed. I pieced together the 6 squares in each row from top to bottom. Then sewed the 6 rows together. That's right each block has 36 squares in it! Making this quilt filled with 324 squares! The most detailed quilt I've made! That's love. ;) 

One element that was a surprise, was how pretty the negative space of the flowers looked. My challenge for myself this year is to improve my free-motion quilting "talents". I usually quilt with straight lines, but after being inspired by so many beautifully quilted quilts, I knew that they quilt required something special. In the negative white space, I used Elizabeth Hartman's loopy flowers tutorial. Much easier than it looks, and all of them came out beautifully! For the flowers, I wanted the quilting to contrast, so I decided to use a straight line "cross-hatch" pattern, using the squares as my guide to sew on the diagonal. 

For the back of the quilt, I used the same pattern of the flower, but blew it up to make one big pattern on the back. I loved it so much! I think I'm going to make one for a whole quilt! 

Finally, I knew that I wanted to embroider her name, date, and meaning of name on the back. This took, so much longer than I anticipated!! It may be the only time I do this! But I so love how it came out.  It took lots of planning, countless hours, and much of this year to make. But, this is by far my favorite baby quilt I've made!

 

Wednesday
Jun062012

Half Log Cabin // Tutorial

First off, thanks for the feedback from the yesterday's boy baby quilt! I received a few texts, tweets, and comments, so much so that I thought I would share a little mini tutorial today. Also, I finished another one that I plan on posting to etsy, even though I'm so in love with it. But I do enjoy seeing a quilt go to a new happy home. 

If you Google "Half Log Cabin" many different tutorials pop up of all sorts of options that you can create with this simple block. When I was beginning to plan this quilt, I couldn't find the exact proportions that I wanted to make, so I improvised and wrote out my own. Here are my own measurements: 

Cut two of each of these measurements. Then starting with the square, sew (with a quarter-inch seam) to the top and bottom the 3" x 3.5" strips, then to the sides 3" x 8.5" and so on. I found it was easiest to press the seams outward after sewing each strip.  The block should measure 20" x 20".

Make four of these blocks. For this quilt, I mixed high and low value prints in each block, and randomly placed the fabrics in different spots within each block. I found that this made for a more random, evenly placed look when the quilt is finished. 

After the the four blocks are made, I numbered the big blocks, then stacked the quarter blocks. I arranged these blocks a pattern. I found it easiest to look at the longest strip of the blocks to distinguish them from one another. Then, I attempted to have one of each of the four blocks in each horizontal row, and one in each of the vertical rows. That way no two blocks were right beside each other. Finally, I looked at the orientation of the longest strip and tried to make sure that each block faced all four ways. However, in marking this photo, I realized that the number 4 block faces left twice. But overall, you can't tell, and I think it makes for a balanced quilt! 

Finally, sew each block together. I like to sew the horizontal rows together to make long strips. Then sew each row together to make the quilt. You have yourself a quilt top! For directions on making a quilt sandwich and quilting it, there are many great books on the topic, Modern Log Cabin by Susan Beal or The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman are two great books to start with and they are local to Portland! ;) 

Or if you're in the Portland area and want to learn, come to the class I'm teaching at Modern Domestic! I'm really excited to be one of the new teachers there. We're offering a beginning quilt class from start to finish! Click here to check out the Baby Block Quilt and to sign up

This Half Log Cabin quilt is very addicting, as soon as I finished this one, I knew that I wanted to make another one with my Echo fabric by Lotta Jansdotter

If you have any questions, let me know! I'm happy to help! ;) 

Happy Quilting! 

Tuesday
Jun052012

Baby Quilts are my favorite! 

I simply love making baby quilts! They are relatively quick (in quilting terms) and I love being able to gift them to my baby making friends. Since I left Redwood City and moved to Portland, three of my really good friends are having babies, and I'm sure that there are more to come! It's hard not being able to be there for all of the showers and seeing them through this process of motherhood. So making a quilt for their new little one helps me feel connected to the process and so a part of me gets to "be there" with them. 

Last Saturday was such a day, my friend Jill is having a baby boy and she was showered with many gifts. Here is the quilt before I sent it away: 

I say this every time, but I really love this quilt! It's super easy to make, it's four log cabin blocks, that you cut into four squares and then I arranged the total 16 blocks until it's in a pleasing arrangement. Also, I'm trying to practice free-motion quilting to improve my abilities. I really enjoyed this random triangle pattern and will be using it lots more. Stripey binding is my favorite, so I machine-binded the binding on. I send the quilt with just enough time to get there for the shower. On the day of the shower, I texted a good friend, Azadeh, and she took pics for me of Jill opening the quilt at her shower. It was so nice to see and made me feel happy to be able to "see" her opening it. :) (Also it was fun to see Aftan in the background writing down all of the presents)

So glad that you love it, Jill! Can't wait to meet your little guy!  

Do you have any traditions of gifts that you make for your pregnant friends? Or a specific gift that you always give at a shower?