Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pinwheel Baby Quilt

Pinwheel Baby Quilt | Chantilly + Kona Snow | 44"x52"

I had actually made another quilt top for this particular baby, but it turned out a little too big. Plus, I ended up wanting to keep it for myself! I had limited time to finish a new quilt, so I raced to my local quilt shop in hopes that I would find a cute precut that I could make a quick quilt with. Two charm packs of Chantilly for $6.99 and a coordinating backing fabric also in store? That'll work!

The pattern is Pinwheel Baby Quilt by Jodi Nelson and it is available for free at Moda Bake Shop. I used this pattern as inspiration for a pillow I made a few months ago. It is really quick project (in terms of making quilts!) and the prairie points really kick up the specialness a notch! The original pattern only calls for one charm pack, but I excluded all the purple and cream prints and went with a 4x5 arrangement rather than a 3x4 arrangement. I like to stick close to 38"x52" for baby quilts, so it is useful for a longer period of time.

The pattern calls for half-square triangles constructed with triangles, but I used the sandwich method. The Juki TL-2010 came with a compensating foot that can be used as a 1/4" foot, but the heavy-duty built-in guide isn't ideal for my favorite HST method. I bought the Janome 1/4" Seam Foot with Edge guide and it works perfectly with my Juki. The guide is held on by a super tiny screw, so it is removable.

One thing that my life harder on the aforementioned pillow, was that I overlapped the prairie points on the corners. The corner points should actually lay adjacent so that there isn't a stubborn bulky spot. McCall's tutorial on prairie points helped me out with this project.

I used my standard baby quilt backing template, plus my blank pages... My First Alphabet pattern. The top section is Wall Flowers Brook Aqua from Chantilly by Lauren & Jessi Jung for Moda

Stipple in Aurifil 40wt Dove. I thought I could quilt the whole thing in one go and sneak to the pinwheels through the prairie point intersections, but that didn't work out very well at all! I ended up quilting the middle and then rolled it back up on the frame to quilt the borders.

Pin Dot from Ruby by Bonnie and Camille. Oh my goodness, I have been saving that fabric since 2012 for binding another quilt. But I was running out of time and it matched well, so I went with it! I am guessing it won't be hard to find another red pin dot fabric!

I will be linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric StudioThank Goodness It's Finished Friday (which is being hosted at Quilt Matters this week) and  Show off Saturday at the Sew Can She blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


June is always such a busy month. A majority of my family was born in June, so there was a birthday party every weekend. I ate so much cake and ice cream! I also had to finish two baby quilts. This quilt is for a baby boy who was just born on my mother-in-law's side of the family.

Cheerio Pattern | The Boat House and Bella Solids Off White | 45"x 56.25"

The pattern is Cheerio by Camille Roskelley. I found the pattern in issue 8 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, but it is also sold on the Thimble Blossoms website. I paired a fat eighth bundle of Sweetwater's The Boat House with Bella Solids Off White. I really love these nautical prints with this quilt pattern, because the blocks remind me of life savers! The fat eighth bundle I used had less fabric than the pattern called for, but that was okay since I was reducing the size anyway. Each fat eighth equals a block, so it is easy to scale the pattern up and down. I made it really easy on myself and just halved the pattern. I ended up with four extra blocks, plus the six extra fat eighths I didn't cut.

To make flippy corners, I adhere painter's tape to my machine and draw a straight line from the needle to the edge of the machine. Then all I have to do is keep the appropriate corners aligned and done! It really speeds up the process.

It really did seem like a lot of pieces and steps for a baby quilt, but each step was so easy that the process was really enjoyable. By keeping my fabric organized, I was able to cut down the back-and-forth to the sewing machine and really streamline my chain piecing. I have been listening to audiobooks while working on quilt tops and it really makes time fly, even during the more tedious parts of quilting. While making this quilt, I listened to The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty through my library's subscription to Hoopla.

I used my standard baby quilt backing template, plus my blank pages... My First Alphabet pattern. The Boat House prints are so dense and I wanted something a little more airy for the top section of the back. I chose More Hearty Good Wishes Ships Dark Blue by Janet Clare for Moda. It felt extra soft and drapey! I am really proud of the matched seam on the back! Na Na's Place on the Web has a great tutorial for getting a perfect invisible seam.

After I had already purchased the More Hearty Good Wishes fabric, I discovered a great ship blueprint fabric. I think it would have worked well too. 3 Sisters always has great blueprint and text prints!

The quilting is a stipple with Aurifil 40wt in Dove. This was my first time working with 40wt and it really is much more noticeable than 50wt! The stitches are very defined.

I had been worried about frame quilting when the backing alignment is crucial, because a quilt I sent out to be quilted came back noticeably off-center. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. I think it helps that the name is left aligned, so you can't tell if it is offset by an inch or two. I did add an extra inch to the left of the name just to be extra safe. Can you imagine all the tears that would occur if I took it off the frame and the name was cut off? :D

Since the top and backing are pinned to the leader cloths by their centers, it is easy to center the width. Centering the height is a little more finicky. I have been drawing a line at the ideal part of the backing and making sure that I float the top of the quilt to the line. Technically it still ends up being an inch or two too low or high, but I usually have a lot of room to work with.

Bias binding, The Boat House Vanilla on Navy True North by Sweetwater for Moda. Stripes are the best!

Next week I will be showing off the other baby quilt (pictured above)! I am still trying to work up the energy to make backing for the the very first quilt I ever started!

I will be linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric StudioThank Goodness It's Finished Friday (which is being hosted at Quokka Quilts this week) and  Show off Saturday at the Sew Can She blog.

Friday, May 22, 2015

TGIFF: Quilty Fun!

This is one of my favorite sampler designs ever! I made this quilt as part of the Quilty Fun Sew Along. I started this project because I was working on the Texas A&M quilt and I really needed a project with bright colors! I gave this quilt to my mom for Mother's Day.

Quilty Fun Sew Along | Scraps | 67.5"x67.5"

The cutting instructions are available at the The Jolly Jabber, but for block construction you need Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun: Lessons in Scrappy Patchwork. I really love Lori's techniques for working with tiny scraps. Some of the blocks are constructed in a completely different way than I expected. She also included detailed pressing instructions at each step! The projects in the book feature one or more of these blocks in some capacity. There is a Row Along Quilt in the book, as well as ten individual projects. The book is spiral bound, which is great because it lays flat on the table while you work.

I chose to work scraps that were red, yellow, pink, light blue, yellow-green and blue-green. I avoided purple and orange for the most part. The white background is Vintage Modern Dots in Cream, the red border is Baby Jane Hop Skip Fabric in Scarlet and the outer border is Ta Dot in Teal. Ta Dot in Teal is one of my favorite dot prints and I especially love it next to red.

All the blocks are so adorable, but the quarter square triangles are my favorite! I am going through my scraps now so I can make a large quarter square triangle quilt. It will definitely have bigger blocks though!

The hardest part for me was the frame around the bee. The simple blocks (flying geese, squares and quarter square triangles) are the ones I had the hardest time working on in a smaller scale. If I could go back, I would work on the bee block first and all of the frame pieces immediately after.  I think starch would have helped.

There is a lot of detail in this quilt and I uploaded a few more detailed shots to my Flickr account.

The quilt top finishing and backing instructions are at Bee in My Bonnet. I was really tempted to to make a whole fabric backing, but this was a really good opportunity to use some (24!) fat quarters that have been sitting in my closet for a very long time. Many of them are large prints, which I have a difficult time using. I've learned not to buy large prints, except for specific projects!

I love the embroidery details in this pattern!

Large stipple in Aurifil 50wt Dove. I use Dove all the time for quilting and piecing. It blends really well and sometimes it seems like it is taking on the color of the fabric below it.

The binding is Medium Cotton Gingham Red (Riley Blake). Any kind of gingham or gridded binding drives me crazy, but it was perfect for this quilt. I like the chunkiness of the print, especially in contrast with all the tiny prints in the quilt! I chose a red binding to match the inner border.

There is a Flickr group for this quilt along. I love seeing all the different color schemes!

I am still working on the baby quilts! 40 blocks finished for the girl quilt and all the block components are finished for the boy quilt.

I will be linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Fabric Frenzy Friday at Fort Worth Fabric StudioThank Goodness It's Finished Friday (which is being hosted at -Slostudio this week) and  Show off Saturday at the Sew Can She blog.
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