Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two Baby Quilt Finishes

I have two finished baby quilts to share today. Baby quilts are my new favorite. Who doesn't love a quick finish? I need to put more baby quilts on my future Finish-A-Long lists!

Twister at the Reunion Baby Quilt

When I won a Reunion Charm Pack from Marit at Sew, Love, Live, I immediately knew the perfect project to use it in. A baby quilt for my husband's coworker's new boy! My inspiration for the quilt pattern was the Reunion 'X' Print (see last row, 4th color block). With charm squares in hand, I narrowed my options down to a pinwheel block or the twister.

When I found the June Tailor Twist n' Stitch Ruler at Joann's, I decided that the Twist 'n Stitch Pinwheel block was the one.

I really like the ruler, because you can cut several block sizes with it. The unfinished sizes are 3.5" (perfect for using with 5" charms), 5", 6.5", 8" and 10.5". If you choose to use a 10.5" block, the scraps that remain are large enough to cut 5" squares for the 3.5" twister block.  The instructions that come with the ruler are very clear and to the point. Fabric requirements for different sized quilts at each block size are included.

I like square baby quilts, so I went with my own sizing. This quilt top required two charm packs, a solid and print. With a twister quilt, the first thing you do is make a basic charm quilt...then you slash it to pieces! It was kind of like applying a very low-tech, nerve-wracking and tedious Photoshop filter to the charms :D. I chose to make every other Twist block white, because I didn't want the top to look too overwhelming and I wanted the twister shape to be clear. One of the things that I love about this block is that as long as you have your charms laid out correctly on the initial layout, you get perfect points with very little work.

The border pieces are half twister blocks in one print. I wanted the border to echo the main block. I used one print because I didn't want it to compete with the already busy quilt top. The one-print border grounds it a bit.

I made a slight miscalculation with the backing (I didn't calculate at all. Guesstimation!).  I took this as an opportunity to piece the backing and put the focus on the name. My first thought was to use the navy blue border fabric as a backing for the name and use the excess cream charms to make the letters. It looked a bit dull! In the end, I chose a yellow print from my stash. The warm yellow contrasts with the cool grey backing and the thin chevron print fits in well with the Reunion bunting prints. I chose a a white and gray chevron print to create a little movement going towards the name.

The font used is Porky's. I tried to find one with a better name, but it was my favorite LOL. I applied the letters with Heat 'n Bond Lite Fusible Web and I stitched around the outline with a satin stitch.

The quilting is a 4" grid. I quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Mako Thread in Light Gray. Light gray is one of my favorite colors of thread to quilt with, because it is not as stark as white and it blends in nicely with most colors. The binding is Reunion Tie Check in Navy. Next to the strong navy print, the check print has a "white on blue" look. It contrasts with the border, without competing with the multicolor Twist blocks.

Things I learned while making this quilt:

  1. Planning - Planning is important! If I could go back in time, I would have started with the initial charm quilt with 11x11 charms, rather than 12x12 charms.  The reasons for this are: 
    1. The odd number rows would have started and ended with a color block and the even numbered rows would have started and ended with a white block. Minor thing, but it would have looked more balanced and all the quilting would have gone through colored twisters.
    2. The quilt would have come out 42"x 42", which would have been easier to buy fabric for if I went with a whole cloth back. The quilt was about 2-3 inches too long.
    3. I didn't plan on the half twister block border and it would have been a lot easier to cut with the rest of the quilt! (Measurements on "Ideal Layout": 5" Charms, 5" White Outer Border, and 3.5" Blue Outer Border)
  2. Fusible Web Disasters - If you ever iron fusible web on the wrong site of the fabric or forget to reverse the letters (oops, autopilot!), it can be removed! Just iron the waxy side of freezer paper on to the fusible web. Like magic, the fusible web lifts right off with the freezer paper! The fabric feels a little stiff, similar to how it would feel if it was on the fusible web was on the correct side, but the stickiness is gone.
  3. Layout - Take a picture of your block arrangement before you sew and then actually look at it while you sew. I took the pictures, but then I never looked at them again! I ended up flipping some rows. The value distribution ended up a off with the top left being much paler than the bottom right.
  4. Fabric Bleeds - I had a really tiny, but annoying emergency on this quilt. There were two tiny fabric bleeds on the backing behind the border area. I think I may have over spritzed that part whenever I was removing my disappearing marker lines. I was really worried about the whole quilt turning blue in the washing mashine. I applied some Shout Stain Remover and washed it with five Shout Color Catchers. The color catchers caught the blue and the quilt was okay. However, the spots had only faded a little bit . I applied Shout Advanced Action Gel for Heavy Duty Stains (rubbed it in with a Q-Tip) and the spots disappeared with a second washing. Yay!

Children at Play Baby Quilt

I actually started this quilt about a year ago. I finally finished and gifted it in May when the baby was around five months old! The holdup? Applique insecurity :D.

I won't write too much about this quilt, because I cannot take credit for the fabric choices at all. The fabric palette was completely inspired by Jodi at Tickle and Hide's drawstring quilt on last year's Let's Get Acquainted post.

This charm quilt was the first quilt I made for recipients that I didn't know. I knew I wanted to make a basic charm quilt, but I had no clue what direction to go with it. I fell in love with the soft palette of Jodi's drawstring quilt.
42"x42" | Charm Quilt

Unfinished Measurements: Twenty-Five 5" Charm Squares //  2" Essex Linen in Flax Sashing // 1.5" Children At Play Racer Stripe Print in Aqua Border // 3" Taza - Color Stripe (Neutral by Dena Design) Border (These measurements are estimated with Photoshop.)

Binding: Racer Stripe Print in Aqua from Children at Play
Backing: Flannel // Children at Play by Sarah Jane Studios Dot to Dot Blue.
Letters: Since I cut my own charms, I had a bit of fabric left over. I chose the warm yellow print to contrast with the cool blue back. I applied the letters with Heat 'n Bond Lite Fusible Web and I stitched around the outline with a small zig-zag stitch.

Today I am linking up with 
TGIFF which is at Quilt Matters this week and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. I will also be linking up with the Plum and June's Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link-Up 

24 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Izzy said... #

Love your small quilts. The twister one is just gorgeous.

Carla said... #

Beautiful! Very nice work

Kristy @ Quiet Play said... #

I love your Twister quilt - and so appreciate you giving so much information about it. I have a Twister ruler but have been too scared to try it. But this looks so awesome and sounds rather easy!

Unknown said... #

Really nice quilt. Getting ready to do a King using Layer Cake just have to work on layout and figure how many I need. Love your Colors. Very nice job!!!

M-R Charbonneau said... #

Taryn, these are fabulous! I love the babies' names on the back. Great idea! I'm going to have to find that twister ruler!

Heidi Staples said... #

The quilts are beautiful, Taryn, and I love the tips you included. So smart!

Serena @ Sewgiving said... #

Both those quilts are gorgeous. I love how you personalize them with the names on the back :)

Celtic Thistle said... #

Your Twister quilt is lovely Taryn, will be bookmarking your tips too!

Sarah said... #

I love your Reunion Twister quilt Taryn! No surprise really,coz I love most of the quilts you make. I made a quilt for my son out of Reunion too. We both love it. And guess what? His name is Joseph! I got a big grin when I saw the photo of your backing.

ipatchandquilt said... #

What lovely projects you have been working on! Thank you for the tip on getting rid of "bleeding" spots.
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

Debbie said... #

Darling quilts and I loved to hear all about your process and what you'd do differently on the twister...

giddy99 said... #

These are SO cute! :)

Anonymous said... #

The backing for your twister quilt is fantastic!

Mina said... #

Super cute. Sometimes we learn lessons the hard way.

Jodi Godfrey said... #

Thanks so much for the link! What beautiful gifts! People are always saying it's much harder to make for boys, but your quilts are perfect! I especially love that pinwheel block!

Gemma@prettybobbins said... #

That is such a fantastic tip on removing fusible web from fabric! I will remember that one!! Thank you :) I love your final layout and the back is just perfect. Thanks for sharing your process, that is the whole reason I read blogs, I love reading about the process :)

Nicole said... #

I'm always amazed at how much I learn from making a quilt. Quilts make great teachers!
Love the baby quilts! My favorite is the Twister. What a great way to use charms!

Tessa @ TheSewingChick said... #

Love these quilts!! Thanks for sharing what you learned, so much good information here! I always like to have an odd number of blocks or rows, too, for the same reason - it looks more balanced if it starts and ends with a colored block. Oh and thanks for telling me that the twist and stitch ruler is at JoAnn's - I am going to look for it and use a coupon!!

Jessica Hadden said... #

Love those pinwheels!

Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD said... #

Two gorgeous quilts and lots of helpful advice and tips :)

Vicki said... #

Great baby quilts! Teselating quilts are not easy.

S said... #

I love your twister quilt!

I really enjoyed your things I learned bit. I think it's great when bloggers include the failures and triumphs. It makes it more interesting and if people are making a similar quilt its super helpful!


Karen said... #

The twister quilt is absolutely gorgeous! I love the pattern with the jagged black and white edges, I love the binding print and I love the backing! The bunting is so cute! Shame about the font name but the applique looks fab! Visiting from lets get acquainted. :o)

Colleen said... #

Thanks for the tips on the twister quilt and for removing the fusible. I iron the fusible to the front side of my fabric just about every time I applique, so I'll have to try that trick next time!

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