My most fabulous and talented man is from Seattle, and the Seattle cousins are having babies! There are 2 due this spring. We ventured up this weekend for a bit of Zoe’s first birthday, a bit of VIP special delivery, and I took up a baby quilt for Robert’s cousin’s baby shower that we could not attend, but I could not resist making a little something.
I saw this glowing Tiffany blue argyle pattern from the Denyse Schmidt Fancy Free line.
It has the silkiest feel to it and is really nice to work with…it’s also never going to make it into my ‘cheap and easy’ category as it’s certainly not cheap, but is sooo very worth it. Besides, when we’re talking a quilt for a family baby, we don’t want cheap to enter into the equation unless it’s happenstance, right? Right. It was 30% off when I bought it, so, for giggles, you’re looking at about 4 yards at around $10 each, and I have a yard leftover…not too bad before batting and all.
I got a 9.5″ square ruler by Omnigrid to make my life a bit easier. I knew I wanted it to be a big, chunky chevron pattern and that I would be repeating the pattern later with the large Disney Cars print, so it was a good buy.
My batting was a baby quilt size 60″x60″ – which gave me plenty of room to work with. When all is said and done, I have 6 half-square triangles (HST) across and down that are 8.25″ once sewn together (6×8.25=49.5″) and that’s plenty of wiggle room.
Enter the batch sewing. I borrowed this technique from my Craftsy Block of the Month class. My quilting experience hasn’t always resulted in the best end product, but I have been working on it. While apparel remains my more natural mode, I must grow! hahaha. Okay, seriously. Take your stacks of squares, I’m using a Kona white as my contrast, mark the lighter fabric down the center on all of them, stack them all right sides together (not gonna matter with a solid), and get ready to sew, sew, sew.
My first run of stitching 1/4″ down one side of the center marked line.
On my machine, I move the needle to the right 1.8 points to make the edge of my foot 1/4″ – your machine or foot may make that unnecessary, but this is what I choose to do.
Without even cutting anything apart, I stitched the opposite side of each block’s center line next.
Alright! Does anyone reading this have any experience with the LEAN manufacturing theories? I always giggle when I’m in this batch-sewing mode and think of that. Anywho, set all of your sewn lines at the same time, cut them all apart, slice along your marked line, and press all of them open. For me, giggling about LEAN and getting it all done in like-batches is easier.
Now, this fabric has a directional pattern. Keep this in mind when selecting your fabric – it adds a bit of time to your assembly if you need to make sure the patterns are all going the same way.
This is where I leave the Craftsy BOM class instructions and move to something simpler. This is more like the Missouri Quilt Company YouTube tutorial idea. I know, I know, I can’t just stick with one thing; I have to mix and match and make my own. I personally don’t love the Missouri Quilt’s version of making HSTs because they’re too wiggly on the bias afterwards for me and honestly, adding wiggly to geometry doesn’t work for me at this time. Maybe when I get better at it.
Sew it all up! I use the more classic quilt construction by making quadrants of blocks that get sewn together, but if you can sew in strips of blocks, more power to you. I tend to get some extra wonkiness when I do that, so I stick to what works best for me. Less wonky works best for me.
My fabulous and talented man can also hold up quilt tops with ease! Aw, he’s so sweet. Hold on a second while I go give him a kiss.
Okay, I’m back.
Now, you baste your top to your batting and backing fabric. Baste as you like…I use spray baste. To each their own. My usual Warm and Natural batting was out of stock, so I tried a new kind.
It’s like buttah, I tell ya. It is Nature-Fil which is 50% bamboo rayon and 50% organic cotton. It’s a bit more pricey than my usual, but damn was it easy to quilt. Vikings are great machines…better at some things than others, and she can be a persnickety one at times, but she didn’t blink an eye at this batting.
Purred like a kitten right through it all, and didn’t even need a walking foot. I just traced the patterned chevron on the white for quilting – kept it simple and fast.
I’m a big fan of the backing wrap-around binding – especially if I’m going to have mitered corners. I trimmed down to 2 inches after quilting. If your quilt is wonky and didn’t stay square after quilting, this may not work as well, but I did minimal quilting and it stayed square.
I wrapped the raw edge of the binding edge in itself, and pinned it down. Again, Ms. Viking had no problems at all purring through through it.
Here’s the front, all finished and pretty.
Here’s the back. I had some blocks leftover that I incorporated. I think it looks a little nautical, which is fitting for Pacific NW families.
Altogether, it only took about….10-12 hours I’d guess, including the extra fussing needed for the fabric directional pattern. If you’re curious, with getting some of the fabric and the batting on sale, you’re looking at about $60-70 dollars for this finished baby quilt, not including labor :). I think that’s pretty good. Sure, you can get 3 or 4 blankets at Target for that, but they won’t be nearly as nice or have that special family love sewn in. And like I said, while this may not fall into the cheap category, it was certainly easy.
I’m definitely glad I found a way to make this pattern work for me, and I’m definitely going to do it again. I’m not quite pro yet….here’s leaving you with a close up of a block that did get wonky…