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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baby quilt fun!



Hi everyone,

don't you just LOVE that feeling of a completed quilt?
I have several stages of "oh yeah!" moments when I make quilts and I guess when you string them together, you have a story of that particular quilt...
Baby quilts are always a special fun - there is a theme, or color preferences, sometimes you know if it is a girl or boy, sometimes not, you have all these happy thoughts and big wishes and dreams for the little one and his new parents...and somehow I want all of this to be in that quilt! Yeah, not always possible but then again, you just make it with love and joy and it is all there, in those stitches.

With this baby quilt loosely theme was Hungry Caterpillar, colors were bright, primary and no "preview" if it is a boy or girl. That was my starting point and I start to think and doodle...I wanted to make my own caterpillar, so - Snowball blocks came to mind!

So I started doodling in my current "take everywhere" notebook (more about that later)...but not as much this time. That on the left is the only drawing I did!



OK, so while in the "dreaming" stage I decided caterpillar will be in the border part, some "happy" blocks in the center part, Snowball blocks (caterpillar's body) must be somehow on different levels....and after I drew this, some math was in order:


Decided on 4" blocks, 6 different bright colors, remembered my 8" butterfly block that would be perfect for corners, hence the 4" snowball blocks will be 8"x4" rectangles and that will allow me to "move" them in different heights to achieve the caterpillar in moving...
Ha, ha - can anyone follow my crazy thought process?

I am so curious how YOU do these things?  What is your thought process when creating something?









Now I was ready to play in my trusty EQ and create this on screen first! I can of course pick simple blocks from EQ library, but my Snowball had to be a rectangle at the end, so I drew it:
Then the Butterfly block:
Started to play with layout - chose middle blocks to be "on-point", set border to be 8" wide and started to set the snowball variations:
Decided that my fun, happy block for the middle will be a Pinwheel block (it really is my "go-to" happy block for kids!), set Butterflies in the corners and voila:

At this point the print in the middle is just an example and the blue would be this sky fabric that I have and love to use in baby quilts, specially when they have pinwheels, but somehow it was A LOT of blue here...so decided to change middle part to white:
Better, right? Well, maybe it is not as obvious in this "virtual" version but with real fabric it did make sense. Real fabric - that is where REAL fun is, don't you agree? :)
So now on to choosing fabric from my stash:
 
 So what do you think? Works? On the top of the photo is my favorite sky fabric, some pure, crisp white, a fun animal print for middle squares, some "green grass" for the caterpillar to crawl on and bright colors for pinwheels and caterpillar itself.
On to the cutting:
Snowball pieces
Pinwheel strips











I used Thangles for half-square triangles in Pinwheels - do you use Thangles? Love them! Ieven chain-piece them too - crazy, I know...but that's just me. :)
So here is the progress:
HSTs made!

Put into happy Pinwheels!

Some Pinwheels on-point, some fun print and center is done!
Once the middle was done, it needed a narrow border of the white to bring the size to what would fit with 4" wide Snowballs (aka Caterpillar) - you know how when you put blocks on-point, math is not that straight forward, so the simple solution is always to add a border, in the same colors as background (so it is "invisible", sort off), to bring the size to what you need. Once I solved that, stringing up Caterpillar parts and adding Butterflies at the ends was easy:
 Top was done and now is the time for some QUILTING fun - YAY!!
When it comes to quilting, it is all about thread, thread, THREAD! The colors, the effect, sparkle or not, thin or thick...so many choices!  And I tried them all... Lately though, what excites me the most is COLOR. And when it comes to color, one thread makes my heart flutter - AURIFIL. Besides being a really, really good thread in quality, colors that Aurifil has are just as exciting and inspiring as colors in fabric!! Honestly!! LOVE IT.

Yeah, you guessed it - I stash it now, just like fabric! I find it locally (preferred!), on-line, and even belong to a monthly Aurifil club (two new colors at my door, every month!). Above is just the latest find... :)
But back to baby quilt! With all the bright colors in fabric, thread choices are vast...right? :) I was really happy with bright colors and strong contrast between them and the white, so I did not want to change that with quilting...Here are some thread choices:
That meant matching colors of fabric and thread, at least somewhat.
So choose to go with white thread on white fabric,
 
 These photos did not come out as good as I would like them to - it is so hard to photograph white!! Do you have any good tips for that?

 Then some green for Caterpillar's grass
Then mostly used the bright yellow for butterflies and caterpillar


Beautiful variegated blue for the sky
And gorgeous dark plum to doodle the eyes and antennae:
 And stitched the binding with a bright red thread - in my old home country grandmas bring a piece of red thread and put it under the newborn baby's sheets - for good luck, prosperity and against evil spirits - so I decided to add that too! :)
Pardon the needle out of focus in this photo...oops.
By the way, I just LOOOVEEE this stripe fabric for binding! It came from my stash and now I must go hunt for more to buy - it is the perfect binding fabric for bright-colored quilts! Stitching the binding by hand, in my garden, on a beautiful, breezy but sunny summer day, with a cup of good coffee and birds singing...it was a gift to cherish. :)
So here we are, all done!




Well, not quite done - this quilt needs a label of course!
Do you label your quilts? How important is it for you? Any good tips or ideas?
I do label my quilts, specially ones to be given as gifts and specially baby quilts - I consider the label as my final message/wish for a baby.
So on to think about the NAME for this quilt and a whole label...
What would you call this one? Let me know please and thank you!

Have a lovely Tuesday and week ahead,
Marija

2 comments:

  1. A wonderful quilt. Someone will love it.

    I love playing with EQ and designing quilts. I either label a quilt or sign it. Caterpiller Play.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely LOVE this quilt! I may have to try making something similar :)

    ReplyDelete