"The Birds and the Bees" (A Quilt for Lacie)
My first blog post ever is a baby quilt for my sister in law! She is expecting the arrival of a little girl; currently referred to as "she who should not be named" because her mom and dad are keeping her name a secret until she is born. While this has upset some people, I was just thankful that we were told the gender. It is really difficult to find fabric that is gender neutral. I find fabrics almost always lean one way or the other.
I found the pattern for this quilt at www.modabakeshop.com (if you are crafty and have not checked out this sight-it is AWESOME!!). The recipe for this quilt is called "Charmalade" and was designed by Pamela Lincoln from Mama Spark's World. I chose the fabric collection "The Birds and the Bees" by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics. I found this cool (and appropriately named) collection at www.fatquartershop.com. "She who should not be named" has a nursery scheme that has a light purple paisley feel and leans more toward non traditional girl colors...which I love.
Here is sort of a step by step of this project. I have to say that this is one of my favorite quilts that I have made so far. I pretty much love everything about it: the colors, the pattern of the fabrics, the overall layout of the quilt...it has been a joy to make.
For this quilt, I had to sew 65 squares (1 pattern and one "snow") together
When these squares were cut in half, I ended up with 130 half square triangles (whoa nellie!!)
Of course, as all things in life, these squares are imperfect, and need to be "squared up" so that they are all approximately the same size. Lucky for me, these squares all needed to be 4.5 in square and I have a 4.5 in square quilt ruler, so this made squaring up 130 squares sooooo much easier.
After they were all squared up, it was time to lay them out. My house is pretty small, so most of this sort of work is done either on my kitchen floor or on small open areas in the living room. So, this process must be done quickly and efficiently or else I risk my projects being trampled on by my large black lab or my two small children. So here is the original layout. I printed this picture out, numbered, and lettered the rows (a function of my overly organized, occasionally type A personality). This allowed me to make sure that my rows were going together in the correct order.
The next step was sewing the rows together. I apologize that this picture is in reverse of the original layout shown above.
Then, came the first of three borders and the first of two snafus, blunders, errors on my part, if you will.
Snafu #1 : Sooo, when I ordered this set of fabrics I ordered a set of "snow" colored charm squares that were by a designer called Kaufmann. I also ordered the solid fabric for the two borders and it was called "snow" I assumed that this was the same color. Turns out that "snow" and "snow" are not the same because one was by Kaufmann and the other was by Bella. Soooo...I had to go to www.fabricworm.com and order more of the correct "snow" colored fabric
So the fabric arrived, and the villagers rejoiced (of course the village consists of only me, so it was not really all that exciting). On went the first set of "snow" borders.
Snafu #2: Apparently, not all charm packs are created equal. Some come with 42 charms, others come with 30 charms. So, upon figuring out that I was going to be a whole charm pack short for the second border, I ordered another pack of "The Birds and the Bees" along with my "snow" colored fabric.
So, the second border was pieced together and applied to the quilt.
Finally, a larger 4 inch border of "snow" was added and the top was complete! The villagers rejoiced. I added this border while my husband watched "Hell on Wheels" on netflix...so there was another villager to rejoice with me.
Then I sewed the back pieces together. The fabric for the back is called "Tree of Life" and I just love the sort of deeper meaning of the fabric. It shows the tree, the roots, apples, bees, and flowers - a sort of "circle of life" vibe to it.
An older, wiser quilter once told me to sew the back of my quilt in three pieces instead of two...the reasoning behind this escapes me, but I have been sewing the backs of my quilts this way ever since.
Once my children are in bed, my husband is occupied editing his podcast, and my dog is most likely asleep on my side of the bed, I tape the back of the quilt to my kitchen floor. My quilting Yodas, my Miagis of quilting (Carol and Louise) from my favorite quilting store Sewalot (www.sewalotonline.com) told me that your back should be like a sheet of glass.
I have tried many different kinds of tape for this: blue painters tape, masking tape, duct tape, clear packing tape...and I find that Gorilla tape works the best...it really holds that back in place and does not let the fabric go.
Then, I layer the batting and the top over the back. I marked the center of each side of both the back and the top so that when I smooth and pin them down, they will line up properly. The "Tree of Life" fabric has a defined pattern that is in straight lines. I wanted to make sure that the lines were straight on the back.
Then, comes the tedium. It used to be that you would "baste" the 3 layers together either by hand or machine. But Yoda and Miagi taught me that safety pins do the trick- a lot of safety pins. You cannot really see them very well in this picture. The more safety pins the better-the less your layers shift as you quilt.
On February 8th, "she who should not be named" was born into this world (after over 30 hours of laboring on the part of her mother) and (drum roll) she shall be called Lacie Marie!! So Precious! Have not had the opportunity to go and see her in person yet, but I love her already <3 I am one proud Auntie!!
Quilting has started...I was going to do some free motion on this quilt, but liked the look of the straight lines much better.
Quilting Finished! Whew!!
Excess batting and backing removed!! (it is starting to look finished!!)
Making the binding...
Adding the binding to the quilt...
This might be the prettiest corner I have ever made : P
Once the binding is added, the quilt is finished (and placed on a rustic looking fence for aesthetic value)
Add a personalized, soft, fluffy bunny (from personalcreations.com) for Easter... and it is ready for the cuddlin'
Release the cuddlin'!!