During my blogging hiatus I made several baby quilts because I wasn’t the only one in our circle of family and friends to have a little one. The last one that was completed is the first to make an appearance here. Mostly because I didn’t have to search where the pictures ended up…
This quilt made me happy when I was working on it and that is mostly due to the fabric. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw it up on my design wall. The majority is Kate Spain’s Sunnyside collection for Moda. I used this fabric collection once before for a baby quilt, but this time I used all prints in the collection and added another 4 fabrics from my stash (can you identify which ones?).
Front, quilted, not yet bound.
For the front I cut three 4.5’’ squares from each fabric and simply started throwing them onto my design wall until I had a 10×10 square that contained each fabric at least twice. Then some rearranging ensued to make sure there wasn’t too much dark blue in one corner etc. Essentially, I tried to make the rearrangement appear random by effectively making it less random.
Back, quilted, not yet bound.
For the back I started with some improvisational piecing to get the name of the recipient into the green fabric. A strip of left over squares from the front ties the designs of front and back together. I didn’t have enough of the green fabric left to use for the entire back and found a greyish print in my stash to fill the gaps at the top and bottom.
Batting is Hobbs Tuscany Cotton Wool which is my go to batting at the moment. The quilting is a simple straight line walking foot design using a pale grey Gütermann Sulky thread.
Last weekend we went away and I decided somewhat last minute that I wanted to take something with me to craft. I’ve seen many bloggers take English paper piecing projects with them when they travel because it’s portable and doesn’t require a lot of tools. I always thought English paper piecing would be very complicated and difficult but I had never looked into the details of how exactly it’s done. A couple of YouTube videos convinced me that it is in fact extremely easy as long as you work accurately. Within an hour I had printed several sheets with hexagon templates from My Poppet and cut a stack of fabric squares to take with me.
I chose four fabrics from the Sunnyside collection that I didn’t use for the babyquilt because they had flowers on them. The print is the same for each fabric but they’re in a different colourway. The white one reminds me of old fashioned curtains and tablecloths but cut up into smaller pieces this association luckily disappeared. I decided to start simple and assemble hexagon flowers with one of the fabrics in the centre and the other 3 in a circle around it.
All I needed to take with me was a plastic thingy (that probably has another official name in English) that at first held the sheets with printed templates and that I later used to store assembled hexagon flowers (a very nice discovery that those fit in there!). Two small containers held my precut fabric squares and my cut templates and fabric covered templates. Lastly, I brought some pins and needles in a small pincushion, a pair of scissors and two spools of thread.
During the weekend I assembled almost 5 flowers! I was amazed at how fast they came together for something that is made completely by hand. What I also like about it is that it’s actually so easy that I can still do it when I’m relatively tired and other crafting projects aren’t an option. This might change when I try more complicated projects with differently shaped pieces or attempt fussy cutting.
The remaining fabric has already been cut into squares and I am ready to assemble some more flowers. I’m not really sure what I am actually going to do with them because my spur of the moment decision to try English paper piecing didn’t really involve much more than “let’s give it a try and we’ll see how I like it”. Assemble into larger pieces to make a very small quilt or keep them separate and applique on pillows?
I also already have quite a number of ideas for other paper pieced projects. Where can I get more time?
I finished my first quilt of 2014. It was made for the newborn son of one of my friends. She’s the first of my high school and university friends to have a baby so it was a very special occasion.
I used Kate Spain’s Sunnyside collection for Moda. This fabric makes me happy (even though there are clouds and raindrops featured on some of the fabrics!) and I think it’s perfect for a baby quilt so I bought a fat quarter bundle. Note to future self: When you want to use a whole fabric collection to make one baby quilt, it might be better to get a layer cake instead since a fat quarter bundle featuring 40 fabrics amounts to 10 yards of fabric which is enough to make at least 4 quilt tops… Just saying…
The finished quilt measures 35’’ x 47 ¼’’ (90 x 120 cm). I wanted this to be a relatively quick make and didn’t want to do any seam matching while piecing. For the front I cut 6.5’’ x 8.5’’ rectangles that were assembled in alternating columns of 5 or 6 pieces. The top and bottom of the columns with 5 pieces were filled up with 6.5’’ x 4.5’’ rectangles.
I didn’t use all of the fabrics in the collection. There are a couple that are a bit on the floral side that I think are too girly for a boy’s quilt. I tried to include the two blue fabrics on the bottom row in the picture but on their own they looked out of place so I decided to duplicate some of the other fabrics instead.
At first I wasn’t sure what to do with the back. I considered using a solid with some blocks of the Sunnyside collection pieced in. The problem with this idea was that I didn’t have enough of a solid fabric in my stash that really works with this collection and there are no quilt shops in Leiden so buying something new would either mean going to another city or buy online. The risk of the latter being that the colour I pick might not work with the collection after all when I get it. Since I had a lot of fabric left over from making the top I simply cut 6’’ strips of varying length and assembled these in rows.
For the quilting I wanted to stay in theme with the fabric and did a huge sun with sunrays in an orange variegated thread using my walking foot. The rays turned out pretty straight but the sun is a bit wobbly/wonky in some of the circles. I probably wanted to go too fast. In the centre of the sun I quilted the boy’s initial, I like this detail.
For the binding I had the same issue of not knowing which solid would work well. I realised that the fabrics that I could be certain would work were the ones that were already in the quilt. I searched Dutch online fabric stores and could find only 1 fabric from this collection for sale in the whole of the Netherlands and that’s the one I ended up using. The binding was handsewn to the quilt and I think this process took longer than the piecing of the front and back of the quilt. I love the look of a handsewn binding so I suppose it’s worth the time and effort.
Giveaway has closed!
Unsurprisingly, I still have quite a bit of fabric left over from my fat quarter bundle so I thought it would be fun to share some of it with one of my lovely readers. I cut pieces that measure at least 6’’x12’’ of each fabric from the collection. Most are more generous. This is enough fabric to create a decent sized quilt top. I leave it up to the winner to cut it up into squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons or whatever else takes their fancy.
This could be yours!
Giveaway is open internationally.
To enter leave a comment that clearly states that you wish to enter the giveaway. If you just comment “hey, I like your quilt” I will assume you are not interested in the fabric.
You can enter until Wednesday March 5th, 20.00h UTC +1.