Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

I Spy

Our extended family is about to gain a new member. My brother will welcome his third child with his girlfriend/partner/not-sure-what-to-call-her this month. This will be his 8th child and her 5th. They range in age from almost 30 down to almost born. (My brother is 7 years older than me. His partner is a year younger than me. I can’t imagine having a baby at my age. The idea is exhausting. Our 3 are all 18 and older now. I am thrilled they no longer need my help to get buckled into car seats and that they can dress themselves and wash their own clothes. Though sometimes the 18-year-old brings laundry home from college.)

As is tradition, I made an I Spy quilt for the newest little one. Many years ago I started making I Spy quilts for baby gifts. They are super simple, quick to make, and will live on longer than a tiny newborn onesie.

Generally, I use a solid color as the “background” fabric. I’ve been trying to use up a lot of my stash and I don’t have a fabric store nearby, so this time I used a cute star print instead. The I Spy pieces are 4 1/2″ fussy cut squares. The sashing pieces are cut 2 1/2″ by required width and 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2.” I do simple in-the-ditch quilting. The backing was a piece of purple flannel from my stash.

As I already had a huge stack of I Spy squares cut, I was able to complete this quilt in around 10-12 hours spread out over about 4 days. That includes the time to hand sew on the binding.

I also took some time last week to make a cute tied fleece blanket for our eldest daughter’s boyfriend’s son for Christmas. He’s a fan of dinosaurs. So he got different dinosaur fleece on both sides.

Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

My First (completed) Quilt

It’s a snowy day in northern Michigan!

Recently I posted a photo of the very first quilt I started. That quilt took MANY years for me to finish. I began working on it when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I finished it after she graduated from high school. Shortly after starting that quilt, I discovered I was pregnant. Wanting to make a quilt for the baby (who everyone was certain was a boy due to a family “curse” that had been responsible for no girls being born for 17 years), I put aside the Feathered Star quilt and chose to work on this bunny pattern from Quick Rotary Cutter Quilts. I was convinced I was having a girl and thought this quilt would be perfect for either gender. (We didn’t ask baby’s gender when we had the ultrasound, preferring it to be a surprise.)

I learned so many things while making this quilt. First and foremost, I learned to never, ever cut out all of the pieces for a quilt at once. Being still rather inept at sewing, I think I ended up with every bunny block being a different size and none of them matching the size of the strips that I had cut that were to be sewn to the side of the block. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the bunnies were smaller than those strips, but as the bunnies were bigger, I ended up needing to cut new strips. Thankfully I had purchased plenty of fabric! I also learned how to properly attach the walking foot to my machine. There were hours of frustration, hours spent wondering why it wasn’t working properly and what even the point of the foot was as it didn’t seem to be doing anything, before one phone call to my mother provided the answer. I hadn’t attached it properly.

Each bunny block is comprised of approximately 70 different pieces! This was definitely not an easy project for a beginner, but I am not one to be stopped by a challenge. I also made crib bumpers from the cloud fabric and the dark blue fabric.

When we pulled this quilt out of the my daughter’s cedar chest to take a photo of it today, I was struck by how thin it is, evidence of how well-loved and well-used it was.