Saturday, 16 August 2014

Baby Charm Quilt

I have something a bit different to show you today, and it's some unselfish sewing too.  This is a baby quilt for my friend who is pregnant.


When I found out, my first reaction was, "I'm going to make all the things!".  Well, actually, that was my second reaction; my first was "congratulations!".  I'm also knitting a baby cardigan, and have another one planned.  I'm not the only person on crafting duty though, Friend's Mum is getting to make the curtains and bedding for the baby's bedroom.  I dodged a bullet there!  I hate making curtains, ever since I volunteered to make six pairs of curtains for my sister when she moved into her apartment.  Shudder.

I'd had this notion to try a bit more quilting after the success of my OXO mat, so suggested a quilt, and Friend said yes.  Being a very novice quilter, I knew it had to be something easy, and I finally settled on the Baby Charm Quilt Pattern from Craftsy.


As I say, I am a novice quilter, and this pattern was perfect for me.  The instructions were nothing short of fantastic.  Everything was explained clearly, and there were even diagrams for the tricky bits like the binding.  I only disregarded the instructions once, and that was on finishing the binding.  The instructions said to hand-stitch the binding down, but of course I couldn't be bothered with that!  So I machined it - aaand it looked like a dog's dinner.  So I unpicked it, and sewed it by hand.

 
 
I made this in just over a week when I was off on leave at the end of July, and I'm so glad that I had that block of time to make it, otherwise I think I would have felt like it would never be finished.  I'm guessing it took about 40 hours to make altogther, and I loved making it, but I think it will be my first and last quilt.  I have always been in awe of the amazing quilts that quilters make, but I'm even more in awe of their patience now.

 

The pattern says to use pre-cut Charm Packs for the squares, but I couldn't get those, so I bought fabric and cut it into squares with my rotary cutter.  The fabric and 100% cotton batting is all from a quilting shop in Belfast called The Quilters' Quest.  The baby's bedroom theme is jungle animals, so I was delighted when I spotted this print,

 

then about five seconds later I spotted this one,

 

and these two followed quickly after.

 
 
 

Once I had each square and it's cream corners put together, I had to decide on the layout.  I layed some squares out and took a photo on my photo, then tried another layout and took a photo.  I couldn't decide which looked nicer, so emailed them to my sister and Friend.  Both liked the second layout, so that's what I made.

  


I bought some extra of the red fabric for the border, and I was pretty sure the backing wouldn't be wide enough (which it wasn't), so I also bought enough to add this red strip across the back.

 

For the actual quilting, I went with the Stitch In The Ditch technique, and used cream thread to match the backing.  I used a red bobbin thread for the bit where the backing is red, and whilst it was a faff to sew, I think it was worth it.  The finished quilt is about 46" square.


I used my walking foot throughout, and it was magic!  This foot is just great, I'm so glad I bought it.

Friend absolutely loves it, and I'm pretty pleased with it myself!  I delighted with how well the squares lined up.  Should I ever decide to make another quilt though, I will re-read this post to remind me how long it took, and hopefully that will talk me out of it!


Have a great week!

Lynne

15 comments:

  1. That's lovely :) I've made two or three patchwork quilts in the past, but I've always hand-stitched the pieces together, so they took ages to make. I've got a pack of 42 squares from Moda that I'm planning on making into a runner/mat for my laptop to sit on, but haven't got round to it yet. I also like the idea of the 'one-hour quilt' from a Jelly Roll of fabric strips, but I can see it taking me a lot longer than an hour to do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bEJLnaZQOU

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    1. Thank you! Hand-stitching quilts must take forever, that's amazing! I hadn't heard of one-hour quilts, and watched the YouTube video. Holy smoke, it was brilliant! I absolutely loved the lady in the video, she's great fun, and made piecing the jelly roll strips look so easy. There wasn't a pin in sight! I dread to think how uneven those long strips would be without me pinning them! Gosh, it's so tempting to give it a go; but then I think about how long it would take to baste, quilt and bind, and that makes me think twice! But, oh, what a lovely quilt it would be... ;)

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  2. This is beautiful Lynne. Quilts take forever but the end result is worth it! I'm currently debating about making one as I have a lot of friends due just before Christmas...

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    1. Thank you! Good luck with your quilt if you decide to make it.

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  3. That is so beautiful. I bought a couple of charm packs ages ago, just not quite sure where to start. Such a big daunting project. This has inspired me to get on with it!

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    1. Thank you! Good luck with your quilt. I can recommend the free quilting class on Craftsy. It's an introduction to quilting, and it's how I learnt.

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    2. Thanks for letting me know about that, I'll def check that out.

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  4. It looks great!! Perfect for a baby, but not too babyish. I am making a quilt for a friend who just got married, and it's taking forever. It's too big for me to wrestle with my machine... I'm about 1/3 of the way finished with the hand quilting and am really not looking forward to the binding. Whine, whine, whine. I do have a quilt for our bedroom in my mind, though, for some reason...

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    1. Thank you! Friend and I had deliberately wanted something that wasn't too babyish. Good luck with finishing your quilt. It was the quilting bit that I found hardest, because it was tough to squeeze it all under my machine.

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  5. Gorgeous quilt and a really lovely present Lynne. I bet your friend is over the moon! x

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    1. Thank you! She loves it, and I kept bombarding her with "in progress" photos as I made it.

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  6. OK this is spooky - My friend announced that she was pregnant a few months a go and I declared (to myself - just in case I couldn't finish it...) that I would make a quilt as a present for the baby. And I have never made a quilt before so it is new territory for me. And guess what theme the baby room is going to be? Jungle animals! lol!
    The difference is that I am still making mine - argh, I'm so slow at sewing! Well done for finding that great jungle animal theme fabric - I really struggled, there seems to be loads of 'safari' themes about but very little 'jungle'. I should have checked that shop (imagine if I had - we probably would have ended up with the same quilts!).
    Your quilt is really lovely and I'm sure your friend is over the moon with the lovely, thoughtful gift. I hope I can get my butt in gear and finish MY quilt - I have until Dec though so hopefully I should be OK!

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    1. Thank you. That is spooky!! But great minds think alike! Good luck with finishing your quilt, that really are so time consuming.

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  7. This is fabulous Lynne and so not the easiest quilt you could have made - that would have just been charm squares!!!!! Matching up all the corner triangle seams is tricky and I think you've done a fabulous job: colours, pattern and quilting are all brilliant! You have a very lucky friend and baby-to-be. And yes the binding is always tricky - I pretty much always do it by hand as mine ends up looking like a dog's dinner too!!!!! I"m not sure if you've seen but Lynne and Lily's Quilts has quite a good machine binding tutorial. Go on, coming over to the quilting dark-side ;) x

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  8. Oh, thank you! I found the walking foot helped considerably with matching the pieces. I'm going to have a look at the binding tutorial, but I am not going down the quilting road! Sadly there's aren't enough hours in the day. :( But I still can stop thinking about that jelly roll quilt top, it looks like it's good fun to make. I am going to email the video to Friend's mum, she got a really fancy new machine at the weekend, and that quilt would be right up her street.

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.