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.