Monday, February 10, 2014

"Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love." ~ Anon.

I, creator of the let's-think-of-the-most-complicated-new-project-that-I-know-nothing-about-but-I'm-going-to-start-and-finish-in-less-than-a-month plans, have finally created a project that was actually simplistic, something I know a teensy bit about, and finished it in about a month! My dear friends are expecting their first baby in March and I really wanted to make them a quilt. However, unlike my first quilt that took me over a year to complete and give to friends, I wanted to design one that was simple but cute and give it to them BEFORE they have their baby. Mission accomplished!

Originally, I wanted to make two baby quilts: one representing the father's home state/university (Ohio State U) and one representing the mom's Irish heritage. I decided this about two weeks before the shower (that was an old Miranda plan). But when I went to look for fabric, surprise surprise but in Pittsburgh it was hard to find OSU material. But while browsing the fabrics in Joann's, I stumbled upon the sailor bear print, which is just adorable.

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I belatedly remembered that their nursery would have a nautical theme and thought, "New plan!" How about I only make one quilt? And instead of a MILLION tiny squares, I choose a design with bigger blocks. I roamed the store to pick fabrics that went with the theme and I found the octopus one next. I wanted to pop out the bits of red on the sailor bear print and I finally found the red fabric that looks like tiny bubbles. I was happy with just these three prints and I pored over a number of my quilting pattern books to find a design that was small enough for a baby quilt but balanced equally with only three prints. And ta da! Here is the final product.

I will also admit that with my first quilt, I didn't necessarily follow ALL the instructions for how to make one, start to finish. And frankly, I think those details matter. If you look at the pics of my first one, you can tell it's a little puckered (on the back mostly) and luckily, the larger design and tiny square variations hide much of the other imperfections (at least I'd like to think so). I'm sure my friend's toddler doesn't care!

But for this second one, I wanted to learn correctly and do it right. In about two weeks. That's a rough timeline for me! I ended up taking a month, but I have to admit that all those details (like ironing your fabrics, changing your needle...) helped make the project turn out well AND made it easier to sew along the way. It certainly created less problems towards the end of the quilt's completion. I'm so pleased with how it turned out and I hope the little one loves it!

I have a bit of the quilting bug now and I'm torn between wanting to create one for me and hubby's king-size bed (we desperately need a new cover) or making my daughter an adorable little quilt. So addicting!

stitch by stitch

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