Friday, July 16, 2010

Nicola's Baby Quilt - almost there...

This has been picked up, put down, sewn and unpicked more times that I can count and the baby it's intended for is now 5 months old. The design started out as a crazy block quilt similar to Lincoln's baby quilt then became a reversible quilt that converts into a bag, 2 elements I've never tried before. As usual I'm not following any sort of pattern so lots of improvising along the way. Enough blabbing - pic time.

The blue and pink pieces are for Nicola's quilt, the orange and green for another baby quilt next on my list of quilts to make.
This was the original layout for a rectangular quilt before I realised I had boo-boo-ed, got creative and changed things around. For some bizzare reason the blue homespun I used on these blocks wasn't the one I had originally picked out. This blue was too dark and not aqua enough to go with the backing I had chosen so at this point I put the quilt down not happy to continue with it as is. Had a chat to hubby (fabulous sounding board and my greatest supporter - I'm always amazed at how I can chat to him about a topic he has absolutely no interest in, ie quilting, and he answers and provides suggestions as though it's his passion too). So as tedious as it was the blue had to go - unpick, unpick, unpick... 31 blocks. Sigh. Cut replacement pieces and resew 31 blocks with the right blue. By this time I wasn't happy with the layout and since the baby's birth had come and gone and this gift was now going to be late I figured, what the hey, lets do something different.
A screen shot of my plan of the hexagonal quilt front. I actually used powerpoint to create the image as until recently I didn't have any drawing programs.
Piecing the blocks and sashing together. I really like the woven effect of the sashing when it's done this way and the challenge to remember what needs to be sewn to what first to achieve it. If you're not sure what I mean, have a look at the sashing on the design image above.  
The back design. I had planned to use a pink and blue ballerina print as the backing but when I changed the design the quilt became wider than I was planning and I wasn't going to have enough ballerina print so the plain backing became a reversible quilt side with plain pink and blue homepsun added in. I thought of quilting this by stippling or some other free motion design but I haven't learnt how to do that yet and wanting to finish this gift, good old faithful 'in the ditch' it was. That meant fiddling around lining up the blocks on the back (which were slightly wider to account for the sashing between blocks on the front) with the blocks on the front. Here's a shot of how the back stitching came out:
I then wanted to add sleeves along each of the edges to thread a rope through so it could be gathered into a bag. Sewed them in when attaching the binding and then hand finished the binding. Threaded the rope through to find that it wouldn't gather because the sleeves were too narrow and way too long. More sighing. Unpick, unpick, unpick. And this is where I'm at now:
Lotsa pins, gotta iron and resew the much shorter sleeves, ie loops, and then reattach the binding and add the rope. BUT it is almost finished!!! Yay!!
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