Friday, May 11, 2012
The 1st one on the 11th
When I found out that Brooke was pregnant I immediately knew that I wanted to make the baby a quilt. The fact that I have never made a quilt didn't matter. I had thoughts of my nephew or niece wrapped up in handmade goodness and later playing on it or using it at the park for a picnic. I searched around a while a found Elizabeth Hartman's Charms Square Baby Quilt which looked simple enough and in fact was. It was a great starter quilt and got me comfortable with the basics.
Over the past year E.E. has become a little boy. It's amazing how gradual, yet quick, it happens. Suddenly a baby quilt doesn't seem right for this playful, exploratory, happy boy. So what was an aunt to do but set out to make a little boy quilt for his first birthday.
I went back to Elizabeth Hartman and decided to make the Kitchen Window quilt from The Practical Guide to Patchwork, and yes this is the same pattern I am making N for her first birthday too. The main fabric featured in the "windows" is Dan Stiles "Marine" line that he did last year or the year before. I had bought a fat quarter set which came with 8, allowing me to make enough windows to change the back a little bit from the pattern. I made three extra windows and used extra Kona in navy for the sashing so they look a little different than the ones on the front.
The quilting was the challenging part. I wanted to free motion it, but I still haven't worked up the courage yet, and clearly I had a deadline for this quilt. After looking on flickr for a while I finally decided to try Echo Quilting or Outline Quilting. Basically you highlight the squares by sewing 1/4'' inside and outside, around them. It's time consuming, and although I used my walking foot it still pulled the fabric a little in some spots and created a little bit of bunching. I'm sure that I notice it the most, and as the quilt gets used and aged it really won't matter.
E.E. did get a couple other birthday goodies that were not homemade and probably much more interesting to a one year old. But even those big one year old's have to snuggle down and go to bed at some point, may as well do it under something homemade.