Better hurry–baby quilt!

My niece is expecting her 3rd child any minute now, and I had intended to make him a quilt.  I know, I had at least 7 months notice!  However, I had put it off until just recently, when I realized I was running out of time…

My quilt guild did a workshop for a quilt block called Disappearing Hourglass, which was really cool.  Basically, you make a large hourglass block, and then cut it up.  Rotate the pieces a certain way, and then sew them up again.  It makes an amazing star block!

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I decided to go with shades of blue, so I pulled 12 different ones from my stash and started sewing.  I didn’t have any trouble with the pattern, but the blocks did have bias edges, so I had to be careful to avoid stretching.

I assembled my twelve blocks so that I could show them at the quilt meeting, and then put it aside, not sure what I was going to do with it.  Then when I realized it was past time to be making a baby boy quilt, I saw that this would be perfect!  My daughter has a good eye for balance and color, and she recommended something to give it a little pop of color,  I added a skinny orange border, and then a regular sized navy border.  It was just right.

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I suppose some people are organized and decide on their backing fabric before they even start the quilt–but that’s not me.  I wait til the end, and wonder what I should use!  But I found a piece of turquoise/orange plaid in my stash that was just perfect!  I think it was originally supposed to be a shirt for my husband, but I obviously hadn’t gotten around to it.

IMG_1333So excited for this new baby to come, and so are his big sisters!

An International Baby Quilt!

I recently had the pleasure of making another special quilt for a special baby, but this one had a long journey to get to its destination!  This special baby was born in New Zealand, as his parents are working to grow the Lord’s church in that location.

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I have a thing about stripes–you can blame it on my mother.  She loved stripes–see previous post for one of her striped dresses!  Anyhow, I had lots of shirting stripe scraps, and decided to use them as the background of this quilt.  The backing is a sweet vintage print of nautical boys and girls.

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I also wanted to give recognition to the unusual circumstances around his birth, so I appliqued red/white stars from the New Zealand flag, and white/blue stars from the Tennessee flag.  Now he’ll be sure to find his way back home when it’s time.

Brownie points to the US Postal Service for not losing my package along the way–8500 miles is a long way! (as the crow flies on my Google map)

Best wishes for a sweet baby boy, and his precious parents!

Gingham bowties

It has been baby quilt time around here again!  My nephew and his wife just recently had a baby girl, and she shares a name with his grandmother who recently passed away.  This grandmother had made him a bowtie quilt when he was born, so I wanted this little girl to have some bowties as well!

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Of course, they needed to be feminine, so I dug through the gingham scraps and found enough different colors for a rainbow.  I backed this quilt with some nice soft flannel, since she was a November baby.

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You may be able to tell that the knots on the bowties are three-dimensional.  This is a nifty way to make them, but I decided to quilt across them to limit their “dimensionality.”

I really enjoyed watching this rainbow take shape, and hope the new little one finds it very snuggly!

Farm animal quilt

Two weeks ago, I featured a chicken block in my post announcing our new home here at patchworkoflife.net.  That chicken was very popular, so I thought I would show you the whole farm quilt.

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This quilt was made for the first daughter of my niece.  At the time, we lived on a small hobby farm, and enjoyed having little ones visit the animals.  So I decided to make a farm quilt featuring different animals with paper-pieced blocks.  Obviously, no helpers were around to hold up the quilt when I needed to photograph it, so the recliner had to do.  No doubt I waited until the last minute to finish and photograph it — surely I’m not the only one who does this!

The animal patterns are from A Quilter’s Ark by Margaret Rolfe.  This is a great book for paper pieced animals, with a wide range of wild and domestic animals and birds.  Here are the blocks I chose to use:

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These were lots of fun to make!  Yes, they took a little more time than other quilt patterns, but I had a great time picking out fabrics and watching them emerge.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the black cat reminds me of so many black cats we’ve had in the past, and I like the starry sky behind the owl.  My least favorite would probably be the rabbit, because he seems to be too big when compared with the large animals.  However, that doesn’t seem to bother me with the chickens!  (Not that I’m biased towards chickens :-))

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour around the farm today!  Come back soon!

Simple applique baby quilt

`This little quilt was a baby shower gift quite a few years ago–2004, to be exact!  That “baby” will be nine this year.  It was a simple quilt to make, just squares of various striped fabrics I had, and then hearts randomly machine appliqued onto the background.  There are words embroidered on the hearts, but because I’ve slept since then, I don’t know what it says!  It has clamshell quilting, which I probably traced with a canning lid.

So don’t think that a quilt has to be complicated to be pleasing to the eye, and remember that personal touches don’t have to be hard either.  I’ve found that simple sturdy quilts make the best gifts for baby, because they are more likely to actually be used and loved.