The baby quilt is DONE! It took me a little over a week, which honestly wasn't as long as I thought it would take. I'm not sure why I was always so intimidated about quilting... I think it's the whole culture of it. Or at least the culture I always saw at the fabric store - middle aged to elderly women scouring for batiks and taking forever at the cutting counter with their 1/4 yard cuts of 100 different fabrics. It just seemed like it wasn't for me. But I was determined to make a quilt for my little girl and when I started piecing it together I was delighted to discover that I actually really like quilting. It's like putting together a pretty puzzle... kinda nerdy, kinda artistic, definitely challenging, and all the sewing is in straight lines! What's not to love? And the more I googled for tips and inspiration, the more I realized that there's a whole new generation of quilters making really amazing, fun, modern quilts. I might be hooked.
Okay, enough babbling... here's how things went down with my first quilt. I started with Amy Butler's Patchwork Crib/Playtime Quilt pattern from her Little Stitches for Little Ones book, and made some small deviations along the way. She laid out a specific order for piecing the blocks together, but I reordered things so that the blue and yellow would be alternated. I also used a straight-line approach for the quilting instead of stitch-in-the-ditch like AB used in the pattern.
I used 2 1/2" bias strips for the binding instead of the 3 1/4" specified in the pattern, because that's what worked with the attachment I had for my bias tape maker. The pattern was pretty weak on instructions for doing the binding, but thankfully this tutorial and this tutorial saved me.
The last step to finishing the quilt was to applique our baby's name to the bottom right corner. I used the same approach described here and hand embroidered the letters with white embroidery thread. It pretty much makes the whole quilt so I'm sad I can't show you pics until after she's born (we're keeping the name a secret). So until then, here's a not-nearly-as-cute idea of how it looks (thanks Photoshop!):
Oh, and here are the fabrics I used: the yellow checks and blue checks are both City Weekend by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S for Moda, and the yellow and blue dots and blue with white birds are both Hideaway by Lauren + Jessi Jung for Moda.
Now that I've gotten over my quilt-phobia, I'm already planning my next quilt! The fabric arrived last week, but I have a lot of other sewing to get done for the nursery before I can dive back into quilt land. Next up... the ottoman.