Recently in Children's Delight Baby Quilt Category

Children's Delight Quilt Complete

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It feels a little bit like cheating when I post about a completed quilt, since I didn't do the quilting or the binding (and I really need to learn how to do the bindings, because having someone else do that for me is kind of expensive).  But a finished project is a finished project -- and, by the time you see this post, the small recipient of this quilt will be getting starting the process of adjusting to the outside world.

This quilt is for a special family baby.  While I was working on it -- most of it was completed during Zosia's nap times -- I spent a lot of time thinking about Z and her arrival.  Sewing and pressing seams gave me a lot of time to appreciate her babyhood and I tried to make sure that those happy motherly feelings got sewn into this quilt. 

20080323_B3QuiltFolded.jpgI selected a bubble/overlapping circle motif for the quilting -- with all the circular motion in the fabrics it seemed like just the right complement.   When I saw the final result, I knew it was the right choice.  It softened up some of the all over the place motion in the focus fabric and created a wonderful three-dimensionality to the quilt. 

20080323_B3QuiltingDetail.jpgThe quilt is backed in orange Minkee -- I loved the happy oranges in the quilt and couldn't resist giving the quilt a plush orange backing.  Ms. Z loves anything with the Minkee texture, so I figured it might go over well with another baby, too. 

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Just to see how the quilt plays with the under 12 month set, I brought Z near it.  She immediately reached out and touched the quilt, running her hand across the top to feel the texture.  She lifted her hand and did it again, almost as if she was petting it.   Hopefully the new baby will enjoy touching it, too.

I have to admit that I am a little nervous about giving this quilt away.  It's only my second fully completed quilt (Z's quilt was my first), and there's definitely a little piece of me in it.  Maybe it sounds odd to say this, but even though I have yet to meet this baby, I feel like the creation of this quilt has also created a special place it my heart for this child.  This quilt is my way of making a commitment to being a positive force in this child's life.

Welcome, baby, welcome!  May your life be full of rainbows and sunshine and awe of all the wonderful things that are a part of growing up in this world.  Your ciocia loves you very much!

Children's Delight Quilt Top Finished!

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It doesn't matter whether I am knitting or quilting, completing a project (or at least my part of the project) always makes me happy.  Can you say "product crafter".  Oh yes, that is what I am.  It's not to say that I don't enjoy the process, but finishing a project, no matter how small, is always like giving myself a present.  And who doesn't like to get gifts?

20080210_B3QuiltTopFinished.jpgSo this is it!  The Children's Delight Quilt, with instructions taken from Quilts from the Quilt Maker's Gift.  Another version of the quilt has a wide border constructed of the focus fabric.  I decided after putting on just the simple border that any more use of the focus fabric would probably be that "bit too much" and stopped with the orange edging.  The final size of the quilt top is 37" x 51", plenty big for a crib or a toddler bed. 

20080210_B3QuiltDetail.jpgWith every project I do, my technique gets a little better.  As far as being a quilter or a sewer goes, I've had a few classes, but most of what I am learning comes from "independent study".  With this project, getting things to line up correctly so that those little orange pieces formed an "x" shape that looked neat took some extra focus and I had to work out for my self the best way to "square up" my squares after completing them.  Of course, I'm showing off one of my better joins, but most of them were actually pretty decent.  Since I am giving this quilt as a gift, I forced myself to be more of a stickler for small details than I might have been if I was just keeping it for myself.  Ultimately, though, it just means that the next quilt I make for me will be that much better from the discipline that I worked out on this project.

Now all that remains is to take this quilt off to Quiltology to have it quilted and bound (yes, I am a lazy slacker when it comes to doing that part -- but I may make a miniature version of this quilt as a doll blanket for the recipient baby's sister, so I will probably quilt that by hand).  I'm going to back the quilt with orange Minkee (how fabulous is it that there is orange Minkee?) and have it bound with the same orange fabric (Kaffe Fasset's Roman Glass) as the outer border to keep it simple. 

And, since I just found out about another baby that is on the way, when I head to Quiltology, I'll be picking out some more fabric to get started on another quilt.  But since that baby has quite a bit of incubating time to go, my Blooming 9 Patch may get another shot at my sewing machine here soon!

Thank you to everyone who said such nice things about the Z Baby.  John and I are, of course, smitten by almost everything she does and are big suckers for those big smiles, of which there are many.  According to my mom, she smiles a lot more than I did when I was a baby.  I'll try to get a few more "Fridays with Z" posts in here and there.  Seems like there's always something to talk about when it comes to being a new mom!

Children's Delight Quilt Assembly Begins

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While this week did not bring me a baby who sleeps through the night (I am not sure what sleep regression this is, but I would like it to be over soon, please!), it did bring me a baby who took good naps on Thursday when I had time to quilt.  Now all of the blocks have been converted into 7 strips that each contain 5 blocks. 

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When I lay them out, I can begin to see a quilt coming together.  There's still a bit more sewing to do, but I've started the home stretch.  When it comes to quilting, it seems like after I get my blocks all finished, or get close to the end of having them finished, I have some a-ha! moment that makes me want to take everything apart and start again.  For this quilt, it was figuring out how to deal with squaring the blocks up before seaming them into the strips.  Fortunately, this bit of knowledge is the sort of thing that can be applied to future projects.

With the block layout, I let the chips fell where they may.  The only block that I picked a specific place out for is the one in the exact center.  I did spend a little time trying to play with the order, but in the end, I decided that it didn't make very much difference.  If I'd fussy cut the center squares, perhaps, that would have been less true.  But there were enough similar squares that every time I moved one somewhere to avoid some sort of pattern collision I created another one.  After a while, I just decided to let it be.  It's busy, but it's busy in a playful way and I like that for a baby.

The next step will be to sew those strips together into a cohesive whole.  Now the really fussy pinning and sewing is about to begin.  I predict a reasonable amount of ripping as I work to get those corner blocks to look right...

Children's Delight Quilt Pieces, Part 4

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In between jacket embellishing sessions, I'm still working on the baby quilt.  My sewing machine and I are getting this random collection of parts to look more and more like quilt blocks.

20080120_BorderingQuiltBloc.jpgThere's a little bit of a jump from the last set of photos because my computer "ate" some of the progress pictures off of my SD card for no reason I can figure out. I finished the inner block (the focus fabric bordered with the polka-dot fabric) and I've sewn on the first of the yellow border pieces to all of the squares.  In this picture I'm getting ready to sew the last yellow border/orange cornerstone strip onto each of the blocks.

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Which, of course, brings us to the final Children's Delight quilt block.  Pretty sweet and colorful, I think.  I'm making the "lap" size quilt, so I'll be sewing these blocks together in 7 rows of 5 blocks each.  For me, this will take a little longer than the strip piecing, because for these big strips, I'm going to have to start pinning blocks together before I start sewing in order to keep the seams lined up.  I'm also going to have to trim each block down a bit to that they are all starting out about the same size (as per usual, the way I sew my seams means that these blocks are a tiny bit smaller than they are supposed to be, but that doesn't really change the quilt all that much, since I'm at least sewing my seams in a consistent way. But I've definitely made it to the home stretch -- and what I think is the fun part.  Moving from the "micro" level of the quilt block to the "macro" level of the quilt top. I can't wait to see what all these blocks look like when they start coming together!

Children's Delight Quilt Pieces, Part 3

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The next part of the process for this quilt involves turning those strips into the foundations for the quilt blocks.  To do that, I cross cut each set of strips to give me the borders and the focus fabric with a border.  Then it's just a matter of laying out the pieces and sewing the focus piece to the first border.

20080112_BabyQuiltFirstPiec.jpgWhat are they going to look like when they are all put together?

20080112_BabyQuiltSquareMod.jpgThese blocks clearly aren't seamed yet (these are the focus strips bounded by the border strips), but you can begin to see how the design is going to take shape.  That's one of the things I really like about piecing quilt tops.  Things start at one small focal point and just continue to build out as you add pieces.  I'm always excited about working on every new stage because every time I iron open a new seam, I see something new start to form.  Even on a simple quilt like this one.  Right now, I love the way the orange is popping out at me, and how the focus pieces end up looking like crazy retro rainbows when they are not fussy cut to maximize the circles.


Children's Delight Quilt Pieces, Part 2

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20080106_BabyQuiltPiecedStr.jpgStrips of fabric + sewing machine = quilt block foundation.  The strips on the left contain the focus fabric plus the side borders and the strips on the right are the top and bottom borders for the blocks.  My sewing machine is patiently waiting for more cutting to occur so that we can proceed to the next step.  So far, I think these fabrics go together extremely well!

Quilt Pieces, Part 1

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The subject of New Year's resolutions simply isn't going to appear this year.  Every time I talk about anything related to that kind of subject it means that nothing related to that subject ever continues.  But with the beginning of 2008, I do want to get back to something that resembles regular blogging.  However, I recognize that right now I still have a hard time getting to sit in front of my computer.  And there is a trade off: more blogging = less knitting, quilting, etc.  So my hope is to maintain a modest schedule of posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Also, there is likely to be a good deal more blogging that falls into the category of photoblogging -- just me posting pictures of the latest progress on my projects without too much discussion.

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Work continues on my current baby quilt project.  I'm working through it in stages and giving myself little goals.  Because I can work on it in fits and starts while Z naps or when she's busy playing independently, it is a little easier for me than knitting.  Since my previous post, I got the fabric washed (a new thing for me: my first three quilts have been done on unwashed fabric), ironed and now I have the basic strips cut out.  Almost time to start sewing!

The Call of the Sewing Machine

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There's a new baby coming!  No, not for me -- one baby is perfectly sufficient for me right now -- but for a special baby nonetheless. Thus, it's a perfect time for me to listen to the quiet, provocative voice of my sewing machine calling to me from my craft desk.  I've decided on a simple project.  A variation on the Children's Delight quilt in Quilts from the Quilt Maker's Gift by Joanne Larsen Line-- a very lovely quilt book* recommended to me by Carolyn.

After selecting the block pattern for the quilt, I headed off to Quiltology to look for the right fabrics.  Initially, I was thinking about something that really said "baby", but after browsing through Collette's fabric collection, I liked the idea of making something that would grow a bit with the child, and could be a part of the child's room as the child grew.  Since I don't know the gender of the baby I decided to stick with "baby neutrals": yellow, green, orange and purple with splashes of pink and blue.  Here are the fabrics I chose:

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The two fabrics in the center are Kaffe Fasset fabrics. The focus fabric for the quilt blocks (i.e. the center of the block) is the second fabric from the left -- I love all the colors and the psychadelic lollipop quality that the fabric has.  The focus fabric will be bordered with the blue fabric with the orange polka dots, and the corner stones for the block will be the orange Roman Glass (second from the right) fabric.  The square will have a second border, and that will be done with the yellow fabric, which will also have corner stones from the Roman Glass.  I'm hoping it will turn out to be playful and light and just a little funky. 

* This book is a nice book for a beginner like me.  It has many quilts, most of which are based around classic quilt blocks.  It shows most of the projects in a variety of fabrics to help the reader see what different effects different fabrics can have.  It also has nice instructions to help you strip piece and do things efficiently.  However, the book isn't solely for beginners, the quilts in it range from the delightfully simple (like the one I am going to make) to rather more complex.  It would seem to offer something for almost every quilter.

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