Completed December, 2013
One of the things I love most about quilting is that it allows one to make gifts that are personalized, decorative, and useful, without the need constant consultation – as is the case in clothes making, which I’ve dabbled in over the years.
Not surprisingly, I was initially overwhelmed by the design process. Even armed with my book of grid paper I wasn’t at all confident that I’d be able to get the blocks the right size to fit together – absolutely silly, as I can do basic math, which is really all that was required for this one. Fittingly, the first quilt top I designed was very simple, but then we all have to start somewhere.
I fell in love with these prints from Lizzy House’s Castle Peeps Collection and I had two half yard cuts sitting around in my stash. I decided that these would be perfect for my friends’ little boy, Sam – much as I was loath to part with them. I designed the pattern around my desire to keep the print intact as much as possible.
This particular quilt top I made twice. The first attempt was an experiment using some poly-cotton solids, which I thought would be more durable than 100% cotton, but they felt so terribly harsh and nasty next to the soft cotton of the insets. I took the whole thing apart and remade it with Kona cotton solids, which I love not only because they’re soft and easy to work with, but come in an unspeakably large number of colors and are stocked almost everywhere.
I’m quite pleased with the end result. It’s simple, but I hope not overly dull. And I’ve, perhaps conveniently, convinced myself that the fewer seams there are the longer the quilt can potentially last.
Having fallen in love with the gorgeous castle fabric, which was made by Andover, although I can’t recall the specifics as I put this together some time ago, I wanted to design a top that made really good use of the print.
The quilting was done by Heirloom Quilts by Elle and the batting is Dream Angel, by Quilter’s Dream – chosen specifically as it’s designed to be flame retardant. It seems particularly stiff at the moment, but I can see it loosening up with some wear and washing.
The binding was a bit of a challenge. I decided to have a stab at machine binding, which I learned from this great tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew. I’m sure that it’s more durable than a hand finish and should hopefully last until Sam grows out of it. It’s not perfect: probably because I tried to sew it all from the front of the quilt using my stitch in the ditch walking foot to better hide the top stitching and had to correct a few issues on the back. I actually just took another look at the tutorial while I was digging up the link, and it’s great to know that I’ve been doing it incorrectly for the last two months. Well, another lesson learned.
The top was quilted by Heirloom Quilts by Elle – http://www.heirloomquiltsbyelle.com – and the batting is a flame resistant blend made by Quilters Dream Batting – http://www.quiltersdreambatting.com – which is a little stiff at the moment, but I can see it loosening up with a little bit of wear.
Now, I just have to hope thatSam and his parents will love it!