There has been a quilt rattling around in my head for a bit, and the time feels right to translate it into fabric. It involves a fair bit of complex piecing and before I start sewing, I like to give it one last "go over" in my head, start to finish, to simplify the patchwork as much as possible. This process is made much easier if there is an actual quilt under my needle; even a very simple one helps me sort out the logic of the seams I will be sewing. To this end, I've stitched up two baby quilts this week.
This one is just squares of flannelette, backed and bound with flannelette, to keep it soft and cuddly. I used a 50 weight Aurifil thread for both the piecing and quilting, in a pale yellow.
First, all seams were ditched, and then an overall diagonal grid was stitched in a serpentine stitch, with the walking foot. The blocks are only 6", so I didn't mark anything - just eyeballed the line from corner to corner.
Baby quilts need just enough quilting to keep them sturdy, not enough to make them stiff.
The second is made from pink and rose string blocks. Because there are so many seams, string blocks have a tendency to be a bit flat and stiff, so it was extra important to keep the quilting "fluffy". After stitching in the ditch between the blocks, I free motion quilted a small flower in the centre of each - no echoing, no stippling, just the flower. I chose an Aurifil
50 weight in a variegated rose shade, which blended perfectly with the colours in the blocks.
I have a personal bias against directional quilts (I can picture OCD me disturbing a sleeping baby because his quilt was put on upside down!), So that there was no up or down, I flipped the flowers vertically, end to end, in every other block.
I used a cute little stencil from Mrs. P's
so that my flowers would be uniform.
This one was also backed in flannelette.
I love making string blocks; they are quick to do and produce lovely, old-fashioned looking quilts. If you've never tried one, I will be teaching a beginner class in October using string blocks, here in Amherst, N.S. Please email (karen at karenneary.ca) if you'd like to reserve a spot.
The quilt in my head is still there; I am fudging about the size it should be, so there may be several more small quilts before that one is ready to be born. Baby quilts are an appropriate choice of project, I think. :)