Friday, August 23, 2013

The first baby quilt.

As soon as I found out I was going to be an aunt, I was full of ideas about what to make for my niece or nephew (as you know, we've since found out it's a girl :). I knew from the start that I was going to make a quilt. I even knew which quilt, because it was in a craft book I own and I'd been wanting to make ever since I saw it.
But then my brother and sister-in-law were given a crib set, and it included everything except a quilt or blanket. So I found myself volunteering to make one to match. :) Maybe two quilts is a bit overboard, but of course a baby quilt is a lot smaller and easier than a queen-sized one like my first one.
My sister-in-law, Mom, and me went to Joann's and picked out the fabrics. At first I was planning to just mix up the squares randomly, but when I started laying them out I didn't really like how it looked. So I started playing around with some more designs, taking pictures of them to show Rachel so she could pick which one she liked the best.
And here's the finished quilt!

This is the design we all liked the best: diagonal lines of color. I knew how many squares wide and long it needed to be for the size I wanted, so I started with the line of green squares in the upper right corner. Then I just started laying out colors that I thought looked nice next to each other, and then repeated the fabrics when I got to a certain point. I can't really explain it well, but there is some method to the madness. :) After I got the look I wanted, I took photos and then put the squares in stacks, marking each row so I would sew them in the right order.

The quilt is close to standard size...I can't find my notes right now, but I think it's somewhere around 45x60, though I might be a little off. I used tan colored cotton for the back and Warm & Natural cotton batting inside. This one is quilted just like my first quilt: with my walking foot I sewed straight lines 1/4" away from each seam.

I have to admit that I really hate quilting with a walking foot. I had a lot of trouble with that last time, and ended up with a broken foot that had to be exchanged. This time things went well until the last 1/4 bit of quilting or that point, my sewing machine was making lots of strange, squeaky noises and sometimes the foot got hung up like it did last time. (I bought a walking foot on Ebay that is supposedly for Brother machines, but for all I know it might not be genuine. That might be what's causing all of my problems, but I can't bring myself to spend $90 on a walking foot at my local store.) I never have any other problems with my machine- it's only when I use a walking foot. Plus, you have to sew on the slowest speed, which means it takes hours and hours of incredibly boring sewing to quilt anything. Because I find it so slow and stressful, I just don't think it's worth it. I love everything else about making quilts, so I just have to explore other quilting options, like free motion quilting or tying or hand-quilting (which I did on the other baby quilt...more on that soon!).

Anyway, other than that, this quilt came along really quickly and simply. :)

I embroidered a label on a triangle of leftover fabric from the front. Then I hand stitched one edge to the back of the quilt (in the lower right corner) and caught the other two edges in when I sewed on the binding. I found this idea for attaching a quilt label online, and I quite like it.

And Stella...yes, that's the name they've decided on. :) I think it's adorable. They aren't positive about a middle name yet, though they're leaning towards Grace. And though I think I want to be called Auntie, I put Aunt Kristin on the label because she will have four other aunts on her mom's side and I wanted her to know which one made this for her. :)

I tend to associate projects with what I was listening to or watching at the time, especially quilts. This one reminds me of: the Civil Wars new CD and the Avett Brothers' The Gleam EP (listened to nearly constantly while working on the quilt) and The Andy Griffith Show (I watched quite a few episodes on the last day of quilting).

Even though yellow is my favorite color, I probably would have chosen green or another color for the binding. It was Rachel's idea to use yellow, and I really love how it turned out. It adds a nice touch of color around the edge. I machine stitched it to the front and then hand stitched it to the back. Though I'm not very good at hand sewing, there's something about stitching the binding that I really love.

I'll have another quilt to share soon...I need to go work on finishing it right now. :)

Until next time,


  1. thats beautiful! I made one quilt for my nephew and it turned out crooked! That was back when I first was learning, I bet I could do a lot better now! I love your colors and design!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful! You did such a nice job; it's something your niece will treasure even after she's grown up. Love the embroidered label, too.

  3. It's perfect! And, Stella - how adorable! I need to use you as inspiration to get my quilt finished. Though, I've now realized just how big it's going to be. The quilt I'm making might have to wait until they're in a real bed! I can't wait to see the second quilt! (And, I do hope you'll look into free-motion quilting. I haven't tried it, but I love the idea of it!)

  4. Girl, you are going to be the best auntie a baby girl could ever have. She's such a blessed little one already.


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