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May 15, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2015 - Entry #2 - Baby Circle Quilts




spring 2015 BQF ButtonIt's the annual Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival created and hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side. It's grown into a HUGE online quilt show! A fabulous time to ogle quilts and find new online quilters to follow and maybe even connect with.

My apologies to the regulars for the repetition. To new visitors, thanks for stopping by!

My Entry #2 is in the category of  APPLIQUE QUILTS (this is the link where you will find all the other quilts in this category) and my entry is called ... the very original ... "Baby Girl and Boy Circle Quilts".  



These were started in preparation for 2 gender-unknown spring babies. Since my stash wasn't leaning toward "gender neutral", I decided to prepare for both possibilities, hence 4 circle quilts - two girly and two boyish. 



A lot of firsts here for this relative beginner/intermediate quilter. Circles. Raw-edge machine applique, organic wavy line quilting. It was fun to choose fabrics and threads for these. 



I didn't use any fancy applique techniques. I just cut 5" circles and placed them in the centre of 7" squares, securing them with a single pin, and then zig-zag stitched around the edge with a coordinating or contrasting thread. 
They washed up so wonderfully soft and cuddly. I like to imagine these quilts as being not only kind of I-Spy-ish in design but, more than that, inspiration for the telling of stories, singing of songs and nursery rhymes, word and number play, making connections, and ... as babies get older ... for a tangle of "toddler twister" games (left hand on snails, right foot on Paris, right hand on rain, left foot on glasses).  


Quilt Stats
 
Name: Baby Boy and Girl Circle Quilts (very original)
Size: 39" x 33" (37" x 32" washed)
Pattern: None - 5" circles and 7" squares in a 5x6 block arrangement
Fabrics: Various solids and prints from stash ... no particular fabric lines
Backing: Yellow and white dog and cat print on the boy quilts and pink cloud and castle brushed cotton on the girl quilts (I don't remember the fabric lines)
Binding: Black and white check on the boy and scrappy on the girl using fabrics from some of the circles
Quilting: Organic wavy lines using a walking foot
If you care to, you can read more about the girl quilts here and the boy quilts here. There are a whole lot more photos and chatter.

And here's a photo of one of the girly quilts with a little dress that will be soon delivered to a little Hannah who was born at the end of April. And this is a wee vintage crib ... the very one yours truly spent her baby nights in ... as did my 3 brothers.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2015 - Entry #1 - Counting Stars Quilt

 spring 2015 BQF Button
It's the annual Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival created and hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side. It's grown into a HUGE online quilt show! A fabulous way to ogle quilts and find new online quilters to follow and maybe even connect with.

I often forget or don't have anything ready to show. But this year I've been productive enough to join the fun. To those who visit my blog regularly, sorry for the repetition. To new visitors, thanks for stopping by.


My Entry #1 is in the category of  LARGE QUILTS (this is the link where you will find all the other quilts in this category) and my quilt is called "Counting Stars". It is a wedding quilt recently finished and handed off (a little late) to the newlyweds who have made their home in the middle of the beautiful Saskatchewan prairie where they are in full view of a magnificent sky from horizon to horizon. They see beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the daytime sky in all it's various glories, northern lights, and a vast blanket of stars ... hence the inspiration for this quilt. I grew up on a farm with the same vista's and I remember spending hours standing on my bed (instead of sleeping), looking out the window at the stars ... picking out the various constellations.


I have always wanted to make a "Sparkle Punch" wonky star quilt and so I followed the instructions for it (Oh Fransson has a tutorial but the link isn't available at present while her website is under construction) but used a variation done by The Girl Who Quilts. My quilt may not be an original design but there's none like it nor will there likely ever be.


I included a couple of Heather Ross fussy cut stars.


My colour choices were inspired by the multi-coloured fabric in the big star. I chose the medium grey background fabric (Moda Weave) to make the quilt a little less "girly". In fact, I tried to avoid blatantly girly fabrics. I love the background fabric. It has a nice linen-like look to it ... textural ... and it has a nice sheen, too. Depending on the lighting, the grey can appear lighter or darker than it actually is. 


I used the much coveted and now discontinued IKEA number fabric and some "bramble" for the back (hence the "counting" part of the title) and bound it with some of the leftover star fabrics.


You can read more about this quilt and see even more photos (if you really want to) here.

Quilt Stats:

  1. Name: Counting Stars
  2. Size: 78" x 100" (74" x 96" after washing)
  3. Pattern: Variation of Sparkle Punch by Oh Fransson (no link available) but inspired by this quilt made by The Girl Who Quilts 
  4. Fabrics: Background:  Moda Weave in Medium Grey | Stars: Various fabrics from my stash | Backing: Number fabric from Ikea and Bramble | Binding: Scrappy binding from fabrics used in stars
  5. Quilting: Done by Lisa on her longarm machine 

 Just by serendipitous happenstance, the happy couple have decorated their home with primarily grey and turquoise - a perfect match!

Baby Boy Circle Quilts


You will have seen the baby girl circle quilts I recently finished. Since I didn't know if the 2 upcoming babies would be boys or girls and since my fabric stash wasn't feeling "gender neutral", I opted to make 2 boyish and 2 girlish quilts ... just in case ... It never hurts to have baby quilts in the vault. In fact, both my two adult children and I like these circle quilts so much that 1 boy and 1 girl circle quilt will be going into the *wink wink* DEEP vault. No pressure, kids. No pressure.



I cut 5" circles and 7" squares and just pinned a circle in the middle of a square, stuck a pin in to hold it, zig-zagged around the raw edge, pulled the thread ends to the back and knotted them for a neat finish, and voila. Easy as pie. It was fun picking out the fabrics and threads for these quilts.

 

As with the girly quilts, I quilted with my walking foot. I used a silvery grey Aurifil 50 weight thread on top and a yellow Aurifil 50 on the back. I'm amazed at how the silvery grey seems to behave like whichever colour it's with. I've heard tales of it's chameleon-like nature but it's amazing to see. I just sewed and sewed and sewed easy, organic wavy lines from side to side on each quilt. This was my first time quilting like this and I have really liked the effect. It was kind of fun, too. Liberating to just meander the stitches as I felt like.

The quilt backs are a yellow cotton and it's printed with white line drawings of cats and dogs.


 

The binding is a black and white check. I love it for the binding.



You might notice that one guilt is more "black and white" than the other. Just playing with fabrics and colour. It's good to switch things up a little.



I like to imagine these quilts as being not only kind of I-Spy-ish in design but, more than that, inspiration for the telling of stories, singing of songs and nursery rhymes, word and number play, making connections, and ... as babies get older ... for a tangle of "toddler twister" games.


Quilt Stats
Name: Baby Boy Circle Quilts (very original)
Size: 39" x 33" (37" x 32" washed)
Pattern: None - 5" circles and 7" squares in a 5x6 block arrangement
Fabrics: Various solids and prints from stash ... no particular fabric lines
Backing: Yellow and white dog and cat print (I don't remember the fabric line)
Binding: Black and white check
Quilting: Organic wavy lines using a walking foot 


And now that they're all washed, crinkly, and snuggly, and with the my childhood crib.




Here are the boy and girl quilts side by side - 4 in total.


May 12, 2015

Baby Girl Circle Quilts

 

My friend's daughter, Brigetta, had a baby girl in April! I didn't know when I started making a quilt if the baby would be a girl or a boy so I set about making boy and girl quilts, just in case. I know. I can always opt for gender-neutral, but I'll leave that to someone else. At any rate, I didn't go over-the-top girly or even babyish, for that matter.

And because my friend's son, Grant and his wife Robyn, are also expecting a baby soon, I made 2 girl quilts and 2 boys quilts. I've finished the girl quilts and am ready to send one to Brigetta for her wee Hannah (an especially beautiful name in my opinion).


Brigetta painted big white dots on grey walls in her baby's room so I used circles as my inspiration and here's what I came up with.


It's a bit of an I-Spy type quilt. I think the circles can potentially contain and inspire little stories, nursery rhymes, and other songs. I also think they will be great quilts for "toddler twister" games (left hand on cat ... right foot on stars ... right hand on Paris ... left foot on mountain). Fun to see toddlers tied in knots!

If Grant and Robyn have a baby girl, theirs will be the quilt with the tiny Eiffel tower on the Paris map. Grandma Pat and I share a love for all things Eiffel. 


I especially love the colours in these two quilts. I cut circles (thanks, Lisa, for letting me use your handy-dandy circle cutter) and then tried them on various low-volume fabrics but I thought it all looked a little dead so I pulled a few coloured solids that I had on hand and ... bingo! I like it. No ... I LOVE it! In fact, I have enough circles and fabric to make another one for what I'm calling the "deep vault". No pressure on my kids but the deep vault is for them even though there's nothing but hopes and dreams in it at present.


The circles are 5" and the squares are 7" (unfinished). I didn't use any fuseable web, I just laid a circle in the middle of a square, stuck in a pin, and zig-zagged around the raw edge of the circle. If I had a blanket stitch on my machine, I might have used it, but the zig-zag looks okay, I think. I pulled the loose threads to the back and knotted them, which makes it look a little neater than if I had reverse stitched to secure the thread ends.


The binding is made of leftover fat quarter strips from some of the circles and the back is a lovely, soft, brushed cotton.


I quilted "organic" (isn't that what they're called?) wavy lines with my walking quilt. This was my first time doing that and I really like the effect. I used cream coloured 40 weight Aurifil for the top and soft pink 50 weight Aurifil for the back. The cream coloured thread seemed to take on the hue of whatever it was stitched on to.



I love how crinkly and soft they are when washed up.


I recently came to have the baby crib that housed my brothers and me once upon a time. My Dad refinished it when grandchildren appeared. He even replaced the vintage nursery decals. It's so sweet. Even though I don't really have room to keep it (so far ... must clear out some crap), my heart can't bear to part with it. Current safety councils would have a fit if they saw a baby in it but for now it makes a sweet baby quilt prop. My family has famously large heads, so no risk of any of us getting our heads caught between these wider-than-considered-safe rungs, even as newborns. We're the family of adult-sized-helmets-on-toddlers ... no-hats-because-can't-find-big-enough-ones-to-fit ... neck-seams-opened-on children's-clothes-and-snaps-added-so kids-can-get-shirts-over-their-heads ... specially-made-sports-helmets ... you get the picture. This is a Kerr/Acton family safe crib.




New mom, Brigetta, was a beautiful and passionate dancer when she was growing up and I remember going to some of her recitals. When I saw this sweet little dress with ballerinas on it, I had to get it for her wee baby Hannah.

 Quilt Stats

Name: Baby Girl Circle Quilts (very original)
Size: 39" x 33" (37" x 32" washed)
Pattern: None - 5" circles and 7" squares in a 5x6 block arrangement
Fabrics: Various solids and prints from stash ... no particular fabric lines
Backing: Brushed Cotton (I don't remember the fabric line)
Binding: Scrappy
Quilting: Organic wavy lines using a walking foot 

Here are the boy and girl quilts side by side - 4 in total.