Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Manuel's Quilt

The baby quilt for a friend's little boy is finished! There are a few mistakes, a couple of weird bunching up of fabric, but all in all, I'm pretty proud of myself. I kind of want to keep it ;-) But alas it's too small for me, the finished measurements are 85 x 113 cm (34 x 45 inches).

I used six print cotton fabrics for the squares, and solid white for the sashing. The back is also cotton, one of the fabrics I used for the square. 
When choosing the fabrics, I was going for soft blue palette, boyish colors, but still something soft (and pastel - somehow when I think of baby stuff, they're always in pastel colors). I'm not so sure I managed to choose the right colors for a boy, with all the red bits it kind of looks girly. What do you think? 

Sewing the blocks was really fun, even tough it took a couple of test runs with scrap fabric and a lot more math than I expected. Each row has the same block, but in different fabric combinations. Since I chose really similar fabrics, their colors sort of blend together into one. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, perhaps I should have added a little more contrast? I spent at least an hour at the store trying to match up the colors. Who knew choosing a color palette would be so hard? I should probably do some research about colors and contrasts before my next fabric purchase.

The batting is thin polyester I bought in a roll. I still have some left, just enough for a little couch quilt. That's going to be my next project.

It's quilted using free motion stippling. (Check me out using the quilting lingo ;-). Way harder than it looks - thank God the front of the quilt is mostly white. I find it really hard to control my speed and to maneuver the quilt under the needle at the same time. What can I tell you, my arm/leg coordination was never really good. As a result, some of my stitches are extra long, while others are tiny. But apparently practice makes perfect, so I'm estimating by the time I make my 10th quilt, I will have mastered the stippling. Stay tuned ;-)

On a couple of places I pinched and sewed the backing fabric, creating stupid little folds of fabric. I later unpicked those stitches and tried to fix it by hand the best I could. It's far from perfect, but still way better than it looked before. Advice for this problem: Sew slowly and make sure the backing fabric doesn't wrinkle as you move the quilt under the needle. 


As for the time spent sewing - I managed to sew all the blocks in two days. I was on a roll. And also on vacation. Adding the sashing and basting and quilting took another two days. One more day to attach the binding and an eternity to sew it to the back by hand. Just kidding, it was more like an hour each day for four days.


Final verdict on quilting: fun. Can also be used as a workout program, since you have to press every seam you sew. That means pin the fabrics, sit down, sew, get up to iron, repeat in an endless loop. But the finished quilt makes you feel very accomplished, so it's worth it.

All that's left to do now is to wash the quilt (and pray that no seams come apart in the washing mashine) and to send it to the new mom! I hope she'll like it as much as I do.