Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Baby Quilt for Liam

It's seems like baby making season lately with friends and coworkers! That sounds fine with me because it allows me to work some small quilt projects (which I'm in to right now) and get them out of the house! Also, my new obsession with Moda Bakeshop has allowed me to fuel my love of quilting with step-by-step picture instructions on how to piece some amazing small projects using their Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, and Charm Packs. Fabric shops always have these teaser packs of fabric laying around and I thought I would grab some to use and make some baby quilts.

My dear friend Charlotte and her husband in Virginia just had a baby! Congrats! A sweet, tiny boy named Liam. So, he's first on the list! I wanted to find a fabric that was just brilliant in color to engage little Liam's imagination, but something that would suggest "hey, I'm a boy!" and I think I found the perfect fabric in Moda's Meadow Friends line. (Ignore the Summer House layer cake for the moment, that's the Baker Baby's quilt and he was literally just conceived, so I've got time).

Moda Meadow Friends Charm Packs (2)

The pattern I grabbed from Moda Bakeshop, of course, and I picked a Stacked Coin pattern. I just love the simplicity of it and because of all the bright colors it just looks wild! So first things first, each of those little squares (5" x 5") has to be cut down the middle. From here on they are each a "coin" (hence Stacked Coins).

Look at those bugs!l

After all that cutting I then had two stacks of coins and was ready to start chaining! But first, being OCD as I am I wanted to sort out the pinks and camouflage patterns (yuck!) to make it a little more manly and less redneck.

Coins galore!

Once I settled on six different coin chain patterns mixing all of the colors and combinations, I began sewing them all together. This went super fast!

I think Neti was off napping for this project! Where is she?!

After each run I would iron the newly sewn coin down in place. See, I'm getting better about the ironing portion of quilting!

Ironing open the coins

And of course it went really fast because I sewed on one coin to each chain continuously, meaning that sewing them back to back kept me from wasting thread and wasting time. This is definitely the best way to do it. See what I mean? See how they are all connected? This saves you a LOT of thread, which we all know is a little pricey.

Chaining the chains?

And by the end of day 1 I had all of my chains done! Then I folded them all up and got married. But yesterday I was able to finish the front so read on!

Six chains, 5 for the quilt and 1 for the backing

Once I had all that done I had to cut the sashing. This was tedious. I think the white was a perfect choice for this project because I don't want to make Liam cross-eyed with color, I just want his mind stimulated, so the white helps break up the craziness of the chains.

Cutting sashing. Can we get back to sewing please?!

And then it was time to alternate the sashing and a chain, sashing, chain, sashing, chain...

Sewing it all together

As you can see I was interrupted a few times to pet the cat. She just can't help it, she loves sewing!

Neti interrupts to ensure it will be a comfortable quilt in the end

And before you know it, BOOM! I was done with the facing! I think it looks great! The color combos look great with few repeating colors across the chains. The white breaks them up perfectly. I'm sure happy with it. In fact, I have a few coins left I may use to cut out letters and applique "Liam" across the bottom. What do you think?

Liam's baby quilt facing

This was my favorite grouping for one of the chains. Does this scream "I'm a boy!" loud enough?

Frogs, bugs, and lizards. Yuck!

I have also recently fallen in love with adding piecing to the back of quilts. I feel like these are often forgotten and really, you always have to piece your backs anyway because the fabric is never wide enough for a quilt backing in one piece. This adds a huge element of color and style to the back. You really just can't go wrong.

The backing

So there you have it! The majority of the work is done! Quilting will be the fun part, ESPECIALLY because now I have the Bernina. I can't wait to play! I folded it all up and set it aside until I can get some batting. Plus I may have already begun cutting the fabric for the Baker Baby quilt. Oops.

I'll see baby Liam at Christmas when we go home to celebrate so I've got some time to finish it up. Until then I'll keep you posted.

It's a BERNINA!!!

It has been WAY too long since the last post, but as you all know I was getting married and that takes time. So now I am a Mrs. and to go along with the new status my amazing husband surprised me with a wedding gift: a brand new BERNINA 440QE!!!!!!!

I'm not sure you all really realize how ecstatic I am. This is just a dream come true. Now, I loved my sewing machine. Mostly because I had a sewing machine, but a Bernina is one of those drool starters. I dreamed of Bernina. And now I am blessed with one! I picked it up on Friday after work and immediately came home and unwrapped it. This was the first glance into the huge box.

It looks like I've got some reading to do!

And once I got through all of the literature (meaning I just glanced at it and chucked it aside) this was the beauty tucked away inside...

Bernina 440QE (Quilters Edition)

Matt (my husband) came home to me sitting on the floor surrounded by Bernina boxes, styrofoam, and other paraphernalia. I was completely mature and pulled everything out but was so intimidated before turning it on that I read the ENTIRE user manual before even plugging it in. I am officially an expert. And you can see that Neti was also excited to have a new machine!

Neti <3 Bernina

But the biggest bonus was the inclusion of the BSR for free motion quilting. It allows for you to control the speed the machine quilts while maintaining evenly sized and spaced stitches, no matter how many stops and starts and zigs and zags you throw at it! I cannot wait to use this! Good thing I have a project in the works.

BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator)

Thank you, Matt, for the best wedding present a quilter could ask for! And now for projects galore!