My first thought, after hearing my friend’s exciting news that she was expecting her first baby, was to congratulate her, my second thought was about the quilt I was going to make!
Not knowing that the baby was a little girl when I started I opted for a mix of bright colours, hopefully to capture baby’ attention and make tummy time more interesting for her! I like using animal prints as a theme, I’d like to think it could a be game to name them as she grows up!
This time around I chose a simpler pattern than ‘baby Wong’s‘ quilt, I hadn’t given myself as much time!
Here are a few photos of the quilt in the making, if you want the full tutorial and sneaky hints, click here
Cutting the pieces
The pattern is essentially made up of two ‘pairs’ of rectangle sewn together to make ‘squares’. The pattern alternates the squares in portrait and landscape.
Sewing the patches
Once the pairs are sewn together to make the individual square, press the seams open, like so…
Although I have a vague plan of the pattern in my head before I start, I like to lay out the squares and jiggle them around until I have a pattern I’m happy with. But I can be quite fickle, so sometimes the plan goes out the window at this point and I have to make new squares, but I’d rather that then have something I’m not happy with!
Once you’ve got the layout just right snap a photo to remind you and then start sewing!
Before we talk about layering the quilt we must talk backing fabric.
If you’re making a quilt to be hung the wall you might not ever see the backing fabric, so you might want to go with something cheap and plain.
But for a blanket, especially a gift, you want to pick a nice fabric for the backing. After all your hard work you want it to look beautiful from all angles. Using my knowledge of Sensory Integration from my work as an occupational therapist, I always choose a plain backing fabric, the front can be interesting and stimulating to look at, but you don’t always want baby to be stimulated, sometimes you want to calm them and muted colours and simple, repetitive patterns work best.
You will also want to put some thought into the wadding you’re using, crafty.com has some useful information, click here
So far all my quilts are quilted using the ‘stitch in the ditch’ method. I’m not brave enough to do free motion quilting and I only have basic manual sewing machine. For quilting, I definitely find a walking foot is the best option and worth the investment. It helps to keep all the layers moving together so you get less slipping.
Particularly when sewing at the edges make sure all the layers are flat or this happens! Argh!
Did I mention making quilts is a marathon, not a sprint! Keep going you’re nearly there!
To finish the quilt, it needs binding. You can make your own binding or take the cheats away out and buy ready made, double folded bias binding! First job is trim and square up the quilt.
Binding isn’t all that tricky, but I can never remember how to do it! So I need to refresh my memory with a few you tube videos!
I cheated this time around. There is a method of attaching the binding so you don’t see any stitches, it gives a lovely finish, but takes a long time. This time around I used a decorative stitch to make it part of the design. Being quite a wide stitch it also meant that I would definitely catch the binding tape on the top and the bottom!
To finish the quilt, tuck any loose threads into the blanket using a fine needle. Give it a wash (and if you have a hair cat, give it a once over with a lint roll). It’s all done!