Friday, June 24, 2016

A Beautiful Day Baby Quilt

I started last week, finished it last night, washed it, sewed on the label, took a few pictures and it was given this morning. That was the creation and life of my latest baby quilt. It has now moved on to another mother who will cherish it with her child.

I know that it sounds sappy, but my quilts, like my children, are a part of me. As joyful and sometimes cranky as a child. They are my creations. Some will grow old with me while others will leave the nest too early. The one thing that is consistent is that they will be appreciated where ever they are. It may be weird comparing quilts to my children, but as my two young adults grow older and eventually leave the nest, I will still be creating. The mother in me is very thankful for this.

A Beautiful Day

A Beautiful Day Baby Quilt
A Beautiful Day Baby Quilt
I wanted to make a modern baby quilt. I first thought of a wholecloth quilt, but I needed more colour. I decided on a flying geese block made with foundation paper piecing for the two strips. This required four blocks of foundation paper pieced flying geese. It was a great way to use my favourite scraps to add some colour. The fabric in the corner was perfect.

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

I needed something that would be appropriate for a baby or child, but that was gender neutral. I wanted triangles but also curves to provide contrast. I would have loved to have densely quilted the piece but it needed to be perfect for cuddling.
The FMQ curved strip of flying geese crosses the quilt
The FMQ curved strip of flying geese crosses the quilt

I drew a few sketches and finally decided on the curved strip of flying geese going across the quilt to divide the space.

The sun coming up in the lower part of the quilt
The sun coming up in the lower part of the quilt
I love quilting suns. As much as I would have loved to leave the space inside the sun empty, I knew that it wasn't a practical idea. Too much space between the quilting creates bunching, which creates perfect conditions for rips. Not a good thing!

Through the shadows, you can see the moon behind a cloud
Through the shadows, you can see the moon behind a cloud
If there's a sun, then you need a moon! I FMQ the moon in grey while I used a variegated yellow thread for the rest of the quilt. It's subtle but I wanted to contrast the sun and moon. Again, I quilted within the moon - three swirls symbolizing mother, father and child.

The quilted strip and border
The quilted strip and border
I quilted in the ditch around the flying geese and then continued the pattern across the strip. I used on-point squares in the outer border, with a little curl inside them.

The back of the quilt is great, although the picture doesn't to it justice.
The back of the quilt
The back of the quilt
What I learned:
  • I'm not sure if it's because I designed it or if it's because it was a baby quilt, but A Beautiful Day was truly a labour of love. 
  • This was the first time that I've FMQ on a larger scale - it's much more difficult! I found it hard to keep the longer lines flowing and straight. I have to work on stopping and starting at the same point. Too many times I created a little hiccup between stopping and starting.
  • The larger scale also means being more careful about stitch size. It had to remember to  significantly speed up the needle when my hands moved faster.
  •  The difficulty in quilting on a larger scale is my lack of practice on larger pieces. I almost always practice my FMQ on smaller pieces, which means smaller scale. 
  • It was also difficult to find the "juste milieu" - the middle ground between too much quilting and not enough. I learned this from fixing the quilt my mother made for my son. If there isn't enough quilting, the fabric will bunch up, get caught and rip. 
  • The on-point squares in the outer border are too large. Since I quilted these last, I should have trimmed the quilt before quilting these.
I hope that you have a lovely St. Jean Baptiste Day, perfect for both quilting and blogging!

I was able to access Photoshop - so here's a better picture.
A Beautiful Day Quilt
A Beautiful Day Quilt for a special mother and baby


I've linked this post to some fun linky parties. Please check them out!
Free Motion Mavericks, Needle and Thread Thursday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Off the Wall Friday, Midweek Makers, Oh Scrap!, Cooking Up QuiltsMOP Monday and Freemotion by the River.

16 comments:

  1. I think the quilt came out great. I was taught when starting and stopping to put the needle up before you start sewing the line again. It's easier to line up and you don't get the hiccup.

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    1. Thanks Barbara. I'll definitely try that next time!

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  2. The quilt is really sunny and happy, I'm sure the mother and baby are enjoying it. I also have difficulties with FMQ on a large scale, but then again, I don't have much practice with it.

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    1. Hi Lena, I guess we'll just have to create some opportunities for ourselves! Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Enjoyed reading about your whole design or ocess and envy the time you have to get one done so fast!

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    1. Hi Janice. This one really came together quickly - but I didn't have much choice. I have to admit that I spend as much time thinking about quilting as I do quilting. I also had taken Thursday off - thank goodness:-)

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  4. I love the quilt Andree and also how you relate the project to your kids!!
    Kathy

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    1. Thank you so much Kathy. I really appreciate your encouragement.

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  5. That's lovely quilt! I really like the simple design, and you've done a great job with the quilting, even if it was difficult to find the middle ground. Thanks for linking up at Midweek Makers
    Susan

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    1. Thanks Susan. I'm really hoping to make more of these, maybe a little bigger so that it's not only for babies. That would give me the chance I need to practice.
      Thanks for hosting Midweek Makers!

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  6. I love the quilting you have done and the design of the quilt itself. Really a great gift!

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  7. You did a great job on the quilting Andree. It is difficult to find that middle ground. Like you, I want to just quilt the heck out of all that empty space but it does stiffen the quilt. I think you balanced it perfectly, and I love that you put so much thought into the quilting motifs and what they represent. Thanks so much for sharing this on MCM!

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  8. Hello Andrée,

    This is such a lovely quilt! Doing a quilt for a baby is a great way of experimenting, and you have come up with a wonderful combination of colours and piecing with well matched FMQ. And I know exactly what you mean about getting attached to quilts...
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv

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  9. Soft and pretty! Nice quilting!

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