Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Two baby quilts

Many quilters look at baby and child quilts as the perfect avenue to go easy and do an edge-to-edge. I am not so lucky, most days!  My clients send me quilts to do because of my custom quilting.  So, I get to make all the sweet baby quilts look fantastic.  These are actually jobs that are super fun to quilt because they are on and off in under a day.  The ones here took me on the order of 4 hours each, give or take.  They are actually a little lighter on the quilting than I often do, but this makes for a very drapable and snugly quilt.
 This one is for Jan, a very prolific quilter from Napa.  She is often sending baby quilts as well as others.  Her typical quilt though, is appliqued.  This one has just a touch of applique - the birdies and some text.  Applique this large would benefit from having either a puffier batting or stitching on the applique, BUT...there is piecing underneath 2 of the birds, so I opted not to stitch on them.  I personally, remove the back fabric, but I am reluctant to do this to someone else's quilt.  They are still very cute.
 I chose a simple triple stitch/argyle effect on the gray squares.  Though not clear, the stitching lines are both white and pink.

 Here's a look at the back, which is mostly a lighter fabric.  Pretty, gentle texture.  I love a densely quilted quilt, but really, not all need this, and not all want to pay for that.  Simple and pretty is enough.
 Here's a second quilt, but for a Maine lady.  It is relatively simple too.  It's basic so that the fabrics and quilting can show.
 The one thing I had to do was something interesting in that gray rectangle.  We agreed on quilting some of the animals from the fabric in an aqua thread.  I made templates from a cereal box, using Press-n-Seal.  I think I have shown you this (if not, then it is a good tutorial for another day).
 Here's a closeup of Dumbo...
 And the hippo...
 I discovered rather early in the quilting process that I was probably short on my budget (ie, her max cost was in jeopardy if I just quilted as desired!).  Two reasons for this were the two flanges I had to deal with (yes they are as big a pain as you might think!), and she asked me to center a panel on the backing.  I gobbled up 1/4 of my budget before I had taken a stitch!  I had to get creative with the patterns to make the most of my time.

But...I am a sucker, and rather than doing fast feathers, I started with the overlapping swirls in the white area.  They were not nearly as fast as I hoped!  My problem, not hers.  I chose something a bit simpler, and geometric for the large panels of animal and dot fabrics.  Often prints look best with a simple/geometric quilting, as it does not compete with the prints.  Clamshells was ideal.
The border is a 1"-1/4" bead board, which stitches reasonably quick, and looks fantastic on outer borders.  It, too, does not compete with the polka-dots.  Here is my back...YES - it is actually centered.  I don't do that everyday, and I did warn the client it might not be perfectly centered.  It is flannel and super soft.
So, I am down to just a few quilts in my studio, but they are doozies.  There's a large Neimeyer star, a big custom of another pattern, and another Ladies of the Sea.  Not sure if I will conquer these before January, but it does feel good to have all but 2 of my XMAS quilts done, and most of the smaller stuff finished.

I have to return to getting my teaching goodies ready next, as well as a show quilt that may or may not be ready for MQX.  The quilting is still not finished.  My personal motivation is largely to blame. I am writing patterns for a couple of quilts - boy who knew how much work that would be?!?  You probably think I forgot about the hexagons.  Not a chance - They are just about to get the backing pieced so I can have some hand applique to do.  I want that quilt ready for the fall shows.

...sigh, the crazy lady clearly has her head in the cloud.

Quilt on, friends!


Leeanne said...

Super fabulous! Love the look of both. I would love to see your tutorial on how you use press n' seal with the cereal box templates? Well done on the centering back panel!

Michelle said...

Those are gorgeous -- I love the elephants! The detail in the quilting is just amazing.