Thursday, October 29, 2015

Star Bright Baby Quilt

I love me some baby quilts! After minis, they are the near-instant gratification of quilting projects. And this great pattern by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter is particularly quick and easy while still being absolutely adorable. Follow the link and check out Amy's two versions. They are darling! I was inspired to look through my own stash to find some fun brights and low volume sweetness to put together "Star Bright" for a friend's brand new baby girl.

This star can be made with 10 inch squares or fat quarters. It's also a good one to throw in a few of those larger scale prints like these fun tea cups that I've been saving for a while:
I also included a solid to give the eyes a place to rest and to showcase the quilting design. I stitched cowardly feathers (they're spineless) in each star point. 
A quilting tip - if you know one area of your quilt is going to show the quilting more than the rest - stitch that area last. It will give you a chance to practice and prefect the design in the less noticeable regions. 
The quilt finished at 41 inches square and was quilted with my favorite threads - Superior Threads Magnifico and Sew Fine. Can't beat that stuff!
Two fun things here: my border was fairly narrow but I didn't let that stop me from quilting a much larger border swirl chain. Letting it spill into the center of the quilt worked because I had all low volume prints and the design was flexible enough to avoid quilting it on the star points. I also wanted just a wee bit of color to pop out of all that low volume background so I did a flange binding, also known as Susie's Magic Binding from 52 quilts in 52 weeks. It's a great way to machine bind (which I recommend on a baby quilt).
One last shot of my yellow star baby quilt. (I couldn't resist). Thanks for coming by today!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bohemian Baby Double Gauze Quilt

Today I finally get to show you a sweet little quilt I've been working on for Quilt Market from the double gauze Emilia line by Camelot Fabrics.
Have you ever worked with double gauze? We quilters are pretty particular about our fabric, aren't we? Good quality cottons are what we like. They are predictable to sew with, dependable to launder, and guaranteed to age into delicious softness. But ever once in a while, it can be fun to veer off the beaten path.
Camelot's double gauze is just what it sounds like - two layers of gauze put together.
The two layers are actually basted together with thread. If you look carefully, you might be able to see the small holes in the upper corner where the basting thread pulled out when I separated the layers. The fabric has a tighter weave than you would expect from a gauze while still being looser than cotton.

Since the pattern I was asked to use was entirely composed of HSTs, I had to be very careful to press and not iron to avoid distorting the bias edges. The pattern, called New Bohemian, is available on Camelot's web site here. It is a well written pattern with two exceptions. There is an error in the cutting instructions for Fabric A. You are asked to cut a 5 1/4 by WOF strip and then sub-cut it into 5 1/2 inch squares. Not possible. It should read sub-cut into 5 /14 inch squares. The second error is the finished size is listed at 34x40. But my finished quilt was a dainty 28x33.5. Some quilt math errors there. If I had been making this quilt for a gift I would've added a border to beef the size up a bit. Aside from those two errors, which I'm sure they will correct, it's an easy pattern and goes together quickly.

The big question was how to quilt it? Would I be able to machine quilt a gauze fabric without issues? The answer was surprisingly yes! I did a practice sandwich from leftover fabric and tried it out. I decided to go with a large scale all over swirl.
This gave me enough space between quilting lines that I wasn't worried about bunching, tucking, or pulling the fabric out of shape with the quilting. I also opted for a thin thread - Superior's So Fine 50wt.
This 403, called Putty, is one of those magic colors that just blends. Across the pink, the peach and the gray it just melts into the quilt. And So Fine is a great thread. My machine loves it.

I had enough left to piece a mini quilt. I went a totally different direction with it and focused on the bull's-eye prints in the light and dark colorways set into the mid value solids. Still undecided how I will quilt this one.

If you are heading to Quilt Market, visit Camelot Fabrics and visit my Baby Bohemian. And don't be afraid to pick up some of this lovely Emilia double gauze. Step off the beaten path and sew on the wilder side!

Linking to Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts