Friday, November 13, 2020

Gonna Bore You With Too Many Pictures of a Baby Quilt

Time just keeps slipping away! It took me forever to get down to business with the baby quilt. Mostly because I just couldn't decide on a design/pattern/idea. Baby quilts can occasionally be so easy to throw together, we often wonder why we don't make more? Other times, it's like pulling teeth to simply bring anything into proper focus just to get started!
The baby Bear Paw quilt

I finally settled on a very easy-peasy block called the 'Bear Paw'. Sewn up in 6" blocks, it allows for a nice little chunk of fabric to shine through all the busyness of mixed fabric prints! So many times, {more and more as the years roll on}, I'm clear over in left field trying to use up the oldie moldy fabrics and I don't even think about what the new mama might like!

With this quilt, I was hoping to convey little boy vibes and also, a slightly urban, modern touch. If there would have been any large print text fabric, you can bet that I would have found a way to work that into the quilt too! But no, it wasn't to be. The great thing about this quilt was that I actually found a way to challenge myself with using up some older, slightly off-color blues, while somehow still avoiding the 'tired fabrics' demeanor that some quilts seem take on so easily! Yay! Definitely something to smile about!

Trimming
Life seems especially stressful lately, and as you all know, I've almost always got something that is worrying the corners of my mind. Chain piecing the little hsts for a low-pressure baby quilt was strangely soothing, though as usual, they didn't quite turn out exactly square! Oh well. This method is fast and easy, but it's never been super good to me as far as precision goes. After each block was sewn I kind of, sort of squared the completed blocks to an even size and called it good. 

Looking at it on the wall after lots of 
auditioning efforts!

Most of the time I don't end up making extra blocks on purpose, but this time I ended up cutting out several more of the lightest blue blocks and also, on impulse, cutting out two extra blocks with the red for background instead of having all the red in the 'paw' position {as per my initial quilt guidelines!}. That's because there was only a very little bit of that particular red available to use and it seemed so perfect for this quilt. Why leave it out? Plus... the brightest blue batik used in that same block was the very last of a small chunk of fabric from, ahem! twenty years ago! Crazy, huh? At first I thought it much too bright for the quilt, but in retrospect, can't imagine the quilt without it.

Inspiration for the baby quilt

Once again, this is a quilt inspired from, {but not exactly sewn up according to}, a quilt pattern saved in one of my Inspiration Binders. This pattern is from the October 2001 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Some patterns are just classics, aren't they? After whiffle waffling about and not coming up with anything better, I just decided to quit fighting and see what could happen, trying to make bear paws in these particular colors. There are just some things that my mind refuses to 'see' and no matter how I tried, could not imagine the outcome of these fabrics and colors in any design rendition whatsoever. Besides, what was there to lose?

The full quilt

Though I didn't originally intend to put the outside border on the quilt, one of my daughters basically told me that it did, in fact need one. After finding the dark blue solid fabric and seeing how it emphasized the bright, sparky bear paws, I had to concede. The quilt was probably too small at 36" x 42" before the border addition anyway!

A fun looking binding

One of the best things about making a baby quilt is the ability to repeat the same fabric used in different color ways and not even cringe. Normally, I'd never, ever in a million years, use the red with blue polka dots and the blue with red polka dots in the very same quilt! And then, look! I even used one of those fabrics again for the binding! In most of my quilting efforts, I'd think that was much too cheesy and lame looking and go earnestly hunting for something similar but very, very different! This time I sort of rolled my eyes and thought it mostly sweet...

Loving the red background in the block

Overall, it's just a simple little baby quilt. I know that! But the reality is, that I'm really, tremendously happy with it. It works. Even the scrounged-from-the-stash, 'birds at the coast' backing fabric doesn't make me lose a beat. I started with a small stack of fabric that intrigued me and then did my best to make them look interesting all together. Not a single fabric was bought brand new and in fact, I used up a couple very old {to me} fabrics and even part of an older, upcycled mens shirt {the yellow/black check}. That feels very good. Even the batting was pieced from off-cuts of other larger quilts!

All the Love Apple blocks done

I quilted between the blocks with my go-to, stitch-in-the-ditch thing and then moved on to, very reluctantly! to a bit of hand quilting. I had hoped to have it sandwiched and pinned, plus quilted all in the same day, but no... My conscious {and the very persnickety quilt} just would NOT let me be. Apparently, I must get out the perle cotton and make a stab at giving it a bit more character. Of course, it looks so much better now with the little bit of texture, but really? Will baby even care? lol

And yes, it's slow going, but I'm also making a little tiny bit of headway on some of my endless applique projects here of late. As of earlier in the week, all the Love Apple blocks are now completed and ready for input into a larger quilt plan. Love them so much! Crossing my fingers that I can do justice to them. 

Currently in the hand work bag, is the much neglected impulse project that was started back in August of this year. After that, it will probably be the Melon Patch blocks which have been languishing since about March? They are starting to get quite angry at me so best to think about giving them some attention!


27 comments:

  1. Beautiful Baby Bear Paw quilt finish! And good process story, thanks for sharing.
    Your applique project is looking superb, you're doing it with lots of justice too.

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  2. A delightful 'bear paw' quilt, I so love that rogue block with the red background!

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  3. What a perfect baby boy quilt! I’m sure the recipient will love it!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your process - the littleish quilt has so much character and heart.

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  5. Sweet baby boy quilt--you really nailed it--just right. I love all the bright colors in it they really give it character I think. Beautiful work hugs, Julierose

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  6. Cute baby quilt! I really love the polka dot binding against the blue border!

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  7. wonderful! like Carla says love that polka dot binding

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  8. I adore this baby quilt and you are so right, it just works. The polka dot binding is icing on the cake.

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  9. A lovely baby quilt and I feel so much better about mine. I tend to make extra blocks for larger projects and use them up with baby quilts. It's the perfect place to use things up and gives both quilts more room to develop.
    The binding reminded me of a dress from Gertrude {?} years ago. She sewed the zipper with rows of French knots in bright red. They made a wonderful pattern going down the back of the dress. For a while I thought you'd stitched something on the binding here.
    And I'll bet this quilt won't languish on the to-be-gifted pile for long.

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  10. I just LOVE the colors in this one. The blue and the red and that green...wonderful! And yes, I can see how that border was really necessary--it just pulls it all together.

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  11. So many fun details to study in this baby quilt! It's wonderful! I love the colors and how well you balance them all together with a nice spread of that beautiful red all throughout the quilt.

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  12. The baby quilt is just right and I enjoyed your story about making it. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. A great baby quilt and perfect for a rough and tumble toddler to drag around behind him.

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  14. Your work is so beautiful ! The baby quilt works so well on many levels. It's the kind of quilt that lured me in to quilting... looks simple but the more you try the more you realize how complex it is. I don't know if I am being concise but I mean that I have a lot to learn ! Your quilt in the hoop in the upper right side of your blog is a masterpiece !

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  15. What a perfect baby quilt - one that the recipient will use for a long long time (well past toddler-hood). All that hemming and hawing was totally worth it. And I agree about the square with the red background - yes!!!

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  17. Apparently it's been so long since I've read blogs and commented that I've forgotten how to? Good grief! Love seeing how busy you've been and the baby quilt is darling. Have fun playing with your new fabrics!

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  18. I so agree with your opening paragraph about making baby quilts. A small quilt and a simple pattern, what could be easier? And yet......... In the end, though you nailed it. The rogue block was a stroke of genius. Love your blog.

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  19. Keeping baby quilts simple is the way to go. If they're too fussy, no one will use them. You used a great mix of fabrics and the rogue blocks are a delightful surprise. I agree it needed the border to keep all those bears under control.

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  20. Baby quilt is darling. At first I thought it was Maple Leaves, autumn leaves for an autumn baby. The red grounds mixed in are so charming.

    lizzy gone to the beach....

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  21. brave and beautiful! Great boy baby quilt.

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  22. A colourful quilt for a baby boy, no new fabric bought is a bonus point! Congratulations on finishing all the Love Apple blocks - now we're waiting for the stitching together!

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  23. It is the sweetest little baby quilt and I adore the fabric!!

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  24. Lovely baby quilt finish. You put so much thaughts into it. Wow. Love your apple core blocks, they are adorable.

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  25. A great baby quilt and perfect for a rough and tumble toddler to drag around behind him. Lovely baby quilt finish.
    Thanks for the share.
    clipping path

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