As I mention in my profile blurb, I've been a quilter for a while - very sporadic from highschool until about 2001, when I started my first quilt in about 5 years. I don't have a post on this quilt yet, so I won't tell the whole story here. Since then, I've been getting more and more focused on quilting. Until 2009 - 2010. Let's call it the year of the babies. I'm not a mother, and have no intention of being one, and am now at the point (ok, age) where people no longer ask me why not. That's not to say I don't appreciate the wee ones...although I've been known, if there's a choice between a dog or a baby, to gravitate to the dog! Anyways, in the year of the babies, after years and decades of having friends with no little human critters crawling around - they all came in one year! So I made this the year of the baby quilts, the year to dive into my hobby. I have no intention of ever getting to 30 quilts a year, or even 20...and even 10 may be stretching it - but this last year has certainly put me firmly back into my hobby with great excitement.
The quilt I've chosen for BQF is "Fast Asleep on Cloud 9", from "the little box of Baby Quilts", by Jenny Wilding Cardon at Thewildcards blog. This quilt is for Anna, who lives in Switzerland with her parents Irene and Ambros. She'll be a year old in December. For the other 3 baby quilts (see earlier blogs from this year), the mothers' chose the design and picked the fabric. Since Irene lives in Switzerland, I made the executive decision on design and fabric. I wanted something soft and dreamy for this little girl!
I thought a meandering quilt pattern would give the impression of clouds all over...and I think it worked. There are a few hearts and clouds with echo quilting thrown in too.
My exposure to the quilt blog world quickly showed me that I could be creative with the backing - so I searched for an idea that would follow with the cloud theme, and came up with a night sky - this lovely dark blue fabric with shooting stars. The Shooting Star Square is from Jennifer Chiaverini's Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts. If you love quilting, and you love mysteries, the Bridal Sampler quilt is a key component of the Elm Creek Quilts mystery novels.
Quilting is an ongoing learning process for me. I challenge myself to learn something new each time...well, I don't even have to challenge myself. It kinda happens organically. So as part of the process for me - what did I learn with this quilt?
1. backing can be fun! It doesn't have to be a plain piece of material.
2. fun backing translates into considerations for quilting...those seams, and those star points. I hadn't thought about how the piecing seams of the star blocks would affect the machine quilting.
3. border quilting needs to be planned in advance of actually quilting.
4. sometimes you can be creative if you run into issues with quilting that needs to be taken out...there was a section of the border that I couldn't get righ (even though it was most basic), so after I bound it, I took the quilting out again, and replaced with a handquilted cloud and heart.
5. labels can be creative too...I had my stepdaughter letter the labels on to the shooting pieces of the stars with fabric pen - she has lovely writing.
6. ummm....my machine quilting is improving. Stitch size is not yet consistent. I learned some lessons from Leah Day's videos that helped me with moving my material around and figuring out how to approach the quilting.
7. there's likely more..but that seems like a pretty comprehensive list!
8. I know - the thread I used - a Sulky 30 wt blendable blue/gold/green variegated thread (733). I thought it would be lovely on the night sky on the back - like the Milky Way or clouds of stars...and it was! But I only bought one spool, and when it came to the border, I ran out. So therefore the pretty plain border. Lesson learned - always buy 2 spools of a great thread.
9. Next time my meandering quilting should be less tightly spaced to make for a softer quilt. (it is pretty soft - with more spacing in the quilting, it would be even softer!)
Material: Blues- stonehenge #3952 and3953 by Sunshine Cottage from Northcott; the white was an extra wide piece, no idea of source, and the yellows in the star from my stash - all from my LQS Creative Sisters' Studio. It's machine bound, using the light blue from the front for the binding. Dimensions are apprx 60"x60.
Now that I know about all the available fabric online, you can be sure that my next fabric purchases will be from some fabulous online store!
Thanks for reading and Happy Quilting!