Slugs and Snails and Puppy-dogs’ Tails

Now that my dear friend Amiee received the quilt I made for her baby boy on his 1st birthday, I can finally show the finished product!

I modified Camille Roskelley’s “Coming Soon” pattern ever so slightly to make this quilt and, as I mentioned in my previous post, my fabric of choice was from the Backyard Baby collection that I adore.  It’s so perfectly boyish!  Anything a little guy would want is in this quilt: bugs, snakes, ant farms, beehives, snails… in other words, all things icky and squirmy.  I hope Caiden will grow to love it.

The backing is silver minky dot fabric and is so yummy that I’m half tempted to make a minky-backed quilt for myself.  Ha!  Since this is a baby quilt and I wanted it to be extra soft and cuddly, I opted not to sew on a binding with square corners.  So, instead of making a full quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting, backing), I quilted just the top with the batting, then to assemble the quilt I simply sewed the quilted top to the minky backing, right sides together, and turned it inside out to finish. I sewed the opening closed and top-stitched all the way around the perimeter, curving around the corners, to secure it.  Voila.

One of the prints has an awesome ant farm, so I free-motion quilted in a boxy, maze-like, all-over pattern (excuse my excessive hyphenation).  The quilting took a little while but was well worth it.

Here it is post-wash.  Oh, the crinkles!  There’s nothing like the finished texture of a quilt with all-over quilting (last hypen, I promise).

I had so much fun with this little guy, from the moment I opened the package with this sweet fabric, to the block assembly, to the basting and the quilting.

Each step in the process brought me much joy, and I’m thrilled to report that Amiee received the quilt with INCREDIBLE gratitude and could clearly feel the love that I put into every stitch.  What a great feeling.  In the words of Borat: “great success!”

Circles! Or balloons. Bubbles? No… MARBLES!

I am happy to report my first finished quilt of 2012. I don’t really have a cool name for it, I just sort of call it The Marbles Quilt. (Keep scrolling–I’ll explain.)

Most of these fabrics are from Amy Butler’s oh-so glamorous Lark collection, with a couple other basics thrown in there. The background fabric is Kona Ash.

The idea for this quilt arose from my desire to do something with circles. With the help of my circle cutter (holy COW this thing is awesome—it’s like a compass you used in grade school to draw circles, except it has a blade instead of a pencil), I sat and watched the Golden Globes while happily cutting dozens of fabric circles.

I painstakingly arranged, gathered, then rearranged my circles probably seven times before I settled on this.

The final circle layout reminds me of someone holding a bunch of small marbles in their hand over ocean water. When they start letting the marbles stream out of their hand and into the water, the marbles fall slowly until they hit the sand and eventually spread out and settle there. I realize these photos are exactly that, just upside-down, so use your imagination!

After attaching the circles one-by-one to my background fabric using spray adhesive, I FINALLY got to my sewing machine and used a zigzag stitch to sew around each circle (there were 54, I think).

The top was actually easy to maneuver through my sewing machine arm since it was only one layer (no batting or backing). I had so much fun sewing around these circles!

Here it is all sandwiched and pinned and ready to rock.

I free-motion quilted in a wavy/swirly pattern to sort of enhance that feeling of being in water.

The backing fabric is also from the Lark collection, and the binding is Essex Cotton/Linen blend in Carrot. I wasn’t crazy about the binding at first, but after a few extra looks and some helpful reassurance from a dear friend, I decided I’m in love. Funny how that works.

Overall, I’m really happy with the finished product and indeed feel beachy and cheerful when I look at it, which is exactly how you should feel when you think of, um, marbles and water.