Baby Quilt Project
Posted on Sunday the 31st December 2017 by Fiona @ The Sewing Directory
A few weeks ago I found out that my younger sister was having a baby so I knew I’d need to add a baby quilt into my To Sew list. I love baby quilts because they are quick and easy to make, and not a nightmare to baste being as they are smaller. She told me they were going for rainbow colours for the baby’s nursery to make it a colourful happy place.
I like the triangle quilt in my friend Laura’s book Sewing for Babies and Children. I followed most of the instructions from the book but changed the layout from a random scattered layout to chevrons after consulting with my sister to see which she’d prefer.
Because there will be a lot of colour I opted for a subtle textured print, Laura Gunn’s Painters Canvas Fabric in 10 different colours (plus a dark grey for the binding). I love this print as it’s a really good blender print as well as being ideal for projects like this where the colours are the focus rather than the print. I planned to do 10 rows of 8 blocks, using half square triangles.
I played around with the layout of the fabrics to find the colour combination I liked best for the layout then took a photo. This will help me know which squares to put together when making the half square triangles.
I started by cutting the fat quarters into charm squares (5 inch squares) with my trusty Striplogy Ruler. I know it seems like I use it for every project I write for this blog but it’s so handy when you have a lot of straight line cutting to do. I ended up with a lot more than the 80 squares I needed but I will keep the others for future projects, I’m sure there will be more baby quilts in my future.
I used the photo I had taken earlier with the colour order to help me pair up the squares to be sewn together into half square triangles. I then laid out the rows a few at a time and sewn them together. Because I was limited by the size of my sewing table I made the quilt in 2 halves. You can see one half of it below.
Because it’s quite a simple design the quilt came together quickly and before I knew it the top was finished and I was ready to baste. Normally I pin baste my quilts but I injured my back badly in the summer so can’t crawl around on the floor pin basting.
So I bought some glue spray and tried spray basting for the first time. The only place I had space to baste it was on the bathroom floor, but at least because that’s not carpeted I was less worried about any glue getting onto it. I left more wadding around the outside than normal hoping any excess spray would go onto that rather than the floor and it seemed to do the job.
It was much quicker than pin basting but I did find the backing fabric wrinkled up a lot. So once the glue had dried I had to iron out the creases. However a friend had told me it’s best to iron a glue basted quilt anyway to better bond the layers. The backing fabric itself is an old Joel Dewberry print I was given recently which happened to be exactly the right size. Plus the yellow and blue were the same shades as the ones on the front of the quilt so that was very fortuitus.
It took me 3 weeks or so to get around to quilting the quilt and the glue did hold it together all that time. It was moved around my sewing space several times whilst I made other projects and didn’t start to come apart. I did find the quilt feels crisper than a pin basted quilt but hopefully when washed the glue will go making the quilt softer again. I will wash it before gifting it.
For the quilting I decided to echo the zig zag on either side. I considered matching the thread to each colour of the zig zags but then I realised I’d have to wind 10 bobbins and change thread 10 times so I soon scrapped that idea! I went with a light green thread which blended well with all of the colours on the quilt. The quilting is visible but doesn’t stand out too much which is just what I was aiming for. It’s hard on a multi coloured quilt to find a colour which doesn’t stand out on at least one of the fabrics. I tried several colours before I found the right one.
I then made my own binding from the dark grey fabric and stitched the binding to the edge of the quilt and hand finished it on the back. I went for a dark binding as I knew it would make the colours of the quilt pop.
I just need to wash the quilt and give it to my sister when I see her at Christmas. The baby is due in March so a few more months and I might get to see a cute picture of a baby using the quilt.