A very dear friend of mine recently added a beautiful little girl to her family. She is quite the crafty woman, always knitting up something special. I knew that she would really appreciate a handmade gift, so I went around town, popping into different quilting stores to find just the right fabrics to make her baby girl a sweet quilt. I knew that her nursery was going to be made up in pinks, purples and greys, so I kept to her color scheme with the help of the Out to Sea collection, by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics.
I found a bundle with the Deep Sea Jewel and Ahoy There color pallets combined, and found some lovely hearts, pearl bracelets, and polka dots in various quilting stores. I didn’t have a very large budget for this project, so luckily I had just enough white, cream and grey Kona cotton to get the job done. I pieced together batting that I had leftover from other various projects, and bound the quilt with a printed grey and white gingham I had in my stash.
I didn’t use or have a particular pattern in mind when I started to make this. I wanted to use the map print as the main feature of the quilt, because I though that a baby or toddler would enjoy looking at all of the colors and details in the fabric print. I didn’t want to cut up the boats either, but once I outlined them in grey Kona, I felt a little stuck. What was my actual creative vision for these fabrics? I wasn’t really sure.
After quite a bit of sketching, and enough math to make my head hurt, I decided to mimic the tiny flags on each ship. I randomly pieced together angled strips of printed and white cotton until I was satisfied with my “mini flags”. I ended up having to rip out quite a few of them, because I wasn’t happy with the haphazard angles I had chosen, but by the end of my last block, I had finally figured that out. Of course, right at the end. The back of the quilt was pieced with the remaining printed cottons, and strips of cream Kona in between.
It took me a bit to decide how to quilt this piece. I doodled around and finally decided that I wanted something that looked like seaweed. All too often I stick to general meandering and looping. I wanted something new! Here is a little visual of how I made this pattern (click on the photo to see it enlarged):
When I baste my quilts, I usually do so in a gridded square pattern. I find it makes it much easier to plan for each section of the quilt, and to stitch each one of them as I go along. Randomly placed safety pins interrupt my thought process too much. For this quilting pattern, I placed the pins so that I could stitch every-other-row of quilting all the way from the bottom to the top of the quilt, uninterrupted. I could then remove all of the safety pins, and fill in the quilting between each of the rows. It worked out very nicely!
I’m a cheater when it comes to sewing on binding. I don’t loath hand sewing, but for some reason, I dread stitching on binding by hand. I simply make my binding a bit longer than you would if you were hand sewing it on, and use my #10 Bernina Edgestitch foot to stitch in the ditch on the front of the quilt. It’s fast and easy and makes me happy every time.
I was so excited with the way this quilt came out of the dryer. It had the perfect texture once it was washed and dried. The final quilt measurement was somewhere around 40″ x 35″.
It has me itching to get back to my Hexagon Illusions quilt. I kind of forgot how cathartic quilting can be. Do you find quilting to be relaxing?