I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for as long as I‘ve been sewing but it always seemed so intimidating, complicated and fiddly, until I got Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal. This is a fantastic book for any quilting beginner. Susan breaks down each step so simply that it’s almost impossible to go wrong.
So, this quilt is for my darling baby niece Cara’s first birthday at the end of July. I really wanted to make her something she could keep and treasure – in other words – I didn’t want to make an embarrassing mess that fell apart after a few washes. It’s roughly 42 x 42 inches – just the right size for a crib. I used organic wadding and 100% cotton fabric. Here it is:
I used the Sunshine Baby Quilt pattern from the book for this project. Unfortunately I started the quilt before I started the blog so I can’t show you how I constructed the blocks and the sashing, but trust me – it’s so easy and addictive. You basically make a series of blocks according to the instructions and then sew them all together. You can add long strips called sashing in between the blocks to ‘frame’ the pieces and give it more structure. Then you sandwich together the quilt top, the wadding, and whatever you’ve chosen for your quilt back (I used the same material for the back as for the sashing) and either use basting stitches or quilting safety pins to hold it all together. Note: requires a bit of space to do this – I used the living room floor. Once that’s done you can add a quarter inch seam around all the sides and then you’re ready to quilt!
For this pattern, Susan recommended hand-tying the quilt – an old fashioned technique that requires tying little knots about every seven or so inches and leaving about an inch of yarn on show. I have to confess that I did that, and then found the effect quite messy so I pulled them all out again and opted for long parallel diagonal lines of stitching every seven inches across the quilt. I just marked them out with a quilting ruler and a tailor’s chalk. The tricky bit was rolling up the quilt to fit into the sewing machine!
So this is the gingham I bought from All The Trimmings. Look how it arrived – how sweet!
Then fold the binding around the edge of the quilt to encase all three layers.
Fold and press the corners and add a few basting stitches to hold it in place. Then sew the binding down on the opposite side of the quilt, about a quarter of an inch from the inner edge, ensuring you catch the other side as you go. If you miss it in a few spots you can always go back and redo that bit then take out the errant stitching.
And since every good baby deserves to accessorize, I knocked up a ‘pacifier purse’ from the remnants using this free pattern from Sewing Republic. Maybe we can call it a dummy dock instead. Or if you’re from Norn Iron like me -you’ll call it a dody dock.
I have just one thing left to do on the quilt to make it really special but it’s a secret so I can’t tell you until it arrives. Hurry Ms Postwoman! (Really must do my nails. Hmph.)