Monday, November 26, 2007

Ocean and fishy baby quilt

Ah, I can finally post about this. The baby quilt I made for my new cousin (once removed), Ryder.

He was born October 12, but, in the tradition of me, I didn't have it done. Not anywhere near done.

But I finished it a week and a half ago and mailed it out quickly. My cousin and his wife let me know they got it right before Thanksgiving. Their daughter (Ryder's older sister, who is almost 3) loves it. Oh, well, the baby will come around eventually, once he learns how cool fish are.

Here is the progress:

quilt top without applique

I've posted this before, but just in case you don't remember or didn't see it, I put it up again. This is the topper without any applique on it.


This is an appliqued fish, before quilting. I posted this one before, too.

Quilt topper set on batting and backing

This is the topper after I pinned it for machine quilting. This is the first of the pictures I had to hold back, so it would still be a surprise. Below are two more close-ups of it. (I had pictures of the topper done before I set it on the batting, but my old hard drive took those to the lost data afterlife. Remember to back up everything!)

Close up of topper

Close up of pinned topper

I borrowed K's boss's mom's nice Viking Husqvarna machine, which she leaves here so she can sew during visits, to do the machine quilting. I had the ability to lower the feed dogs and set the presser foot pressure to a low setting so I could free-hand machine sew. I think it worked pretty well. I tried to do the same color thread for the different sections (dark to very light blue), but I accidentally (OK, I did it even though the book said not to) used cotton hand quilting thread for the dark blue section (my last section to quilt) and it messed up the tension in the machine. So I changed to dark grey, then to black when I ran out of that, and it's only noticeable in certain places. But not to a little kid, I'm thinking. I redid most of the messed up tension parts. It's not a very big quilt (about 32 x 42), so I was able to machine quilt it in no time -- during a few hours one evening. And the freehand wasn't that hard, since I just wanted it to look random, like ripples in the water and sky.

Quilted topper!

Quilted topper

The book told me how to make bias binding, which I made from the scraps of the squares, in the bottom three blue colors. It wasn't too awful (I think I only cut myself with the rotary cutter once or twice), but I think you can buy bias binding -- I'm doing that next time. Sewing them together was a pain and I ended up making way more than I needed, so I cut a bunch of fabric into bias strips and sewed them and I can't yet think of a use for them. I had to hand sew it on, too (except for the first time around). Although I dreaded it, it wasn't that bad. I think it didn't take as long as I thought it would. I took it to my yarn group and finished it there. I wasn't entirely happy with how it looked at the end, though, so next time I will be more precise in my stitches and binding techniques. I was afraid the binding wasn't secured well enough, or that you could peek into the underside of it. But that was the only part of the quilt that I wasn't happy with. Everything else went well.

Binded and quilted -- done!

Close up of finished quilt

Another closeup

I didn't quilt on the fish and sea creatures, except in the biggest yellow one. It was too large to not have any quilting there. So I quilted a fin on it and the inside edge. I also quilted a circle on the inside of the sun for the same reason. It's hard to see unless you go to the "Original Size" tab on the Flickr page.

The back looked cool, I thought. The middle two sections had a bright blue thread, the top had white, and the bottom dark blue/grey/black (basically, it looks dark :-)). I really liked how it showed through on the green (their baby room had blues and greens, so that's why I chose green for the back).

Back of finished quilt

I finished the quilt the next morning (Friday) by writing on a twill patch in a fabric paint marker and ironing it on to the back in the lower corner. I appliqued it on with stitches so it looked neater and would fray less.

Iron-on and appliqued tag

And here's the contrast of the back and the front. I like this one best.

Contrast of front and back

I almost didn't want to give it away. Not because I didn't want my new cousin and his parents to have it, but because it was my first project and it was my original design, which had just popped in my head. I kind of fell in love with it. (*Sniff* I'll just have to make something for myself next time, and in bigger size!) It's all cotton fabric, except for most of the fish and creatures, which are cotton/poly, so it's snuggly (although next time I will use pieces of flannel for batting, instead of polyester batting, as my mom said that is supposed to hold up better). I can't wait for pictures of their kids with it. I was very excited to hear that it was received well.


Opal said...

I adore that quilt!

Jamie said...

Very cute and creative. Nicely done!

Ms.Moosie said...

Oh, Bee, it's wonderful! It's cheerful, playful, and happy looking. I am so impressed with the machine quilting - a fabulous job for your first attempt. My favorite parts are the jellyfish at the bottom and the big, smiling, yellow fish. I am sure your little cousin is going to love it.