Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haeli's Quilt

I'm making quilts for my grandchildren's birthdays this year, starting with Haeli's (October).

I've always been fond of the sunbonnet baby motif, so when I found a set of stamped blocks from Jack Dempsey, packaged as a baby quilt, I ordered it (from Herrschners, as I recall -- this was several years ago). I never did get around to making that baby quilt, but I figured I could always embiggen it with sashing.

I took a month off work this summer, and just stayed home. Embroidering the Sunbonnet blocks was one of the first things I finished on my "sabbatical".

I planned the general layout of the blocks and sashing on graph paper and decided to use 9-patch and 3-strip blocks for sashing around the embroidered blocks.

Haeli likes purple & pink. I had all of these fabrics in my fabric stash*. Some were fairly recent acquisitions; others have been aging a while, but none of them was bought expressly for this project.

*Yes, I collect fabric, too.

I wanted a really scrappy, random look, and tried not to combine the same two fabrics in more than one or two blocks.

Likewise, when I laid out the blocks to assemble
the top, my only rule was not to have the same fabric in any two adjacent blocks.

I scattered the blocks with the darkest fabrics around a bit, but didn't worry about value any more than that.

I cut the blocks and strips using a rotary cutter over the course of a few days.

I started off very slowly piecing the 9 patch blocks. After the first few, I was able to chain-piece the rest of them. Piecing the 3 strip blocks was even easier.

It took only a day to piece the blocks, and another day to assemble the quilt top. It went together beautifully, although I did have to rip out and redo a couple of seams -- for example, when I sewed the center block of the strip to the 9-patch block on the edge, rather than the one in the middle; or when I sewed an entire strip on upside-down (d'oh!). But the corners matched up pretty well for the most part, and the overall effect is just what I hoped for. 

The quilt is backed with a pink flat flannel sheet; the batting is Warm & White (cotton). I'm handquilting corner-to-corner on the 9-patch blocks, and in the ditch on the 3-strip blocks and the embroidered blocks. I may also outline quilt around the "babies"-- I'll see how the embroidered blocks look once the pieced areas are quilted, and then decide.

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