Recently, a friend of mine asked me to make her a quilt as a gift for her friend who just had a baby boy. I don’t usually make commissioned quilts, but of course, for a friend! The baby’s dad is a huge fan of The Little Prince story so I set out to find themed fabric, and to my surprise, I found a Riley Blake collection.
After mulling over pattern designs and how to best showcase all the fabrics, we decided on the easy, basic Checkered Baby Quilt. I like to use flannel backing on baby quilts, so we chose a cute star print that blended nicely with the others. And because I am one who certainly can’t turn down striped binding, we settled on the blue, with yellow stars and green stripes.
Upon the arrival of new fabric, I immediately got to work (more like ‘play’). As in making any quilt, I used some helpful techniques. After pin basting and before any quilting, I ran a long basting stitch across the top edge of the quilt, about an 1/8″ down. This helps to eliminate any pull from quilting and it helps reduce shifting. Also, if the stitches are sewn less than 1/4″ from the edge, you won’t have to remove them before attaching the binding.
Initially, I did the top only but I ended up adding a basting stitch along both sides because of slight puckering when sewing on the binding. It only took a few minutes and solved the problem.
And lastly, if you have labels, be sure to sew one on the backing before quilting!
Here are a few photos of the finished quilt. My friend was pleased with the results, and I hope the new mom and dad are too.
I’d also like to mention that if you’re a beginner quilter or know someone who is, I highly recommend this pattern. Not only is it easy, it’s fun! It’s straight-forward, there are no bias edges, no half square triangles, and no cutting if you use precuts!
Last spring I made a Checkered Baby Quilt as a gift, and at that time I made a tutorial. If you or a friend would like to give it a try, here’s the link to my easy-to-follow tutorial: Checkered Baby Quilt PDF
After posting my ‘best nine’ on Instagram, I thought it would be a nice idea to recap all the projects I completed throughout 2017. Since I didn’t start my blog until May, a few have not been posted here. Along with photos, I am including links to patterns and tutorials in case anyone is interested in making their own.
My first finish of the year was my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt and tutorial. I designed the pattern and made the tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop. I used Me & My Sister Designs Rainy Day! Here’s a link to the free tutorial Boxed Candy Toss Quilt
Next, I made this heart mini, mostly out of scraps. The fabrics used were Riley Blake, Dear Stella and Moda; all left from quilts I made or fat quarters from a bundle purchased for something else. I wanted a Valentine’s Day themed mini to hang on my sewing room door. I searched and found this tutorial Dear Stella Big Love Tutorial and sized down the piecing dimensions suitable for a mini (the pattern is for a larger size quilt). I love the results! And I was pleasantly surprised when it was featured on Instagram in a collage post #makemodern.
Early in the year my local guild asked for quilt donations for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Apparently Quilters Dream Batting donates to my guild and in thanks, several quilts were donated back to them. I donated this one.
I also made the same quilt pattern, using the same fabrics, for a wedding gift for a niece.
In March I submitted these Sunrise Clock Mug Rugs to Modern Patchwork magazine. Lucky for me they were accepted and published in the September/October 2017 edition. It was really fun to have one of my projects in a magazine!
I finished another quilt top (I have yet to quilt it) but since I loved the jewel tones in this Basic Mixology collection, I made this mini out of leftover strips. No tutorial, just improvised as I went along.
Sometimes I like to take a break from making a quilt, so I throw in a smaller project. I decided I needed a sleeve for my laptop. I found this lovely tutorial from Lella Boutique. Both fun and easy! Lella Boutique Laptop Love Tutorial
I made this baby quilt for my husband’s coworker. I used leftover Miss Kate fabric and put white flannel with pink polka dots on the back. I think the mom-to-be was happy with it! I made an easy-to-follow tutorial, especially for beginners; here’s the link: Checkered Baby Quilt Tutorial
I made two of these star minis for very dear friends of mine. I used Moda’s Rustic Weave mini charm packs for both. The pattern is Summer Star, here’s the link for more pattern information: Summer Star Mini Quilt
I designed this elephant baby quilt last year, but I didn’t want to release the pattern until I had it tested. Thanks to my testers, Ange and Kathy, it’s now for sale, available for a pdf download: Lovable Elephants Baby Quilt. I used Dear Stella Mini Dot fabrics and made my version suitable for either boy or girl.
Somewhere on Instagram I saw a this block and just had to make it into a mini for myself. I used fabric from a half layer cake I had purchased way back. The block was hashtagged summersampler17 and it was the June block. I used Floriography by Riley Blake and wow, what a great collection! This was also the first time I ever did a fussy cut, it was pretty fun.
This Stars & Four Patch quilt was a huge undertaking! When I looked back on 2017 projects, I surprised myself that I started it then, I thought for sure it was a 2016 start. I put it aside for several months, but I knew I’d have to have it longarmed for the best results. When I went to pick it up, I was so thrilled with the quilting—I just love it. The free pattern is available from Moda: Stars & Four Patches Quilt Pattern
Lastly, another version of my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt. It was about time I made a quilt for my mom and she requested this pattern. I started it in October as a leisure go-to project, but soon decided to finish it for a Christmas gift. I was really happy with how the soft pastels rendered themselves in the design. Fabrics are Collette by Chez Moi for Moda and Kona Cotton Snow for the background. And I actually did the quilting myself! Here’s my free tutorial: Boxed Candy Toss Quilt
All in all, it was a pretty productive year! I finished a lot more than I thought I had. I also have to admit that I didn’t finish everything I started. I have a Belle Prairie quilt top that needs quilted. That’s next up, I won’t allow myself to start another thing until it’s done. Also, my Fireworks quilt blocks are finished, but not sewn together. I’m not sure who will be quilting that one—me or my longarmer (probably the latter). So that wraps up 2017. On to 2018…