My First Quilt

I'm going to be an auntie. As of this Autumn sometime. What else do aunties do besides make cool stuff for their nephews/nieces? I made this crib-sized quilt last weekend, but didn't get to report on it until now, because it was a surprise present, and the recipient's mom reads my blog. She received it today (a day earlier than scheduled - well done UPS)

The nursery theme is Yellow Submarine. And so, I google Yellow Submarine fabric, and wouldja know it, there is a whole set of Yellow Sub theme fabric to choose from! If you click on the image to zoom in, you'll see the blue and orange panels have a scattering of characters from YS. I added in some plainer yellow and blue squares so that it wasn't so eye-boggling. The black and white animal squares - that's Ikea fabric (Ikea kids' section has awesome fabric!) and the blue cats on red? Well my in-laws have a cat. An orange cat, but I couldn't find cool orange cat fabric, so blue cats it was.

The big panel is one piece, like a fabric poster. I know, cool huh! So. I cut up a bunch of squares, 20cm x 20cm (I'm still much more accustomed to metric, thanks to British school upbringing). I cleared our large coffee table to lay out the squares (I could use the floor, but the squares would pick up dog fur) and arranging them so the colors formed a balanced composition. Then I machine sewed rows together, winding up with six strips of five squares. My husband actually helped and ironed the squares (round of applause! but I fear this bit domestic activity was overwhelming and he soon departed to home brew beer with friends). Then the six strips were sewn together to make a big rectangle - this is the fun part, watching it all come together.

The big poster panel and the rectangle consisting of many squares are then sewn together to make something like a pillow case, whereupon I spread a rectangular sheet of batting inside. Batting is the fluffy stuff. Close up the open end of the pillow case, and then comes the next fun part - sewing a free form curly pattern over the entire blanket, so that the thread pierces all three layers. This is what makes the quilt look puffy.

Given this was my first quilt, I steered away from more complicated designs, such as fitting hexagons together, or putting in circles, or anything other than standard squares (even they gave me a hard time lining up properly).

I've decided that I like quilt making. You could just buy a baby blanket. There are lots of cute ones out there. But the great thing about quilting is the personalization. Say you're hoping your baby will like: trumpets, robots, squirrels, cupcakes, hockey and hello kitty. All those things can be found printed on different fabrics, and one can make a completely personalized quilt.