Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finished!  Tristan Quilt Part 4

I decided to practice modern shaped feathers and geometric squares for my actual machine quilting design elements.  I didn't want the feathers to be feminine or fussy, so I squared them off a little and did a zig zag down the spine centers and surrounded them with pebbles in the plain turquoise sections.  Then, in the print squares, I did squares spiraling in and cutting across to the next square in a continual line fashion.  It was fun and easy and I could work in bursts when I had 20 minutes here or an hour there.  I used cream thread in the bobbin and on top to contrast the embroidery thread in Tristan's name, and so that the designs didn't fade into the fabric color.  Also...purely practical...I couldn't find the right shade of turquoise in quilting weight cotton thread, and I didn't want to stray from my all cotton policy, especially in a baby quilt that will be laundered a bunch and (hopefully) used till it's in tatters!!

After the machine quilting was done, I cut the quilt off the frame.

Then I squared up the edges on my cutting mat with my ruler and rotary cutter (it's easier on a smaller quilt like a baby size or a lap rug).

Then I added the binding (you can see instructions for both of these steps in other posts here on my blog, or in videos on my YouTube Channel).  For binding strips, I used miscellaneous other bits from the same fabric line (Acacia, by Tula Pink) from the jelly roll I purchased.  2 1/2" strips of adorable!!  I made sure to have the binding line up with different colors than the quilt top fabric so it frames the finished product with more color pop.

And I hope Tristan and his family will use this up and wear it out,  in the best of health and happiness...here is Tristan's Quilt.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tristan Quilt Part Three

Making progress on the details of Tristan's bright and sassy quilt.  First I auditioned the embroidery, a simple but masculine font with first and middle name, and birth date.  I tried motifs but the designs were just too busy for all the bold colors and prints.  I used a dark teal rayon thread, so it would show up on the turquoise fabric and not get lost in the quilting.

This is a spare bandana, which I will give to Tristan also to use as a bib, a clean up cloth or a fashion accessory.  ;)  I keep a stack of colored bandanas to use as last minute embroideries for kids or new puppies.  This one is a washed out blue that goes with the tones of the quilt.  

Then I mounted the quilt on the trusty six-needle.

As the embroidery unfolded, I tried several backing fabric prints, and found that the batik in greens and blues was the best match, and went well with the beachy lifestyle of this little family.

So now all the decisions are made, and it's time to get to the quilting.  Onto the quilt frame it goes.

If you're working on a home machine, it's the same quilt sandwich. Backing face down, batting next (I always use 100% cotton thin and unbleached batting for baby quilts, because of its natural materials, and it's vintage cozy pucker when it's laundered), then the quilt top face up.  Baby quilts and smaller lap quilts are always instantly gratifying since they finish quickly, and are a treasured gift.

Be back shortly with the actual quilting process and designs.
Happy sewing,