The story of a quilt: making a modern family heirloom
I finished a baby quilt recently and thought I'd share with you why and how I made it.
This one was special to me from the start. A good friend was pregnant after a long while of trying and I wanted to make a quilt for the baby. I don’t need much of an excuse, let’s face it, and I already had fabric set aside with a baby in mind. I even had a pattern ready too: Pow Wow from Cluck Cluck Sew. I’ve made a few of Allison’s patterns and love them.
I set to work. I’m a stay-at-home mum with a six-year-old at school, a three-year-old at home and a one-year-old business to run in the evenings and weekends so my sewing time is limited. But half an hour here and there plus the occasional evening sewing session and it’s amazing how quickly a patchwork top comes together.
When it was time to baste, I chose a single fabric for the back. I usually like to use up what I have and make pieced backs but I found some gorgeous Sam and Mitzi fabric by Lewis and Irene on sale from Fabric Punk and, well, that was decided. It was a perfect fit – so cute for a baby quilt and it really complemented the fat quarters I’d chosen from my stash for the patchwork.
Then to quilt. I almost always quilt by hand. I love slow stitching and the excuse to watch TV while I sew! I tend to decide on how I want to quilt once I’ve basted but I was still undecided with this one. I thought to just quilt in the ditch around the arrow-heads but decided in the end to ditch stitch the flying geese sections and add in another chevron in between them. Simple.
In the meantime, my friend had painted a lime feature wall in the nursery so that settled it: green binding! This one made it through the auditions. I always attach my binding to the top of my quilts using my machine and its walking foot and then to the back by hand with an invisible slip stitch. I love Crazy Mom Quilts’ binding tutorial. I’ve done it so many times now I know it by heart but everything I do comes from Amanda-Jean.
I finished a few days before the baby was due. It was a beautiful frosty morning so I took the quilt off to take photos in a local meadow where the hedgerows were sparkly and white. It worked a treat until I fell over, landed on a hedge stump, ripped a huge hole in the bottom of my leggings and dropped the quilt. Cue a painful (pride and bum) walk of shame back through the village with ruined boots, a muddy quilt and everything hanging out of the back of my trousers!
Anyway, the best bit about a baby quilt is always the baby. Little Harriet was born, healthy and happy, and the whole family loved the quilt which was a bonus!