Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sandwich Anyone?

At long last, I am getting around to talking about the I Spy quilt again. Sorry for the delay but it's been a busy couple of weeks.

Before we start talking about sandwiches and quilting, I thought I would show you the completed top, as modeled here by my lovely assistant.

I am very pleased with how it's turned out. It should be an excellent quilt for tummy time with Baby Boy. Lots of interaction and learning to be done on here!

Given that this is going to be the "go-everywhere-do-everything" blankie, I decided to keep the insides durable but trim.

Thus I sandwiched it with an ugly 1980's piece of jersey in the middle. And on the back I have a cutie rocket ship flannel, also with the idea that it might entertain a little boy.

I am of the mind that what I put in the centre of the quilt should be about what it's going to be used for. This will hopefully be dragged all over the countryside, to the park, in the car, everywhere. Thus it shouldn't be too bulk and definitely washable to the max.

I know. Purists everywhere are cringing. Meh. My baby, my quilt, my decision. As it should be yours when it comes time.

Okay, next step. Find a thread that's going to blend in the way you want it to, or stand out the way you want it to. I picked a variegated colour that changes along the way but isn't too noticeable. I want more of the fabric to stand out.

You can see here that I ran it across several fabrics to see if I would like the subtle effect of the thread colour. I'm good with this one in gold/brown tones.

Now you get to decide what kind of pattern you want for the quilting. For this one, I didn't want anything too busy to interfere with the fabrics. I chose a modified Grecian key.

I pulled out my marking pencils (you use whatever marking device works for you) and I started free-hand lines. I prefer the relaxed look of free-hand work, even on a very boxy kind of quilt like this one.

To see the effect up close, take a look at this guitar block.

Enough lines to keep the fabric in place, but not so many that it plays havoc with the eyes.

So repeat this process until all your blocks and the whole quilt has been quilted. This size blanket and this simple pattern took me the better part of a Saturday - about 7am to 2pm. It's a big job but it's also the part that finishes the look so should be given it's due attention and time.

Oh, and my favourite part of the quilting process? Having an A-1 assistant like Sailor to help!

"I'll hold it here for you!"

Happy quilting, M


Tazzie said...

Love love love the quilting Michele, I know your little man is going to adore his quilt.
Every time I see a picture of Sailor, I just cannot believe the similarities with Gracie. I am sure we have twin kitties on the opposite sides of the globe from each other!
Enjoy the rest of the week hon.

Katharyn said...

Beautiful! You should have called Sailor Vana.

Did I ever tell you the story of my first blanky?

It was a multi coloured fabric mostly reds and pinks. Made to look like a quilt even though it was really all once piece of fabric. It was trimmed with a soft white fabric.

when I was 4, somewhere at Expo blanky got lost. On the sky home I play called everyone I knew including "the Doug Bishop" who I didn't like, to ask if they had seen my blanky. Working off an idea my parents had given me I would tell my "caller" that if they found that a little girl who didn't have a blanky had found him that she could keep him, but that she needed to tell him that I missed him and loved him very much.

When I was done "calling" everyone I knew I looked out the skytrain window and doing the one hand wave/clap thing said "bye bye blanky" with tears streaming down my face.

Mum says I had about half train dead silent, and half chocked up.

Katharyn said...

mum had some of the fabric left over, but none of the trimming. It didn't matter when we got home that the day had been very full, and that she was utterly exhausted - if she wanted sleep at all she was going to hit the sewing machine.

apparently I gave her eyes that could kill when it didn't have the right edging but stuck my thumb in my mouth and went to bed with a "it'll do" glare.

Quirky said...

It's great when one of your quilts turns into that special blankie for a child, isn't it?

A couple of years ago, I decided to just start cutting out some fabrics for a baby quilt... no-one in mind... within 10 hours, a friend came by to tell me she had just found out she was pregnant! Now little Stella takes that quilt everywhere with her!