23 June 2013

Quilt for G

In March, my sister had her forth baby - G. She's adorable and she needed a quilt. My sister didn't peak, so G. being a girl was a surprise and I was unprepared with a pattern. I love pinwheel patterns, so my sister and I spent some time on Pinterest trying to find what we were looking for.  We found several we liked, but I decided that I liked the 'dilly dally' pattern by Thimble Blossom with sashing between the squares the best. 

Off to the fabric store to figure out what colors.  I wanted it girly - but not too girly - with lots of colors.  I found this fabric - 'diddly dot' by Michael Miller in orchid.  It's got bright colors, girl colors, and I liked the green in it. 

The hard part was now finding fabric that matched the dots.  Armed with my 'Kona cotton color card', I sat in the driveway and tried to find matches.  Then I hit up the local quilt shops that had 'Moda Bella solids' to see what they had.  I decided on:

Peony (Bella)
Petal (Kona)
Peacock (Bella)
Aqua (Bella)
Amethyst (Kona)
Thistle  (Kona)
Cactus (Kona Solid)
Key Lime (yet a different brand of quilt fabric that I can't remember)
with Coal (Kona) for sashing.

I was a little worried about the Key Lime - but my idea was to have the colors in the 'diddly dot' fabric plus a lighter version (like the pink in the fabric).  (Note: when your gut tells you it's not right, don't keep on going.   But I generally don't listen to that voice until later.)

I drew up the pattern with Google Sketch-up.  My first time using it and it was a bit of a learning curve.  I'll definitely use it again.

I cut 5 inch squares and paired them up with white Kona cotton and sewed around the edges to create half square triangles

Those turned into 5" pinwheels.

I used a 2" square of white and sewed it diagonally across each corner.  I loved the way they turned out, but this step was a lot of work.  Sew, open seams, fold back fabric out of the way, trim _just_ the right layers, and iron.  But they turned out great.

I saw a paper pieced alphabet pattern on Pinterest by 'from blank pages ...' and decided this quilt was a great excuse to buy it.  I enlarged the pattern so that the letters were about 4" tall.  The piecing was a bit fiddly, but it wasn't bad.  It helps that I adore how they turned out.

I laid it out one Thursday night with 1" sashing - after playing 'sodoku' to determine that every row and column only had all 8 colors - and took pictures.  I loved it.  But looking down from the balcony, I realized that they 'Key Lime' fabric blended way too much into the background.

I wanted to take this quilt - finished - with me when I was visiting my sister in June and I was running out of time.  I had exactly 1 week and it still needed to be put together and quilted.  But I really didn't like the 'key lime' color in this quilt.  I decided to sleep on it.

(Like my 'design wall'.  Its a vinyl-ish table cloth from Walmart on the floor.  The fabric sticks to the backing!)

I didn't like it any better in the morning.  The 'Cactus' color is a left over from C's quilt, so I dug through the fabric left overs to see if there was another color that would work.  I found 'Lime' (Kona cotton) and laid it out.  I had to get over the fact that I wasn't using the colors from the back of the quilt plus a lighter shade (I'm an engineer, I like patterns.)  But it worked.  I liked the contrast and it still worked great with the 'Cactus'.  It worked really well.  Friday night I made 9 more blocks and laid them out.  It made a huge difference.

I pieced the top together over a long Saturday of sewing.  I'm always amazed at how long it takes to sew the top together once blocks are done.  I suppose that sashing doesn't speed up the process. :)

I made the quilt sandwich Sunday and started quilting Monday night.  (The day job occasionally gets in the way!).  I quilted the sashing in one night and then had to figure out what to do with the pinwheel flowers.  I tried several ideas before I decided on sewing 1/8" inside around them.   Two nights and the pinwheels were done.   Thursday was binding and it went into the wash by 10:30pm.  I pulled it of the dryer the next morning and stuffed it in the top of my suitcase and dashed to the airport.

It's the only niece/nephew quilt that isn't hand quilted ... and I'm okay with that.  I think it turned out pretty darn great.

Plus my sister was surprised that I had it finished!  G. looks pretty darn cute on her quilt.  I hope she enjoys it.

Finished size: 45 x 45
Pattern inspired by 'Dilly Dally' by Thimble Blossom
Colors: Peony, Peacock, Aqua (Moda Bella Solids); Petal, Amethyst, Thistle, Lime, Cactus, White, and Coal (Kona Cotton Solid).  Backing: Diddly Dots by Michael Miller.
Quilted with a light grey thread and 2 layers of cotton Pellon batting.

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