Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In which I intentionally make a baby quilt for someone else

Well, that was a busy weekend. Let me sum it up:

Wednesday Night

Me: Hey, since we can't make it to southern Oregon for Nephew's birthday next week, why don't we just bring him his present this weekend when we drive to your parent's house in Portland?
Husband: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. But I don't know what to get a 1 year old at all.
Me (busy sewing away on a kitty quilt): Hmmmmm.
Husband: Hmmmmm.
Me (sews for another 10 minutes): OH WAIT I CAN MAKE HIM A QUILT!
Husband (glances uselessly at calendar, which is still set to July): Can you make one by Saturday?

Was that a challenge? Because oh yes, I can! 

And thus, Thursday after work I dashed off to the fabric store and scoured their remnant table for fabric suitable for a 1 year old. I was totally inspired by Amy's On the Road Again quilt, because I love the primary colors she used, which really could be for either gender. I didn't want to use transportation fabric, though, because I have the same issue with CARS ARE FOR BOYS that I do with HORSES ARE FOR GIRLS or whatnot, and also I absolutely love dinosaurs and I wanted to sneak some dinosaur fabric in there because I'm self-serving like that.

Anyway, Thursday night was full of cut cut cut sew sew sew baste baste baste, and then Friday night was full of quilt quilt quilt bind bind bind. Before quilting, I hesitated for several minutes, trying to decide if I wanted to stipple the quilt or do a straight line grid. I like stippling, but in the end I figured a grid pattern would be faster and less hard on my pregnancy-shot wrists, and I finished sometime around midnight.

Woo, look at how nicely most of those corners match up! And it bears repeating that I really LOVE my walking foot. 

I must say, I LOVE THIS QUILT. I wish I could've kept it for myself, because even though the fabric trends towards "boy," I'd totally be thrilled if someone gifted this to me for my baby girl (side note: If anyone recognizes a fabric line in my quilt, feel free to let me know what it is since most of this came off an unmarked fabric table or my stash, and I've GOT to get better with keeping track of what fabrics I use). My piecing has gotten way better--there were still a couple of seams that were off, but far more corners met up than didn't, and that makes me really happy. Also, the binding! The binding!


It probably took me twice as long to bind as it should have, but after my last binding failure, I was determined to make this one WORK (especially since it was a gift). I only bound one edge at a time and I wish I had stopped to take a picture because it looked absolutely ridiculous with the amount of pins and clips attached to it. The front was crisp and straight, and the back looked as well as you can expect a machine binding to look. I am stupidly happy with how well it came out and it was totally worth stabbing myself a million times with the millions of pins poking out all over the place. 

My couch is ugly and green. This is not my couch. 

The last part of this quilt I'm proud of is the backing. It's my first pieced backing ever--completely unintentional, because I had figured I had enough red fabric for the back, but after I cut up the red for the binding, there was hardly any left, so I settled on the yellow I used for the border, but surprise! I was barely short of yellow, as well! I had a few squares left over from piecing the front, so I sewed those together and slapped yellow on either side and was pleased with the result. I'm not sure why I was terrified of pieced backings before this--probably because I'm lazy and it seemed like a lot of work--but I like the look and I'll definitely have to do more.

And I think this quilt will look even better once it's been washed a couple more times and gets all crinkly. I didn't have time to wash it between the time I finished it and when we drove to Portland on Saturday, and then my sister-in-law and nephew showed up shortly after we did so I couldn't sneak it into the wash without anyone seeing. Luckily, everyone except my husband and I had left the house on Sunday morning when I woke up, so I ran downstairs, spritzed the quilt with water, and threw it into the dryer for 25 minutes, and had time enough to pull it out and quickly take pictures of it in their living room before everyone came back. It got crinkly enough to look "quilty," but I'm kind of hoping our nephew pukes on it a couple of times so it gets washed a lot. Happy Birthday, nephew, please vomit on my present to you.

Now I kind of want to make a slightly more "girly" dinosaur quilt for our kid, even though I still have the unintentional baby quilt to finish. I like primary and fall colors a lot though, so "girly" for me would be throwing in a couple of purple squares or something. I have a ton of other things to work on right now though (hello, mug rug goodie swap, hey look it's already September 6th and I haven't sewn anything for it yet even though I have a million ideas in my head), so we'll see. There's always time AFTER the baby is born, right? (Already-Parents: Go ahead and laugh at my naivety. Or tell me "Oh yeah, the baby will sleep 20 hours a day like a cat and you will have tons of free time on your hands." That'd be cool., too.)

Uh, the top isn't actually as uneven as it looks in this picture. It's straight, I swear. 


  1. I know for sure that the green with letters is punctuation by moda. I saw the dinosaurs and pirates not long ago but can't remember who they are by.

    I have a son and I get so tired of everything being trucks and football! And for every one rack of boys clothes there are usually 4 for girls. Don't they know that mom is buying the clothes?? I want variety! Thankfully now that he's getting older and into toddler clothes there is a bit more solids and stripes.

    I think the trick to sewing once the baby gets here is how to hold her while at the machine :)

  2. Wow, super speedy! Lovely fabrics! Humm, sewing and new baby, that'll be when husband takes her to the shops! LOL

  3. I've found you from Lily's SBM and I'm so glad I did. I chuckled a lot while reading this post, you're very funny! I'm now following!
    I have two kids and I remember that pregnancy brain so well - actually I think so many cells were destroyed I've not returned to my normal state!
    I look forward to seeing more of your quilts and am super impressed by how fast you did this one, with great results! Loving those dinosaurs :)
    I'm blogging at:
    Come and say hello!

  4. Wow - a masterpiece in so little time. It's amazing what a deadline can do!

  5. Hi Natalie, I am still making my way through the new blogs on Lily's SBM and this is how I found yours. And I am so happy I did! You make me laugh and I will follow you from now on! I really like this quilt you made. I think it's a "science quilt": you got dinosaurs, letters, molecules and robots. Perfect for both - boys and girls!
    Hope to hear back from you even if it takes some time cause you wanna use your being pregnant excuse ;-)
    Oh, BTW I am German. I can tell you a lot about Dresden (love that city) and I kinda know what a "Dresden plate" is but I've never made one.

  6. I ended up here the same way as most, thought your post was pretty entertaining! I also have the same problem with aligning my corners--you'd think that when you cut out all the pieces the same size, they'd end up matching??

    Very cute quilt though!