With some inspiration and instruction from the mom-to-be I had to start mapping it all out and quick! I didn’t have much time for this one…
I pulled out my big roll of paper and grabbed a pencil to sketch it out. I often sketch and re-sketch a few times, so I try to make it less confusing by going over in felt the lines I actually want to use (sometimes it helps)! This time my plan was to use a raw-edge technique and to build up the background as I went instead of using a full-sized piece of fabric for the top. I also decided that I would quilt and apply all in one – so I used the handy adhesive spray to attach the backing (you can see the edge of it above, bright and spotty) to the cotton batting and then I started making the background from the top down:
As you can see. I started with a larger piece of blue and then layered on the mountains and then the foreground. I also did some quilting of cloud shapes on the blue before I moved on to attaching the tree, which I is just pinned down here. I love this technique because it is so quick – the sewing down of he pieces does most of the quilting for you! Very convenient.
I now wish I took more pictures while putting this together – I guess I was just concerned about getting it done!
Chronologically speaking this next quilt actually came before the chevron and dandelion – but I thought I would change things up and post the geometric quilt before going back to something more pictorial. This next one I made for a lovely gal I met during my studies; she was from Ireland but visiting Canada to do a Master’s degree. She was amazing – and when I found out she was expecting I knew I had to make a quilt for her to take back with her!
When I had the customary ‘What would you like in a baby quilt?’ conversation with her, she presented me with an interesting set of criteria. She said she wanted something that represented Canada, that was natural looking and included a bear (of the non-teddy variety). These are some of my favourite challenges. They let me flex my creative muscles – but unfortunately sometimes those muscles take time to get warmed up. As I think I have mentioned before, the forming of the idea and image in my mind is one of the most important parts! This time it took quite awhile — but I eventually found some inspiration and a concept BUT I only had about a month (where I could only work on it for bits of the weekends) to get it done before she went back to Ireland!
Let’s start with my inspiration…
This is Miss-Bee-Having but McKenna Ryan:
McKenna Ryan does beautiful work – I love the detail and speed you can get with raw edge designs. And this one was the perfect inspiration!
My mom has a quilting book – Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland – that I’ve always admired. It really shows how the quilting can impact the overall look of the quilt. I wanted to quilt in amongst the zigzag pattern, but I didn’t want the quilting to cut across the dandelion I had planned for the other side! So to get around this issue, I first ‘completed’ the quilt:
As you can see I free-handed squiggles in between the coloured chevrons to help make them pop! I used a white thread on top and bottom because I liked the idea of the waving pattern showing through. In order to put the dandelion on without interrupting the lovely simplicity of the other side, I decided to hand sew it all on. For the strips I used little tubes of off white fabric (ironed so that the seam was at the back) and stuck them down with some stitch witchery to hold it all in place so I could hand sew it down.
To make the little circles I decided to use the ‘yo-yo‘ technique and instead of covering up the cinching, I thought it added texture and interest (looks a little bit more like a dandelion seed too). Once I had it all laid out I just had to get sewing (and yes, it took awhile – great task for while you’re watching TV)!
The finishing touch was the label. I label all my baby quilts and I thought I would label this one a bit differently – I took advantage of the design and made a circular label to go in the middle of the dandelion (I blurred it out so you can’t see the names etc. but hopefully you can get the idea!). You’ll also notice that I made one of the seeds a light pink, just for a little extra interest 🙂
There we are! Two quilts in one – not so hard!