Thursday, January 31, 2013

Little Boy Blue: The Quilt So Nice I Made It Twice

Little boy blue,
Come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow,
The cow's in the corn.
But where is the boy
Who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack,
Fast asleep.
–Mother Goose

Early last fall I made a really fun scrappy quilt, Pinkalicious for my sister's sweet new baby girl. It was so much fun to make and I thought it would be just as much fun to make one in blue. It was.

When I found out a dear friend of mine, who had married in her mid-thirties and had struggled with infertility, was expecting her first baby, I knew that's the quilt I wanted to make for her. She was due in late November, but he was born about six weeks early, which makes this quilt three months late. About my usual, lately :lol:.

I've had the top finished since the beginning of November and have had so much going on I haven't had a minute to quilt it. Also, I was kind of dreading working with the Ultra-Cuddle {fuzzy on both sides and stretchy} on the back. Getting the back to work with the Pinkalicious quilt was an adventure/learning process and even though I knew what I wanted to do {fuse the layer of flannel that I used instead of batting directly to the Ultra-Cuddle to help stabilize it}, I still lacked the momentum {motivation/desire/time} to do it. You know how you put off a task that you anticipate being unpleasant, right? The Ultra-Cuddle combined with the satin blanket binding, which is an absolute pain to work with, made a combination I was not looking forward to. But I just can't resist putting that oh-so-soft-and-silky edge on baby blankets. The texture is especially nice with fleece or Minky or Ultra-Cuddle, so it really wasn't optional for this quilt.

The quilting was really fun to do, once I finished the stitch-in-the-ditch to stabilize the whole thing. I found an image of a star I liked, sized it to fit in the 4" squares and the 1" setting squares and printed them out. Marking is not my favorite thing, so used some glue that is like a sticky note when it dries on the back of my paper templates and stuck them to my quilt, but the points kept coming up and they shifted. Lane mentioned he was going to use freezer paper to do the same thing, and I thought that might work better than the sticky note glue, but he reported back that he had corners popping up too, that he didn't like it much, and probably wouldn't try it again, so I bagged the idea, traced the stars onto a light-weight cardboard {think cereal box}, cut them out and then traced them onto the quilt top with the old blue marking pen standby. Again. {Sidebar: I'm looking for new, less expensive way to mark quilts. The cost of marking pens is ridiculous, even with a 50% off coupon. I know that the Frixion gel pens are fairly inexpensive, but after reading this review, I don't think I'll use it to mark my quilts. I thought Geta's suggestion of the Bic Kid's Couleur Washable Markers was an interesting one. They are not sold in the US, but you can find them on eBay. I wonder if Crayola's Washable markers would work as well? Perhaps I'll experiment.}. After I did the stars, I did loops in the sashing. This quilt goes in the mail tomorrow to it's new little owner, who I hope will cuddle and drag and love this quilt until it falls apart.

Today's post brought to you by:
My 2013 Finishes


Angie said...

I love your cute little stars. Great job!

Paulette said...

You did a beautiful job on this cute and cuddly quilt! I'm sure the new parents and baby will love it no matter when it was received. I really like the quilting, now the center loops connect the stars with the diagonal wavy line and even the itty-bitty stars in the cornerstones.

I haven't marked a quilt with the FriXion pens, but I do use them to mark in the seam allowances. Great for doing HSTs and drawing that line or lines on the back, or for tracing templates or making registration marks to match curves. I tried it on a test swatch marking the quilting, and it disappeared when I pressed the piece, and then came back when I put it in the freezer. (It's -5 here this morning, so that's relevant, I think.)

Have you tried fusible batting? I just happened to find some leftover bits and used them on a couple of minis recently. It works really well to hold layers together, but it makes things a little stiff temporarily. It dissolves when you wash the item, though. And I think it's largely poly, so there's that.

The Cozy Pumpkin said...

What a lovely combination of blues! :)


Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

This is really pretty! I like the wash of soft blues you chose.

Susie at ProsperityStuff said...

Awesome quilt! The piecing is great, and the shades of blue work so well together. But the quilting! Oh, my! I LOVE the quilting. Beautiful! (I took a look at the quilting on the Pinkalicious one after that, and again: AMAZING!) Super finish.

Michelle said...

I love the label and the quilted stars and the whole rest of the quilt! :-) A few years back, I heard of people using Glad Press N Seal, quilting through it, then tearing it off. But I think there were complaints about that, too, so I'd research before trying it.

Lynette said...

THis is so adorable!! I *love* how you quilted it, and the satin blanket binding is FANTABULOUS! Would it bother you if I try making one similar for my sister's baby coming up?

Shay said...

Your quilting is fabulous. I wouldnt worry about the delay in getting it finished because that quilt is going to get a lot of loving over the next 10 years !

Sara said...

Aww...I love the Frixion pens. They work well for me. Hope you find one that works for ya.

I really like the Ultra Cuddle and satin binding.

Jennifer Lovell said...

I totally wish I could snuggle with that quilt myself tonight :). Awesome!