Hello, and welcome! I’ve been asked a few times how I decide what goes into a quilt. Since I am long overdue in posting here, I thought describing my process for making a quilt would be a good topic for today.
The Process of Making a Quilt
First, Something Has to Grab Me
Sometimes, it’s a pattern. Other times, it’s a fabric, or a texture. One of the things I’m really enjoying about making all these baby blankets for my Etsy shop is that it gives me many opportunities to indulge my creativity.
In this case, I was hooked as soon as I opened the package that contained a Jelly Roll of Voyage by Kate Spain.The vivid mix of blue, aqua, coral, and purple appealed to me immediately. Once I opened the jelly roll (that’s one of the most perfect moments, isn’t it? When you get to feel the fabric with your fingers and you really get to take in all the different patterns and textures) and began to take in the fabric line as a whole, I was hooked.
Choosing a Pattern
Now that I’d chosen the fabric, the next challenge was to pick a pattern. I wanted something simple to let the fabric do the talking. As the goal for this was to create an item for my Etsy shop, It would be even better if I could get a couple of baby quilts out of it. Since I was working with a jelly roll, and I wanted to waste as little fabric as possible, I knew I was going to be working with pieces that were 2 1/2 inches by… something. I also knew I didn’t want to do a basic 4-patch, or 9-patch, or anything like that (although I’ve done plenty of those!)
I have a stash of leftover precuts of various sizes that I hold on to for experimentation, so I grabbed a few 2 1/2″ strips and started playing. When I came up with something I liked, I took a few strips from the Kate Spain jelly roll and tried it out.
I was pretty happy with this slightly modern interpretation of a traditional nine patch block, So I cut the rest of the strips – three 2 1/2″ squares, and three 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles from each. I put half of each stack aside for another quilt, and got to work piecing the squares together.
There are many wonderful moments in quilting, but few that I would consider to be absolutely perfect, but after the layering and basting have been completed, that moment is pretty darned close. My true love is top quilting. I see it as the painting that completes the canvas. Whatever I choose to do at that moment completely changes the look of the quilt. Because I don’t use computer-generated pantograph patterns in my quilting, each quilt I make is completely unique. I can piece the same top together a dozen times, but because I quilt each one a little differently, no two of them are the same.
Once this quilt goes up for sale on my Etsy store, hopefully someone will pick it out for a lucky baby! Right now, though, it is all mine. The choices I make right here will determine whether the final quilt is more of a boy-quilt, a girl-quilt, or neutral, whether it has a more traditional look or a more modern one.
Choosing the Right Thread
After completing the basting (NOT one of my perfect moments lol), the next thing I do is audition threads. (My daughter finds the phrase “auditioning threads” very funny, she thinks they should sing or something. In a way, I think they do!)
We decided the lighter purple suited the quilt the best
How to Quilt It?
I knew I wanted to do an all-over pattern for a couple of reasons. Not only are they generally faster to complete, but they take the beating of small children better. I also felt the vibrancy of the fabric should be the star of the show. Since the quilt had so many straight lines, I knew I wanted something with lots of curves. So, I pulled out one of my trusty test sandwiches and started playing.
I felt like nested loops went well here, so I went with that.
Binding and Finishing
I’m the kind of quilter who never gets rid of anything, so I had a lot of choices to pick from for binding.
I thought the pink and the blues went fairly well, but what drew my eye was the dark blue. I like the way darker colors frame a quilt.
A little more work and it was done! I’m pretty pleased with the results. It’s for sale in my Etsy store right now.
So, that’s the basic process I go through when creating a baby quilt. I hope you enjoyed it! (PS. I could use some tips on how not to hate binding so much if you have any!)