Friday, July 29, 2011

top done and basted

Thanks everyone for the feedback on the layout... I went with the last option (mostly because I really want a mini quilt to keep for myself!), and here it is just before I basted it. I love it!

I had a heck of a time choosing fabric for the back. The recipient is a 6 year old old boy, who loves the color red. I wanted something colorful and fun, but not too juvenile. I was really tempted by David Walker's collections, especially robots or boys will be boys, or the rocket-related prints in Sara Jane's children at play collection. But then I took one last look through my stash, and found this old (2003) Alexander Henry print of hot air balloons. I think it's almost perfect - colorful and fun, and playful but not too childish. The red borders are from a (new) IKEA sheet I had on hand. So it turns out that everything except the gray background fabric was from my stash!

And here's a lesson I learned from this quilt... I rarely press my seams open (because I'm lazy, mostly), but I did for this quilt - I didn't know what my final layout would be, so I didn't want to end up having to join a bunch of seams going in the same direction. But then I ended up having to match a crapload of open seams, which wasn't much better. I ended up with several places like this, where tiny gaps opened up at the intersections:

Ug! I went behind and sewed them up by hand before I basted the quilt, and hopefully everything will be okay once it's quilted. But next time, I'll be sure to use a thinner needle and a shorter stitch length - I think both of those would help. And no more pressing seams open for me, if I can help it!

Next up - the quilting. What would you do? I wish I had the nerve to try something fancy, but I'm pretty sure I'll just stipple it. It's quick and easy, and I know I can do an okay job with it. I picked up some variegated thread (another first for me), and I'm going to try it on the mini quilt to see how that looks...


  1. Fun! Love this layout. And the backing you've created seems like the perfect fit. Those balloons are so cool! As this is a quilt meant to be used and loved, stippling seems like a really practical choice. But maybe some wavy/curvy lines that echo the design would be an interesting, but not too difficult, non-stipple alternative (since it kind of sounds like you're stippled-out?)? I do think the variegated thread would be a fun touch on this quilt.

  2. Perfect backing! That's interesting about the issue you had pressing seams open. I know a lot of modern quilters are advocating that, and I tried it, but I decided it was way too much of a PitA and took too long with quarter inch seams, so I still press mine to one side.