Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ooooh Baby, Baby! Baby, Baby!

Sew, do you have that song stuck in your head now?  Oooh Baby Baby....Baby Baby....  Okay, well I do.  I enjoyed the first baby quilt I made so much that it bit me like a bug.  I had to make more!  I've pinned so many tutorials and patterns lately I thought I was becoming a rockstar by hitting my 1,000th pin.  Until my best friend pointed out she has more than that in just her sewing folder alone.  Talk about making me feel tiny.  lol  My insignificant number of pins was no match for her 5k plus.  Seriously.  The girl is a pinning wizard!

Nonetheless, I was happy to stumble upon a simple little design for a quilt that was nothing but squares.  I used to think those were too plain and simple.  If you were going to make a quilt and go to all that trouble, why not add a little flair to the project?  HA!  Those simple little square blocks sure do make a girl feel accomplished.  And that's what I needed after my pinning defeat.

Sew it quilt number 2.

I've been in love with ORANGE lately.  It's like little bits of sunshine since it's been so darn cold and dreary where we live.  I'm so over winter!  Admittedly I could never be a 'California Girl' (for soooo many reasons), but I sure wouldn't mind living farther south.  Permanently.

The last baby quilt was teal's and orange patterns.  I thought it was yummy.  Then I played around with these prints and I'm not sure I don't love it even more.  Orange's, grays and some muted tones.  It makes me want to be a kid again and curl up in this little blankie.

I've been taking advantage of the kids' Christmas present too.  The ping pong table makes an excellent drafting area.  I can spread my blocks out and play around with patterns.  It's been so nice to have such a big space I almost, ALMOST, started to cut with my rotary cutter and then realized I wasn't on a cutting mat.  That was a close one.  I never would have heard the end of it.

This little lap quilt is approximately 36" by 48".  They seriously are great for snuggling on the couch even for grown ups.  I bought a kit once for a lap quilt for myself (which I still use daily!) and it wasn't this big.  For this blankie I used 6 inch squares, in 5 design patterns.  I had 8 of each color (double and then some on the gray 'circles' you see.  I made my rows 6 blocks wide and went 8 blocks tall.  I really had no idea how I was going to lay them all out.  Randomly I assumed, but then when I got to putting one of each color in a row (2 for the duplicate grays) it wasn't looking good to me.  Actually it was driving me nuts!  So I decided to just go with a traditional block layout and repeat the pattern in each row.  Wasn't what I wanted, but after I resigned myself to the fact I just needed to finish it and was getting disgusted I gave up the fight.  Then.... it came together.  After I stitched all those blocks and stood back to take a look, I fell in love.  :)  Yep.  Total bliss just 'gandering at all that sunshine.  

I decided top quilting these baby blankets could be done on my home machine.  After all, it's no different than top stitching a hem, right?  Straight lines, no problem.  HA!  I'm sure you could find someone local to quilt them together (actually there is someone I could have do it for only $15 and she provides the batting!  Crazy right?), but when I'm working away and feeling like I could conquer the world, who wants to let anyone else steal that joy away?  Especially when it's 11 p.m. and I want to FINISH what I'm working on.  Obsess much?

So my biggest tip to give you (if you decide to top quilt something on your own) is use LOTS of safety pins.  LOTS and LOTS.  Did I say LOTS?  Because if you don't you will have more puckers than you can shake a stick at, your project will be ruined, you'll cry your eyes out and vow never to quilt anything.  Ever.  Again.  Anyway, that's what I was thinking would happen.  But I fixed the first pucker or two I messed up on and learned my lesson.

And I'm glad I stuck with it.....because when it's all finished and you can say "I made this."  It sure does feel good.  Maybe when I've made a few dozen it won't seem like such a big thing.  Maybe.  But I doubt it.

And that 'odd' number of blocks you're gonna end up with....well, I decided to do something a little different with the back.  A splash of color just to remind you of what's on the other side.  You know, in case you forget.  Whatever.....I mentioned I stayed up late finishing this right?  So my brain is functioning on less than necessary sleep today.

I told my sister last night when I was finishing this one up (we talk on the phone all the time), that someday when I have grandbabies they are going to have the most awesome nana, who's going to make them the most awesome things.  Someday.  Until then......Sir Theodore gets to cuddle up on his cotton throne until someone buys it on etsy.  He loves them and tells me thank you Nana.  ;)

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