March 10, 2006
Finally, a finished *quilted* object. This is for Baby October (as mentioned on my quilt to-do list). Looking at it, it seems like it shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did, what with it being just squares, but there are 98 different fabrics used, and since I almost always cut more pieces than I’ll need so I have more options during the design stage, it took a while to pull all of the fabrics out and cut all the squares and arrange them on the felt wall, and then pull a few more fabrics and cut some more pieces when I wasn’t 100% happy with the early layouts. But that’s all fun, so I didn’t care how long it took really.
The pattern is “Sweet Dreams” from Picture Play Quilts by Ami Simms. Mostly–I made it smaller, and didn’t even try to figure out a way to adjust the sizes of the squares so the dark borders could be even widths all the way around. Instead, I used a somewhat busy plaid to distract from the fact that the top and bottom borders are a half inch different than the sides. If I make this pattern again, I think I’ll go with a quieter print there, or at least not such a wiggly plaid. Because I was using up leftovers of that plaid, I ended up having to piece one of the strips, which is a bit of challenge with a directional like that, but I think I did a pretty good job–I have to look closely at this picture to spot the join.
I had great fun picking out the prints to use. There’s a fair bit of Harry Potter fabric in there, because Baby October’s dad was the one who got me hooked on the HP books (on CD). I tried to get a good variety–different kinds of fruit and toys and animals and numbers and letters. Each square has a twin–some identical, some fraternal–so when Baby October gets a little older he can play matching games.
I followed the book’s advice and laid out the squares in a checkerboard pattern, alternating lights and darks. Because of the number of squares I’d settled on, and because I’d decided each fabric had to be in there twice, a few fabrics had to serve as both a light and a dark. Like the Halloween ghosts here and here.
As with my last quilt, the actual quilting on this one was a bit of a challenge because my machine continues to have tension and speed issues. I avoided any free motion work and just did straight lines, so the speed thing was less of a problem, but the wonky tension caused me to take a seam ripper to several areas and redo them. In the end, it turned out okay, but I am going to have to finally take my machine somewhere to have a repairperson look at it. Except when can I be without a machine? Not now. Not until after the quilt retreat I’m going on in a couple few weeks. Maybe then.