January 20, 2008
What we have here is a baby quilt that really should have been done around Thanksgiving but which was, I confess, completed only Thursday night, when by sheer luck I was able to thread the invisible eye of the applique needle and thus sew the label on. I had the layout done at the end of November, but what with the vacationing and the holidays and the other vacationing it languished. (And here it is Sunday and I’m only just now getting around to writing about it even though I gave the quilt to the dad of the baby on Friday.) This is for a little girl who turned one year old back at the end of November. She’s the sister of the boys for whom I made Ark Quilt and Ark Quilt II. As with all sibling quilts, I carried some elements forward; in this case the Noah’s Ark theme of the focus fabrics, half square triangles, and the color blue (I was even able to use one of the same blue fabrics in this quilt as I had in the first ark quilt, which pleased me quite a bit). My starting point was a panel from the Good Ship Noah collection by Janet Wecker-Frisch (the same designer who did the main fabrics I used in my Animal ABC quilt).
At first, I thought I’d just add borders to the panel and wouldn’t that be nice and fast, but obviously I didn’t do that. (Or maybe it’s not so obvious if you haven’t seen the original panel; there’s a picture here at least until they sell out.) I cut out the blocks from the panel but didn’t have enough for the design I had sketched, so I put the cool-skinned animals in the corners and warm-skinned animals on the sides and then filled in the middle with two blocks cut from a companion print, centering an animal couple in them as best I could. I sewed the center section together and then added a thin border around it so the squares in the outer border could be a regular size instead of something fussy. On the back, used another Noah companion print. Because it was printed with the stripes running lengthwise, parallel to the selvage (I understand this is called “railroaded” but I’ve never heard anyone actually say that), and the quilt was taller than the width of the fabric, I had to piece the back (carefully, so it wouldn’t disrupt the print). I could have used the overall print I’d cut the two center squares from instead, but I was too tickled by the idea of having the backs of animals on the back of the quilt to give up on the stripe. I quilted it mostly in the ditch with clear monofilament, then added a few more straight lines in the open areas using variegated cotton. I bound it with a different wine than I had used for the inner border because I wanted to use stash instead of buying new and I didn’t have enough yardage of any one print that would work for both.
Friday night I took care of another quilting project I’d put off, doing two blocks for one of the quilt guild’s raffle quilts. I had to break my “no sewing after 9 p.m. rule” to do it, since I needed to turn them in the next morning, but the blocks turned out okay. Now I’ve got to get moving on the other overdue baby quilt on my list, then the not yet overdue but will be by the end of next month one. Good thing I’ve got plenty of fabric and plenty of ideas on hand.