quilts for kids

Last June I was in a bit of an unproductive rut and posted a list of the projects I was working on at the time as a motivator. Here’s a quick update on where I’m at with those.

– vintage dress – This project did not turn out as planned. I learned a lot, but have already donated the pattern because there was no way I was making that unflattering piece again. It’s been hanging in my closet and after I photograph and blog about it, I’ll be donating the dress as well.

– square top – I finished it. I love it. It’s also been hanging in my closet since last summer waiting to be photographed and shown off on the blog.

– quilt top – that’s where I’m going with the blog entry and we’ll get to it soon 😉

– tool belt – done, check it out here. skirt to shirred dress – I was so pleased with how this turned out.

– fan afghan – finished a few months ago and given to my mom.

And the summery blouses are back on my list of things to make. I did make a few tops last summer (two tiny pocket tanks, the flowy jungle shirt, and the hacked up denim top), but I’ve got several more on my soon-to-make list. I’ve been much better about getting things done this year so I’m thinking at least some have a chance of finishing a few before/during summer.

So back to the quilt. I finished it and sent it on its way! Here are the highlights of its nine month journey from scrap fabric to a finished quilt.

June 2012

I cut rectangles from my coordinating Hobby Lobby scrap fabric that I’d accumulated over the months since I’d gotten back into sewing. I chose the size of the rectangles to get the maximum number out of each piece of fabric. Then I tried to create some sort of pattern based on the unequal number of pieces from all the different fabrics. I recruited the boyfriend to help me with this and here’s what we drew up.

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Mine is on the left, his is on the right. I went with his because he had a more unique, less symmetrical idea.

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Here’s his layout as seen in the original post. I made things difficult for myself by cutting out the blocks haphazardly…then I had to trim all the rows and pinch out any extra so everything lined up. I felt quite victorious when the top was pieced together and my lines were even.

September/October 2012

I took the pieced top with me when visiting my mom, the former quilting instructor, so she could tell me how to finish it. We measured for borders and she showed me how to make binding out of backing fabric. When I got back, I bought the border fabric at Hobby Lobby so it would (sort of) go with the rest of the colors I’d used.

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November 2012

The quilt and I (accompanied by the attached border fabric) went on another visit to my parents’ house so my mom could tell me (again) how to finish it; we bought backing and batting so I would have everything I needed to finished the quilt.

March 2012

The backing and batting aged in my sewing area for several months until my parents came to see me. My mom was going to make me a spring wreath during her visit, but I decided it was time (with her help) to get serious about finishing this quilt. It was far easier than I realized, but she was the motivational catalyst I needed. I cut as per her instructions, she pinned my corners for me, and I sewed the backing/borders down after she left. Now my project had gone from from quilt top to full-blooded quilt.

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I machine-stitched my borders, which were folded over from the backing fabric.

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check out those hand-sewn mitred corners!

It was looking good, so I tackled my next new experience: machine quilting. I’ve hand quilted a whole quilt, but had never tried quilting by machine. I wanted this project complete and off my to-do list (finally), so I didn’t waste any time taking the plunge.

I started by stitching in the ditch with my walking foot after safety pinning all over to keep the layers in line. After I was done, I realized that the walking foot came with an attachment to help quilt in the ditch, so I’ll be using that next time… It didn’t turn out too badly though.

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This is not the right attachment at all. I found the correct attachments in a sewing basket midway through my quilting.

This thing was a beast to maneuver. I completely understand the value of longarm quilting machines now.

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with all its ditches stitched

Then I started sewing straight lines across the middle section. I used one of the correct attachments I’d found to make my lines (relatively) straight and evenly spaced.

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Quilts for Kids guidelines state that the quilts should be quilted about 2 inches apart for stability since they’ll be washed so much. I did mine at about 1.5″ so I could fit three evenly spaced lines into a vertical row.

Then I quilted the borders.

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And the quilt was finally complete!

It just needed to take one more trip to visit my mom so she could see the completed project and mail it off (after she generously stamped a homemade card to finish out the package). The mailing address was closer to her than me and she has shipping facilities at work that make mailing things much easier.  Bonus: her boss said that anything mailed for charity was on the house! Thanks Accutrex!

So I haven’t heard anything from Quilts for Kids yet but I hope to get an acknowledgement that it was received. I hope these bright colors and fun prints brighten some child’s day in the hospital. 🙂

Update: I just got an e-mail five hours ago saying that they’d received the quilt! Nice timing!

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2 thoughts on “quilts for kids

  1. handmadebymrsh says:

    Firstly, let’s discuss your to do list. I love seeing this, you’ve done so very much on it, great work! I love the tops you’ve made, I’ve not been to Grainline studio before but I see some clothes making in my future, I have to get brave this year!!

    Secondly, wow, I love your quilt! It’s so happy and cheery and will for sure give lots of comfort to a child who needs it.

    Thirdly, do you think you could lend your mother out please? I’ve got a spare room she can stay in for a while to help me get through my to-do list lol!!

    • Haha, I didn’t feel that way when I looked back. I thought, wow it took me long enough to finish all those things I’d planned to do last summer.

      Thanks! I feel like the patterns are a bit crazy all together, but I think a kid will able to appreciate the bright colors and pattern cacophony.

      My mom said she’d be happy to help in exchange for a plane ticket to Wales! 😉

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