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Herringbone Baby Quilt

2016 is THE year of babies. A number of friends are expecting their little ones’ arrivals this year and boy, Christmas gatherings this year will be festive indeed!

One of the first baby quilts for 2016 is pretty special to me. This was a special collaboration between Aimee (Pins and Needles) and I – where she did the long arm quilting and I pieced the quilt top and finished the hand-sewn binding.

We put together this quilt for a mutual friend who has always been a great help when it comes to sourcing fabrics and sewing notions for us locally. Her baby boy arrived in March and we had completed this quilt by then (usually the quilt comes WAY after the baby is born).

2Quilters - Quilt for Baby Lucas

I picked the herringbone quilt layout which has been on my to-make list for a very long time. I wanted to try a layout using the half-square triangle method. For more information, you can refer to the tutorial to the beautiful ombre herringbone quilt here

The quilt is for a boy and I know some people would insist on Blue-for-Boy and Pink-for-Girl kind of themes. But I prefer to add in hints of pinks for boys and tone it down when it comes to girl quilts. Why? Because a baby’s colour palette should be more inclusive. And actually I love the blacks in this quilt too!,

2Quilters - Quilt for Baby Lucas

Aimee quilted this baby quilt on her Handi Quilter Infinity using the computerized stitch pattern. I love the letters and numbers motifs. The quilting balances the more ‘modern’ quilt layout with the nursery charm of a baby quilt. She used King Tut variegated threads here and it shows up beautifully on the Kona Cotton Snow fabric. 

2Quilters - Quilt for Baby Lucas

When using the half-square triangle method for chevron or herringbone patterns, I prefer to use non-direction accent fabrics such as dots and I would avoid lines and stripes as I wanted the angled pieces to appear seamless, not pieced. 

2Quilters - Quilt for Baby LucasA simple label to personalise this special baby quilt. 

Hope Valley Quilt – Done!

The Hope Valley quilt is finally on my bed! It’s a full size bed quilt and I was happy to ship it off to be quilted on a long arm and save my sanity and achy back. I got it back in Dec 2011 and it kept us cozy on the many rainy nights we had in December/January.

Hope Valley

The quilt top is made up of Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley fabrics and Kona Linen Cotton blend.

Hope Valley

I started this project around May 2010. The block is really quite easy and quick to put together, but I slipped in my calculation and had to stop, cut more, sew more and went back & forth to the design wall. I wanted each row/column of blocks to be unique in print, so it was terribly fussy. The project stayed in my WIP drawer for a long long time before I pulled it out again (when I needed more space!). And I pinned the blocks when joining them so that all (well, most of them did!) points meet just right.

Hope Valley

Nice and crinkly after the wash! I have to say that the Essex linen was a little tricky to work with, but after the quilt came out from the wash, the texture is amazing. But if you are looking for super smooth/soft texture, then go for 100% cotton or velveteen. The prints include many geometric designs so it has the ‘manly’ element in there too!

Hope Valley

I’m on a quilt making roll right now. I have 1 toddler quilt and 1 faux chenille baby quilt waiting to be basted and another full bed sized quilt for myself cut and waiting to be pieced.

Even though I don’t have the chance to sew EVERYDAY, I just can’t stop thinking about the projects, the stash and what other projects I can start! I’m sure I’m not the only obsessive gal who goes through her day thinking: can’t wait to sew… can’t wait to sew! 😀

Investing a little to save a little.

Happy New-ish Year!

While I’ve been away from the blog, the sewing machine was humming, fabrics were pulled off the shelves and more new fabrics were stuffed back into the cupboards over the past 6 weeks or so. And there were a lot of balls in the air – kids, work, house chores, sewing, appointments at the doctors, etc. With the Chinese New Year coming up soon, there are of course more shopping, cleaning and scheduling to do. But I’m finally able to see the light as work and family schedules are falling into their places.

The sewing has not stopped! I started on a faux chenille blanket for a friend’s upcoming new baby and completed that over the weekend. The main fabric is a quilting cotton Oliver & S fabric, layered with 1 x Kona cotton, 1 x cotton/linen blend and 1 x cotton flannel. Binding the blanket became an issue for me – I like to hand sew down binding for the neat/invisible look. But I was short of time and I was not sure I wanted to hand sew down through fiddly layers of cut fabrics.

I decided that I would machine sew the binding down and went with a store-bought bias binding this time. I tried to clip the binding down, but I didn’t feel confident that I would catch the bottom part of the bind when I top-stitch it down. I decided to invest a little more time so that I will get it right and perfect the 1st time. Out came the Japanese basting needle and threads and I took my time to fold the binding over the blanket.

This morning I completed the sewing at the machine and sent it off to the wash.

Faux Chenille - Binding

I cut the chenille part with my Clover slash cutter that I bought from Rosie’s store a few years ago. You can use a pair of regular scissors, but again, its good to spend a little for a nifty little tool that will give you great results and save you lots more time (and also reduce strain on your hands). This cutter comes with 2 guides – one for straight slash cutting (as pictured below) and for shorter guide for curved lines. Minimum width of the ‘channel’ is about 1/4″ (6mm), and for this blanket I sewed my lines about 1/2″ apart.

Faux Chenille - Slash Cutter

Can’t wait to see this blankey wrapped around its new owner soon!

aarrrrgggghhhhh….. to rip or not to rip????

The new I Spy baby quilt is simply NOT working out for me. I bought this softbook panel a long time ago. But decided that it was too big and flimsy to be a good soft book, although it would probably make a great I Spy quilt instead.

I took a long time cutting and piecing the quilt, and another good few months before I sandwiched the quilt. I got the quilting done ONLY because I needed to free up some space in my WIP drawer. So, its a ‘difficult’ quilt for me since the start.

I SEE...

Benji loves the quilt and had a great time reading the text and ‘spying’ the images. But he declared it as ‘TOO SMALL’ for his bed. My son loves big quilts that have generous overhang. Sigh…

I SEE...

The ultimate blow was when I realised that the binding was a real hot mess – fabric is from Sevenberry – and even after 5 rounds of Synthrapol treatment, the binding could not be saved (although I got the reds from the main quilt out).

I SEE...

Now, I’m wondering if I should simply rip out the binding or leave it as-is???

Luke – The quilt

This is my “Luke Quilt” that was requested by a good friend last year. I delivered some goodies to her first and then went on to drag my feet for another 12 months before I finished the quilt for ‘not-so-baby-now Luke’.

This baby quilt – a single Log Cabin block, is a huge 50″ square that took about 2 solid days of quilting that my left my arms aching quite a bit. The puffiness of some of the sections here are due to the fact that it came out of the dryer in the morning and I left it folded until I took the shots.

Luke's Quilt - Front

I used some of my precious Japanese fabrics that we hand-carried back to Singapore, and also Denyse Schmidt’s lovely prints. It has ‘Lego-like’ bricks, space shuttles, transportation prints and lots of dots, stripes and plaids.

Luke's Quilt - Detail

For the back, I pieced the left-over prints from the front with Kona Essex Linen – Solid White. The white linen really showed off the variegated quilting thread that I used on this quilt.

Luke's Quilt - Back

According to the mummy, Luke took this quilt to bed the very night I delivered it to their home.

Luke's Quilt - Ready to Go!

Wishing you many sweet dreams with this quilt, Luke!