Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby quilt using felted sweaters!

I've been running across all kinds of holiday projects that use sweaters and felted wool - everything from Christmas trees to tree skirts. Is it just that time of year where people pull out winter clothing and decide they hate it all and repurpose it into a craft? Funny!

So here's our requisite felted wool sweater project to make a baby quilt. It just looks incredibly warm and snuggly. You'll need all wool sweaters to do this and she has some great tips for picking the best ones for the project. (Instructions on how to felt the wool are available as well.)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Robert Kaufman is giving a bag of strips away every day until the end of the year! (I love scraps, especially if someone else has already cut them into strips for me. :-) Just sign up for the newsletter and you'll be entered in the daily drawing. You can enter once a day. Good luck!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick round up of patterns and projects

Just a quick round up of some patterns I found that would be great for baby quilts. Some would be simple, some a little more complex.

Butterfly pattern (pictured)
From one of my favorite blogs, twiddletails. Combines foundation piecing and machine applique. (So let me know how it goes because those are two things I avoid when possible!!)

Wonky log cabin tutorial
From Tall Prairie Grass Studio. Fairly simple, really forgiving and I love the off-kilter look.

From Annie's Quilting blog - simple quilt using novelty fabrics. She does these as charity quilts and it's really just precious. Like the teddy she made to go with the quilt too!!

Taffy Batiks
Not a pattern with this one, but it seems fairly simple and straightforward. She says the blocks are 5.5", so I'm thinking it would just involve a couple of 2.5" strips and a 1" strip. Hardest part would be working with that tiny 1" piece!

This one is pretty dramatic, but for a baby quilt, I see it with white instead of black and using novelty fabrics for the solids. Nice!!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby quilt patterns - Another barnyard option

farm animal quilt
Since the farm animal baby quilt ideas still seem to be popular, I thought I'd just post this pony up. It's a free pattern from over at Quiltmaker magazine. The large horse pattern in the picture is actually an extra from a pattern called Barnyard Dance, which is the small quilt in the picture. It involves a lot of dancing chickens, rabbits and dogs, as well as what looks like sheep doing ballet. All appliqued and quite cute!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Make something to go with the baby quilt

We've all been there. You make a single quilt, but end up with reams of scraps, blocks and ideas left over. So what to do with the little bits left over?

Now, I just cut up the rest of everything and put it in my scrap bins for future quilts, but sometimes the fabrics I would use in a baby quilt just don't blend very well with everything else in my stash. So it's time to think of what you can make to "go with" the quilt. This could be everything from a crib bumper to match the crib quilt or some quilted wall hangings. How about a bed skirt or a diaper bag? Simple as binding on a cloth diaper and you've got burp cloths or get a bit more complex and make a stuffed animal.

Getting the picture? Just using the scraps you have left over or by buying just a smidge more fabric (seriously? Does anyone buy just a smidge?), you can add some extra value to your baby gift without adding much to your time or cost.

I started looking around at some of the options and found the pattern featured here - Sweet Baby at Home and On the Go! This nursery set pattern includes three crib quilts, bumper pad, valance, crib sheet, bed skirt, mobile, organizer and high chair cover for home, and a diaper bag and peek-a-boo cover for on the go.

So what other options are out there? I just love this little teddy bear featured over at mumistitches blog. You can also look into doing a receiving blanket, washclothes or even vinyl bags for mom to keep all those little items collected inside the diaper bag.

You can also look to buy items that you could customize a bit by adding your scraps of fabric - binding on a blanket or towel, an added pocket on a bag or maybe some applique on a diaper stacker.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Straight edge or bias edge - which do you use for baby quilts?

I recently finished up my latest baby quilt project. (Still not washed, so I haven't taken a finished picture yet. Sorry!) And I ended up just doing a straight edge binding on it. In fact. I just left extra of the backing all the way around and used that as my binding. (Am I making anyone squirm yet?) There are times when I just don't see the point in going to all the extra trouble of making a separate binding, particularly a bias binding, for a baby quilt. But maybe you disagree with me?

There are a few misconceptions about using straight edge (or straight grain) binding, usually that it is easier to apply and takes less fabric. Neither of these are really true, but it can be easier to create the binding, as in my case where I just used extra backing fabric. I recently found a nice explanation of the two kinds of binding and when you would want to use either.

Whatever your preference, the binding is the final piece of the creation and should get just as much attention as the rest. I'm wagging my finger at myself here as I admit it, I tend to do binding like it's the last thing to get off my plate rather than something important. I promise to do better.

So what do you tend to use on your quilts? Straight grain or bias edge? Do you even care? Vote in the poll on the right and leave a comment to tell us why you do what you do. I love hearing from you about your projects!

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Are you quilting for the ages or just for today?

Waalre07.Tommorrow shall be ..38Image by qusic via Flickr

Lately, I tend to be an "in the moment" kind of girl, just trying to get through what's happening right now most of the time. (Which is a lot at the moment.) I'm a great planner, but often the day-to-day of life gets in the way of carrying through on plans - like that trip to Europe.

So a recent post I read over at Hidden Threads about where my quilts might be some day has gotten me in a bit of a philosophical mood. I'm not entirely sure I've really created anything that I expect to still be around in 80 years. Certainly not a baby quilt. I expect those to get washed to death long before 80 years is up!

Add to this the fact that it's State Fair time - which means drooling over some truly amazing works. I someday aspire to create something worthy (or unembarrassing enough) of being entered in a show of some kind. My basic instinct would be against doing that, though, as I truly do want the quilts I make to be used (and used and used).

Have you ever pondered where your handiwork will be in 80 years? Will it be snuggling with a great-grandchild of the baby you're making it for? (I really like that idea.) Will it be in a museum display of antique quilts? Will it still be around? And do you ever think about that or are you just creating?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How do you label your baby quilts?

I've been rooting around over at Etsy lately and started pondering quilt labels. I think I've only done a label on two quilts I ever made - one a graduation gift for a former Sunday School pupil, the other a gift for my best friend. Funny. I just never think to "sign" my work, yet I always did on my cross-stitch projects. But if you are making a quilt as a gift for a baby, a label is a great way for you to share something about the reason for the gift.

Anyway, back to Etsy and the quilt labels I found there. Some lovely designs there - some embroidered, some printed, some hand colored, all relatively inexpensive. QuiltsRUS08 features several embroidered labels, including the one with the spools featured here. On this particular label, you can customize the colors of the spools and have up to three lines of type.

The baby in the tub to the right is from TwoGirlsLaughing; I feature their store on my Squidoo lens on baby quilt patterns because I love all their work. Their labels are printed, then hand-colored and just lovely.

Of course, you could always make your own. The ones I did, I printed using plain muslin on wax paper run through my regular old printer, then colored in the design with acid-free markers. You could also just use a permanent marker or fabric markers and write on a piece of fabric. Make it really fancy by putting the label at the center of an album block or add some binding around the edge to coordinate with the backing or the quilt front.

So how do you label your quilts? Do you remember to do so? (Will you remind me?) Any tips to share for great quilt labels?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Farm animal baby quilt - cute panel makes it easy!

Found a truly cute little panel today over at noveltyquiltfabric.com for those of you wanting a farm animal baby quilt. No pattern needed for this guy!

Price is $5.75 for the single panel, which is 100% cotton. Panel measures 23 1/2" wide and 43/44" long and is from Timeless Treasures. Coordinating fabrics include a sunflower print and a stripe that has all the animals out along the pasture fence.

Check over in the flannel section for some coordinating pieces that would make great backings for this panel. There are also a couple of other cute panels in that section in the Barnyard Buddies line from Hoffman fabrics.

You might also like:
Cute farm animal fabric on sale
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby quilt tracks - where I went online this week, Sept 12 version

Buy at Art.comBeen meandering various paths online in the past few weeks and have found some great stuff to share. If you like, I might try to do this every week just to share more of the great baby quilts, baby quilt patterns and ideas I find out there.

The Long Thread - This is a charming idea - making quilts from baby dresses. She has several of her own and others that have stains on them and thus aren't of much use to anyone. Check out the first block she's done. She even managed to get some of the smocking in there! (Warning that anytime you do a project like this, you don't have the luxury of having all cotton fabrics or fabrics with great weight. So you might keep these for a quilt that will get light use.)

Make Baby - Get yourself in on their handmade baby quilt contest. Entries have to be in by Nov. 1 and you can enter up to two projects. Win a $100, $50 or $25 gift certificate from Superbuzzy.com!

Ballarat Patchwork - A Kaffe Fassett fabric bonanza in purple and red. This didn't start out to be a baby quilt, so don't expect something typical here. But then, it's Kaffe Fassett, so you know it's not going to be ducks and bunnies.

Quilt Heart - This is such a nice simple pattern that allows the fabrics to shine. I love the black and white border fabric best.

Jeremy and Annie - This was a first project made of simple squares, but cute execution of a quilt designed to match the nursery. Tied and machine quilted for extra security! She mentions making potholders before; apparently that practice was great for the binding work. Hmm. Guess I'll have to make some potholders!

Ramblings of a Writer - She had me right from when she said the fabric was dogs. It's a cute, simple quilt, but even better, burp cloths made to match!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Baby quilt patterns - checking out twiddletails

One of my latest blog discoveries is the twiddletails blog, in part because she has two new quilts up (OK, one's a table runner) that make for awesome baby quilt pattern ideas. The first is the table runner she calls "Flirting with Fall" that is basically a bunch of wonky stripes in some fabulous colors. Finished with contrasting thread in a scribble free-motion stitch. (I have got to stop trying to hard on the quilting designs. Just scribbling makes things just as lovely as anything else and it's much simpler.)

The second one is called "Random Logs" and is available at her Etsy shop for $199. (Check out the other quilt she has in there as well. Amazing! Love the pieced back. Always a great option when working on a baby quilt pattern.)

(Sorry no pictures on this post. Trying to be sensitive to copyright, so just head to the links to take a look.)

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Would you make a baby quilt with your hubby?

Just checking out a story I found online about a couple that sews together. I can't even begin to image what a headache that could turn into around here. :-) Mostly because I'm highly impatient and want to just do it myself because it's easier than trying to explain anything to anyone else. Sometimes. Hubby and I are a great team in dealing with life, but not always on projects. How about you? Think you could get your spouse or SO interested in working with you? Would you want to?

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Inspired by Baby Quilt Week

I wasn't the only person inspired by crazy mom's Baby Quilt Week. And some people actually were able to sew and finish some real projects as opposed to my virtual ones. I might try to find a small space to set up my machine this weekend to quilt my one project that's been sitting around for a while.

But to help inspire you, check out the rest of the week's patterns over at crazy mom, or take a look at these guys:
  • Trina's Doings - Finished handquilting a sweet purple quilt for her own baby
  • Nicolette - Sweet quilt she did for charity that uses simple squares, four patches and square-in-a-square
  • Reg - Used hourglass blocks in bright colors with white shashings and borders. Crisp and clean and cheery.
  • Wyndesnow - Lovely pinwheels made with two different patterns.
  • Stillmeadow Quilts - Kim made what looks at a glance to be nine-patches, but there are some fussy-cut Poohs in there, so I'm not sure there are actually nine squares in each block, but a mix of squares and rectangles. Creative!
  • Rebecca - Bright colors with fussy-cut animals in the center of a simple block.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baby Quilt Patterns - My designs for baby quilt week

Well, since all my fabric is stashed away (wah!) and I don't really have space to cut and sew right now (wah!) I decided to take part in crazy mom quilts' baby quilt week by designing some quilts on the computer. I don't have quilting software, just graphic design stuff, so I didn't have cute fabrics to make the quilts out of, so you kind of have to image them in appropriate fabrics and colors. The circle and squares came from a design I did for our company holiday card for this year, then the abacus one was a combo of that idea and Love Beads from The Modern Quilt Workshop. The other, not sure. I actually started out with a different plan in mind, but this is what came out. These designs would obviously be pretty dependent on great quilting to make them. (You can see the larger images over at flickr by clicking on these.)

Thoughts? Once I get my craft room back, I might make them for real. If I like, I might make them into free patterns for download. So if you'd like to see changes, now's the time to speak up. :-)

abacus Abacus
brownquilt Skewers (that's a baby-friendly name!)
blockquilt Blocks

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