Ok, I know that most of you probably won't believe me, but I've been crafting up a storm here at chez buzzville, and I have 3 (yes, 3!) finished quilts to share with you. I know, I know... I probably should have suggested you sit down before you read that outlandish claim! My plan is to post a quilt a day for 3 days in a row, and get all caught up with what I've been working on lately. Without further ado, I'll share the first of 3 quilts:
You may remember me posting about the quilt that I've been calling the pixelated quilt. It seems like ages since I started it, and it really didn't take all that long. The delay was that my quilting teacher actually started expecting us to try something different... can you imagine?!? So, instead of working away on the pixelated quilt, I had to put it aside to learn some other techniques. But, I'm thrilled to say that this long overdue gift is finally en route to it's tiny recipient (and her mom!). Even though I know it hasn't arrived yet, I'm going to post it here because it might not happen otherwise!
Her quilt was constructed using reverse applique, but I didn't think that reverse applique would hold up well as a baby quilt. So, I decided to approach it from a piecing perspective. I pulled out a piece of graph paper and a red pen, and I just began coloring in squares (pixels) to achieve a similar effect. I didn't want to copy hers exactly, but I did like the way the red was basically a border around the white. After a couple of tries, I came up with something I was happy with. I selected the fabric and pre-washed the white and red together to make sure there wasn't any bleeding. Can you believe that the wonderful, red Kona cotton didn't bleed onto the white at all?!? I then rotary cut the fabric into 1.5" strips, since my grid was based on 1" finished pixels.
I divided the overall quilt into 9 unequal "blocks", and proceeded to assemble the blocks one at a time. As the quilters out there can imagine, this quilt involves a *lot* of seam matching. The block assembly didn't take too long, but once the blocks were finished and it was time to join blocks, that's when the real headaches began! Trying to achieve perfection by joining 2 adjacent blocks and matching the seams every inch was incredibly tough. I ripped and stitched, ripped and stitched. Invariably, I would rip to fix one junction, and then the next time a different one would be off! I got to a point where I was relatively satisfied, and then moved on.
The recipient's mom helped to select the fabric for the backing, so that helped with the decision making. I decided that the only way to quilt this would be in the ditch, and I also decided to use the knife-edge technique rather than adding binding. (This is quickly becoming a favorite technique of mine!) The in-the-ditch quilting went quickly, and then I hand-sewed the knife-edge closing. Here is the finished quilt:
You can see that mine has more red than the original, but I also think that the original was a much larger quilt. It does hang pretty square, despite what the photo is showing... I always find it so hard to take pictures of quilts! I realized after I had started on the quilt that the color scheme (red/white/black) is perfect for a little baby and her developing eyes. The design is also a bit of a Rorschach test - folks in my quilting class were seeing all sorts of things! Here is a detail of the front to show how each seam had to be matched:
The back doesn't really photograph well from a distance - the pattern gets lost - but here is a detail showing the fabric and quilting:
Even though I pre-washed all of the fabrics, the quilt still got a nice, puckered look because I didn't pre-wash the batting.
I really enjoyed making this quilt. Although the pattern was relatively simple, it is unusual and modern. And, the difficulty of the piecing added a challenge that I appreciated. I hope that mom and baby enjoy this quilt!