I knew I wanted to make a quilt to celebrate the birth of Baby W almost as soon as I knew he or she was on the way. I spent lots of time looking through books and deciding on a perfect pattern, you see I had this wonderful stack of fabric to work with:
I wanted a simple pattern with large blocks of the fabric so you could really appreciate some of the prints. I decided to do a strip quilt that was not based on any particular pattern. I was just kind of flying by the seat of my pants to be honest.
But after one day of sewing I had this:
I could have varied the strips a lot more but I really did not want it to be too distracting so this was a much simpler way to do it. I just cut and sewed it into proportions that I found pleasing.
After some cutting I had the following:
I mixed up the strips and flipped some upside down to create a pattern that is random but where the same prints were not right next to each other. Then came the (somewhat) complicated process of staggering them and determining the right pattern and length difference.
Eventually I figured out a system of pinning so I didn’t make any mistakes:
Each colour pin corresponded with a different amount to be cut off the top of each strip (from 1 inch to 7 inches). I took them down one by one and cut them and put them back up:
Everything was good up to this point. The problem came when I sewed the strips together. This was my first time using a linen blend (the solid) and it has much more stretch than I am used to. My biggest mistake was probably sewing the strips from left to right from top to bottom. If I had alternated which side I was sewing on to things might not have gotten so distorted.
This is a photo of the finished top (the photo makes it look much worse than it is). I did my best to square it up but it was difficult given the design is not very forgiving. The quilt was much wider on one end than the other (by about 3-4 inches) and there was no real good way to square it up without cutting diagonally into one of the strips. I did the best I could by cutting along the bottom and top somewhat crooked. I could have ripped all the seams and redone the top but I was certain I could fix it with quilting and finishing.
So I pieced the simple back and set to work with this stuff:
Yes, I know the price is nuts! This can only did one quilt too. It worked really well though and I didn’t pin baste it at all. This was my first time quilting a large project so I decided just to do straight-line quilting that echoed the strips. I quilted approximately 1/2 inch on either side of the seams and didn’t have a single pucker or bunch! I am officially a spray basting convert (once I find a cheaper source).
You can see on the back that the quilt is mostly square except for the top 8 inches or so that go wonky. The quilting lines run in the same location on the back until that point:
I did a bit more squaring after quilting and hid my small corrections in the binding. It was actually very close to square when I went to wash it. There was still the tell-tale wonkyness on the back, but I ended up very pleased with it.
I’m not sure why the wash wonked it so much, but I think it is just the high linen use. It’s certainly not perfect but I actually quite like it, the back fabric is definitely my favourite part!
(is it terrible that I just realized looking at this photo that I missed 1 line of quilting? Eeep! Learning experiences all around!)
I really hope baby W loves it.