Back in the day when I first learned how to quilt, it was a very precise process. I’m hopeful that there are some quilters out there who still piece their quilts by hand, and then do all of the actual quilting by hand – but probably not so much anymore, because that takes a really long time. I remember leaning how to cut each individual piece (even the tiniest ones!), using a little round gadget to draw a perfect 1/4″ cutting line all around. I leaned how to make templates for a whole bunch of different quilt patterns, and then eventually I got around to making a few quilts.
To make a large, full- or queen-size quilt, I eventually gave in and did the piecing on my old sewing machine, but I still quilted the whole thing by hand. That particular pattern was “Grandmother’s Fan,” and it was all in shades of green and rose, on an ivory background. It took months to complete that one. There were others, not quite as large, but still it was a process that I really enjoyed . . . sitting in the early morning sunshine, before the little ones were awake, hand-quilting while I had a little chat with God each day.
I’ve made baby quilts, too, including one that I designed and created while were waiting for our first trip to China. That kept me occupied while we waited for word from the adoption agency that we could, quick!, pack our bags and be on a plane for Beijing next Thursday. Even after all that time working on it, the binding was hand-stitched in place as we waited in the Beijing airport, delayed because of heavy fog, on our way to Xian to meet Gracie.
And then there were several baby quilts for grand babies that were great fun! I discovered the technique for making the fringed-edge squares where you make each individual quilt square, top and bottom with batting in between, and then stitch them together in strips with the raw edges exposed on one side – and then clipping them to create an adorable little fringe around each square. Those quilts are really fun and whimsical, but they are still rather time-consuming.
Along the line somewhere, I became intrigued with crazy patch piecing and quilting. I loved the freedom of expression I found in crazy patch piecing! I could just pretty much do whatever I felt like doing! Different shapes, colors, textures, designs could be combined, all with decorative stitching, ribbons, lace, buttons, beads, and anything else I could imagine. As much as I loved the precise corners and tiny, straight stitches of traditional quilting, I really LOVED crazy patch piecing and quilting! With that technique I designed and created journal covers, tiny tote bags, big tote bags, appliqued t-shirts and jeans – and I have so many more ideas of what to make with crazy patches!
This week, however, I wanted to make a baby quilt for a brand-new grand baby and I really had about a million other things I needed to do. So as I was working on some other projects to beat the deadline, I got to thinking about how I could make this happen with limited time and resources. And THAT got me thinking about an email I received from a young mom telling me about her blog where she features creative projects that can be made with what she has on hand. Her motto seems to be to discover what God has already given you and see what you can create with it. Well, of course there’s a young mom after this Vintage Mama’s heart!
So I thought, “Why not see what you’ve already got out there in the fabric stash, and see what you can come up with?” That’s when I remembered that I had some left-over fabric from another project a while ago that would be perfect for a quilt for a baby boy – and I even had a full piece of fabric from a project that I thought I would do and then never actually finished – I’m pretty sure I’m the only woman who has ever done that!!
I pulled out a bunch of fabric, found several perfect prints and solids in yellow and blue to match the teddy bear fabric that could be used as the back of the quilt, and I started cutting, stitching, and pressing until I had all of the strips stitched together for the top. The teddy bears went on the back with the lightweight batting in between, and then I just did a zig-zag stitch along each seam to do the machine “quilting.” The same zia-zag technique was used for the binding, and voila! It was finished.
I will admit this is not the fanciest or most elaborate quilt I’ve ever made, but it was made with love and lots of prayers for that new baby all the while I was working on it. And in my mind, another benefit of playing around with this easy-peasy quilt design is that anyone could do this, if you have a simple, old-fashioned sewing machine and some fabric. Now that I have a fancy, computerized sewing machine, I sometimes forget the days when I had that old Singer sewing machine that could sew a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch and that was all I had. So if you only can do the very basic sewing stitches, you can make this cute easy-peasy baby quilt for your little one.
I’ll be putting together a tutorial next week for making this diagonal strip quilt, but for now . . . gotta run and see that brand-new baby!
In the meantime, I hope you can join the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. I’ll be around to visit some of you in the coming days to see what you’ve been up to.
Please join us this week for the Favorite Things Blog Hop!
Please take the time to get to know ALL of your hostesses