Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A-B-C Crib Quilt post 1 of 2

Beginning layout
Those juvenile print flannel bits of Martha's were calling to me to make a quilt with them. Our book club read "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott.  I read "Little Women" once as a middle schooler and once in high school which was a long time ago!

As I read the book for the third time, I was inspired--
to use the letters I had embroidered to symbolize the writing of Jo,
to make it a baby quilt to symbolize Beth,
Auditioning scraps for the center section
to add color to symbolize Amy and to make the design symmetrical to symbolize Meg's organizational skills.

I looked at the sizes of the leftover flannels from Martha's fabrics. It looked like I the largest chunks I could cut were some 12 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch rectangles and 6 1/2 inch squares from the scraps. With those sizes in mind, I sketched a layout. My goal was to make a crib quilt that was about 36 inches wide by 52 inches high.

I began cutting the pieces and arranging them on the design wall. I decided cornerstones would be a nice addition. A couple strips of a print scrap became the 2 1/2 inch corner stones. JoJo gave me the yellow flannel for the sashing.

I've sewn flannel nightgowns and pajamas. A couple of years ago, the grands and I made a crib quilt with minkee. Earlier this year, I stitched flannel potholders. I haven't made a flannel quilt because I was concerned with how much the flannel would stretch. It did stretch. Pinning the intersections helped. Some intersections are "in the neighborhood" and I'm okay with that!
Finished top

For this project, I chained stitched the vertical rows. Once the section was "webbed," I stitched the horizontal rows. This process worked great. Once I had the top and bottom sections stitched, it was time to figure out how to incorporate the embroidery into the design.

The 3 1/4 inch polka dot strip was about the right length to border the embroidery. I cut it in half and stitched it on the embroidery. The next step was to decide what to use to fill in the space on either side of the embroidery. I decided to use more of the striped fabric. At this point, the quilt measured about 34 inches wide by 52 inches high.

To my eye, it was too narrow! I didn't want to add a border on the sides that looked like I added it because I wanted the quilt to be wider. For a while, I was stuck about what to do. When that happens, I let the parts marinate and wait for inspiration.
Pieced back

Eventually, the cornerstones gave me a clue. I decided to add another row of yellow sashing with the corner stones at the mid-point of the previous sashing strips. Unfortunately, I was short three cornerstones. The leftovers contained a print similar to the cornerstones; but, in a purple color way. Our quilting ancestors would have figured out a way to make do.

I made do. I cut three cornerstones from the purple color way. I sprinkled those blocks into the mix, sashed the blocks and added the strip to the side of the quilt. I'm glad the quilt wanted that border as I liked the interest it provided.

I decided the quilt needed an outside border. What I REALLY wanted to do was to buy a piece of
fabric for the border and for the binding.  I've been on a "use what I have" so I forced myself to come up with a plan with fabrics I already had. I kept telling myself I could do it.
Beginning the pin basting

I auditioned various chunks of the scraps and decided that I could use the purple print with the green swirl and the green plaid fabrics for the border.
With some careful piecing, I was able to cut the borders at three and one quarter inches. I had almost no purple left and a small amount of green left. I like the interest the two borders added to the top. The size was now about 44 inches wide by 61 inches high.

Figuring out a back was the next project. I decided that I didn't want a flannel backing because it would make quilting too hard to push and pull fabric with the flannel next to the machine bed. I picked a green cotton print and red cotton print fabric that have been in my stash for a long time. I was short about six inches in width so I found a chunk to add to the back. I used about two yards of fabric for the back.

I basted the layers together so this project is ready to quilt.

No comments: