Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A Baby Quilt

Laying out the scraps
As a treat, I enjoy a Starbucks iced Carmel Macchiato with almond milk. I limit myself to one or two each month. It is disappointing when I order one and it doesn't taste just right. Sometimes, there is a grainy feel to the drink or it doesn't taste like there is any coffee in it. I've sampled that same order from a variety of Starbucks shops in my area.

Two prints that I purchased
The Starbucks located on Civic Drive in Gresham, Oregon provides the most consistent order. This is the location that my husband frequents after a workout at a gym located a few blocks away. Since I've gushed over drinks made there, my husband let me know that Kaylee was the barista who often made my drink. I learned that she recently married. A little later, I learned she was pregnant! Kaylee had a boy in February.

I decided that I would make her a baby quilt out of Martha's flannel scraps to gift her by the end of November. That was at the end of August. In September, I was sidelined after being rear ended in a car accident. In October, my friend Pat, shared a lap size quilt she had made using the pattern "The Tessa Quilt" by Erica Jackman of Kitchen Table Quilting. I could envision Martha's flannel scraps in that pattern for a baby sized quilt. Pat leant me the pattern.

Sashing attached; rows assembled
For at least another three weeks, I only looked at the flannel scraps. Then one afternoon, I decided that I would try working on the project. (This project took me on a trip to the fabric store for two flannel prints that read "boy" and more yardage for the sashing. I'm sure I would have made progress faster had I used yardage.)

Top assembled; ready to trim and baste
I pulled the larger chunks of the scraps and cut the largest size I could. I'm trying to use up the flannel; not bring more into the stash! NOTE: After my purchase,  Martha's flannel scrap box is fuller than it was when I started the project! I see another flannel scrap project at some point!

Some of the textures quilted in the spaces
It took me four afternoons to cut all the pieces. After the car accident, cutting is challenging. Pushing on the rotary cutter is hard. My arm tires and I have tremors so I have to take many breaks. I made a cutting error but didn't realize it
until I was sewing rows together. It was a case of cutting the pieces too wide which was not a hard error to remedy.

I enjoyed stitching again. I found that I could stitch a seam and stand up and press it. I could stitch about four to six seams and then I needed to take a long break.

Thread and rulers used in the quilting
Once I had the top finished, I had to trim the sides. I was apprehensive about cutting; but, that process went okay. Then I layered and pin basted the project which took me an afternoon. I'd pin a little, walk a little, rest a little and repeat. I used the dots on the yellow background for the backing.

Then the project sat for another week. I decided that I would quilt in the ditch with my walking foot to see how that process affected my back. I quilted with a monofilament thread. It took me four sessions to quilt in the ditch. My body managed better than I thought that it would.

The day after I had finished the ditch quilting, I decided to start adding texture to the rectangles in the project. I opened an audiobook and started stitching. Every time that I switched thread, I would get up and walk around for a few minutes. I'd also do a few stretches. An hour passed, then another. I lasted three hours before the pain in my neck and back forced me to stop. I also was having tremors in my arms and hands. I was ecstatic because I hadn't been able to stitch this long since the accident.

Finished quilt
I didn't stitch again for about a week. I had over done it and I had several days of work ahead of me. When I returned, I continued to add more texture to the rectangles. Most of the time, I chose cotton thread in the same color of the rectangle. I quilted swirls, stars, circles, straight lines and a stipple in the rectangles. I chose to quilt straight lines in the white sashing. To quilt the circles and the straight lines, I used a ruler.

I had a t-shirt label so I added it when I stitched the binding to the quilt. I left a space for the mama to add her son's name and birthdate to the quilt. I even contributed the pigma pen to do the writing. The quilt measured 39 inches wide by 45 inches long.

Ready for gifting

I wrote a note about the quilt and the reason behind making it. I rolled it up with the label visible. I tied the roll with a piece of a selvage. My husband delivered it at the end of November. 

She was so surprised to be gifted a quilt and she loved it!

Recipient and the delivery man
Before the accident, I would have been able to finish the quilt in a week. I worked on it over a five week period. I used 6.5 yards of fabric; but, I also purchased fabric so in the end, I used as much as I purchased! I do need to begin piecing the leftover strings together to make a bigger dent in the scrap box. If my friend Martha could see this quilt, she would approve of how I used her scraps. She loved making baby quilts! 

This was goal number ten on my March list.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a great quilt design and fun in all those prints, Terry! Glad you could work on it at a pace that was comfortable and didn't cause you any issues. I bet the barista was so surprised!

Joni said...

What a sweet quilt! I'm sure Momma and baby will get many years of comfort from it.

I have found that I have quilter's adhd...I must keep my nose to the grindstone to finish a
quilt if there is a deadline. Not allowed to look at blogs, magazines or even youtube. Too many distractions! I'm sorry that you are still feeling the effects of the accident.
Keep on quilting! You make me want to make a couple of baby quilts to have in the giving chest. See, another squirrel!

Janice Smith said...

What a fun, happy surprise for the new mom! Glad you could stitch on it for a few hours without pain.

Preeti said...

Terry, is this true? You wrote husbands (plural). It may be a typo but I want to make sure. I can barely manage one :-D Jokes aside, your baby quilt turned out absolutely gorgeous! It was such a labor of love. You are amazing. I wish you continued strength as you heal from the accident.