On the day I broke up from school for the Christmas holidays, I stayed up alone, very late, and made lists of everything I both needed and wanted to achieve over the fortnight off. I knew at the time it was far-fetched, but one of the makes I included on the list was a baby quilt for a lovely lady at work who was due to go on maternity leave in February. In an unusual moment of organisation, I had ordered the fabrics for the quilt topper back in November. More typically, however, I waited until the day before the baby shower to begin making the quilt.
I had chosen to use this gorgeous Dear Stella collection from Elephant In My Handbag – keep reading for a fantastic special voucher code! I knew that mum-to-be Kelly loved fabrics featuring owls and animals, and the colour scheme seemed appropriate for a boy. On Saturday’s trip to Dewsbury, I picked up 1.5m of dark grey fleece to use as quilt backing. I’d bought a couple of metres of lightweight wadding a while ago, so the warm and fairly heavy fleece was perfect to add just the right amount of weight to the quilt.
I cut the fat quarters into 5″x 5″ squares, which left only 2 narrow strips of waste. I didn’t place them in a particular order but made sure two matching squares didn’t touch. I ended up with with a quilt that was seven 5″ squares wide and eleven 5″ squares long – fairly random I know but the approximate shape and size I wanted.
I tend to make up the sizes of the squares and finished quilt myself, but always refer to this tutorial for advice on technique.
I stitched squares to squares, pressing the seams to the right; then rows to rows, pressing the seams down.
Next I laid the topper over the wadding and then the fleece, and cut around the edge so they were the same size. I pinned from the inside out, and placed many pins, which I think helped the quilt to stay much straighter than my previous ones. I sewed around the edge leaving a space of two squares to turn it right side out. I pressed then slip-stitched the gap. Attaching my walking foot and extension table, I began the actual quilting. I kept the black cotton threaded, which was possibly too dark in retrospect – a navy blue might have worked better. Instead of stitching in the ditch as I have before, I did as the tutorial recommends sewing 1/8″ to the right and below the seams, which I think was much easier and more effective.
After quilting along the horizontal and diagonal seams, I realised I should have sewn 1/4″ all around the edge first – this would have made it easier as I wouldn’t have tried to sew the lines of quilting stitches right to the edge of the quilt. One to remember for next time. Pretty quickly, however, the quilt was complete.
I have a couple more quilts planned and in the pipeline. If YOU have any quilting projects planned, I would definitely recommend elephantinmyhandbag.com because they have a huge range of beautiful FQ bundles. Even better, if you enter the voucher code Marking99 you will get 10% off your first order – one use per customer. I’d love to know if you make use of the code, especially if you’re planning to make a quilt of any kind.