Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quilt for Nicholas

My sister Angela showing you the finished quilt
Look at that pretty blue ruffle, adorable animal and letter figures, and all the hand-quilting!






The flannel on the reverse side is very soft































































 My successes with this quilt:

The quality of the stitching is good, and there is a lot of it. I stitched around each animal/letter figure and then added stitching in between the figures.

I like the overall appearance, the fabrics are adorable, the flannel is soft and compliments the front and ruffle nicely, the contrast of the blue ruffle against the yellow fabric is one of my favorite things. 

Because it hand quilted I was able to use a high loft batting which makes the quilt very soft and cozy (the soft flannel on the reverse side helps with that too).









What I wish was different:

The fabric bunched up, perhaps because I used a hoop to do the hand-quilting. Some of the stitching seems to buckle up and come loose, maybe I need a longer tail when I begin and end stitching, and need to be sure to just use one thread for a given section.
 
You can see that the stitching went into the blue ruffle. Poor planning gave the perimeter of the quilt an unevenness and when I stitched the ruffle there were certain things that couldn't be avoided. The ruffle is also not 'perfectly' square on one corner, which perturbs me. Also, the stitching in between the alphabet letters and animals was an afterthought. I washed the finished quilt, ruffle sewn on and all, and discovered the batting was bunching up and the ruffle part inside the fabric as well. So I added all that quilting to keep that from happening any further. But was unable to get the ruffle to lay completely flat everywhere inside the fabric.



 And the thing that may bother me the most is that darned uneven seam where I sewed the ruffle to the quilt. You may think I didn't take it out to resew it, but the reason for the unevenness is the need to match where I sewed the seam on front and back and that is what was poorly planned and resulted in this seam like this (not the same size so the seam appears different on each side). I was going to sew a ribbon over it, but then I'd loose the contrast of the blue ruffle right next to the yellow fabric, and that was my favorite thing about the quilt. So I just decided to let it go.
 
 I also had planned first to do a box pleated ruffle, but there wasn't enough fabric for that (poor planning on my part), unless I could be content with a very narrow, box pleated ruffle, and I couldn't, nor even with a regular pleated ruffle like that. So I finally went with a flat ruffle (after spending forever trying to make the other two options work) to just finish and be done with the quilt. The irony is that my very first instinct/desire was to do prairie points for the border but I determined that would take too long. However, I discovered just how long I can spend on a ruffle. I could have done the prairie points to begin with. Oh well. Lesson learned!

Now I should say that I started this quilt six years ago for my nephew Eric. He's now in kindergarten and doesn't need this. Nor does his sister Rubie now in preschool. Nor their cousin Atreus, also in preschool. So this is for Nicholas. And he is growing so fast and is such a big kid that I wish he could have more time to enjoy it.

I'm taking a break from quilting baby blankets right now. But not a break from blankets! I am currently cross-stitching a Noah's ark afghan for my newest nephew Isaac. But I learned from Eric's now Nick's quilt. Isaac's afghan is HUGE and will serve even after he's in preschool or kindergarten, as far as size goes. I'll try to post pictures of my progress with that as I go along, and so you can see the size. It is truly enormous.

I do have fabric to hand-quilt another baby blanket similar to how I've done Nicholas' blanket. I also have a pieced top for a baby blanket that is all sewn together just needs batting and quilting. I also have fabric cut out to piece a couple more baby quilts. AND I've also got a monk's cloth afghan with swedish weaving, but I haven't worked on that in a while. I'll post pictures of all this sometime and update you on progress. Now you know the real reason I keep telling you all to have more kids.


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