Presenting: Mark’s first birthday quilt!
I designed it myself, based on a quilt in the book, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. The original quilt has just one neutral background color and only one size of block (finishing at 6″ square). I added the stripes in the background fabric and added two more block sizes, finishing at 9″ square and 18″ square. I also decreased the size, ending up with a finished size of 42″x60″.
For the back, I continued the stripe theme but used big pieces of the prints from the front, adding some solid triangles (the other half of the half-square triangles that I made for the front).
After sewing the front, I thought it was lacking a bit of something (movement?) and so I decided to quilt it in a spiral. This was the first time I’ve done a spiral and it was pretty hard (as evidenced by my terribly wobbly lines and super uneven spacing). I also had the problem of deciding what color of quilting thread to use. I ended up switching between blue, orange, and green thread to quilt it, changing colors every time I got to a new background color. This was annoying at first but once the spiral was well established, I just did all the orange, then finished the green, then finished the blue so that eliminated much more bobbin switching.
I deliberately started it off-center, knowing that I wouldn’t get it perfectly centered if I tried. I like the feeling of the spiral falling off the rectangle in different places. I think I’ll try spirals again because I love the end result. I just need more practice!
I had the same problem with binding as I did with quilting – what binding color to choose to go with such strong stripes? In the end, I used the same solution as quilting – three colors. I’ve also never done a color-blocked binding before but it was surprising easy. I’m not showing you the other side of the binding, which didn’t end up so perfect. I had to talk myself out of a lot of seam ripping and restitching to fix it (it is, after all, for a one-year-old).
I had a surprising hard time finding different prints that had a colored (not white) background and which read, “boy”. In the end, I did compromise on a few with white backgrounds, like the green turtles and these puzzle pieces which I adore.
My “centerpiece” print was these giraffes, which amazingly have the perfect colors of blue, orange and green in them. I actually purchased the solids before realizing that the giraffes fit perfectly! (The solids are Kona Ocean, Orange, and Sour Apple.)
It was harder than I thought it would be to rotate the triangles in a way that was pleasing and didn’t repeat too much.
Close up, here’s the whole quilt, front and back:
In the end, I wish I had used all small triangles on the front rather than adding the bigger triangles. I added the bigger ones, wanting to be able to see the front prints a little bit better. But part way through sewing the front, I figured out the design for the back (which I love, far more than the front) and in the end, could have kept all the front triangles small. Oh well – I suppose that’s the way the quilting process goes. I just keep on learning! This was the first quilt I’d ever designed myself and it was an interested learning process for sure. Now I’m itching to work on another one!