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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's Baby Season! Our good friend's Beth and Ryan are expecting a little girl around Christmas time. It is about time that someone started having girls, because I sure have a lot of cute pink fabrics ;-)
When I heard "its a girl" I thought of this quilt, show above, that I have been working on for ages...see it here. It was my first foray into wonky-star piecing and I had so a blast making each block. It was so much fun that I made about 10 extra blocks that didn't end up fitting into the quilt (more on that later).  


Inspired by Ann, I decided that wonky stars would be a great project for practicing my hand quilting. Though I find the sewing really rewarding, hot summers and hand quilting warm quilts just don't mix. That means it has been several months and only 1/3 of my hand quilting is done.

I thought “here is the perfect excuse to get the quilt back out and finish the hand stitching,” Right? Wrong! For three weeks I have been walking by my pink stars and about 10 times a day thinking “I’ll start it tonight.” I bet you can guess how much progress I have made…zip.

That brings me to Plan B (which turned out to be an A+++ idea)

Instead of putting myself under a hand-quilting deadline I turned to my extra blocks.

Voila! Insta-baby quilt. Except a 3x3 quilt with 9" blocks is only about 36" even with the binding. Having a little tyke myself, I know how nice it is getting under that quilt WITH the baby for midnight-nursing. In my opinion, a baby quilt is perfectly sized at 45-50."

There are three ways to make a quilt bigger 1. More Blocks (not going to happen) 2. Sashing 3. Borders. I had a lot of ground to make up (about 10-15" in each direction) so I set out to sash and border my 9 blocks.

I felt a little torn about the borders. Though they frame a quilt nicely, I think they take a little of the modern edge off of a quilt. That said, Beth is a traditionalist, so I think she'll like the more "trady" feel of this little star.


While piecing the back with this cozy flannel, I used some of the scrap for a quickie side project: Burpies! This was a matter of measuring the center panel of the cloth and adding a 1/2" seam allowance on each side. Fold each edge under 1/2", press and then top stitch to the cloth. Total time from start to finish: 5 minutes for two burpies.

This is the first time I have machine quilted using a contrasting thread.  Though by no means am I an expert, I am starting to feel a little bit better about the quality of my quilting.  I straight line quilted a grid 1/4" from each of the blocks and then echo quilted around each of the stars. 

Before the quilting, I felt that the stars blended into the light pink background just a little too much.  With the quilting, there is just the right "pop."  The border is a poka-dot with cream, pale-pink and blue dots.

Hope little baby girl loves snuggling with her "Starla" quilt.

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