Friday, August 12, 2016

A "Playful" Little Girls Quilt

As I have mentioned a couple times before my go to gift when friends and family have a new member of their family is a baby quilt.  I just love the cute fabrics and patterns of these types of quilts.  As soon as I found out my best friend was expecting her second I went on the hunt for fabric and patterns for the next quilt I was going to make.  I knew the theme of this had to have something to do with owls.  When I finished Nine Patch Star Owl quilt my best friend kept threatening me that she was going to keep it for herself.  This is how I knew I needed to include some owls.

Picture property of Cluck Cluck Sew

While perusing Pinterest I came across this picture of a finished quilt using the Playful pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  I knew this was the pattern I wanted to use and the colors were absolutely perfect as well.  Now that I had the pattern I needed to find the fabric.

I stopped by my local Joann's and start looking through there baby themed fabrics.  I came across this absolutely perfect owl print.  It came in two varieties.

I knew immediately that this was the fabric I wanted to have as the base for the quilt.  Once I had these picked out it was time to find coordinating prints to go with it.  I wanted to be sure that I had a good combination of some busy prints with some simple prints.  I have a personal draw towards polka dots so I knew I needed to include a few of those as well.  These were the prints I ended up with.  I was so happy with how well they coordinated with each other.

This pattern works up really quickly as the most difficult block is the pinwheel.  I was super excited about using my Quilt Cut 2 to get these squares and rectangles cut really quickly that I didn't pay enough attention to the sizing requirements of my blocks.  What I ended up with was more square blocks than I needed and not enough rectangular blocks.  I was hoping I could get more fabric to fix the issue but I had purchased the fabric almost a year ago and found no luck in finding the same prints.

I decided to press on and see if I could still make it work with the pieces I had left.  To help speed up construction of the pinwheels I used the June Tailor Half Square Triangle Ruler.  This was my first time getting to use this ruler.  I initially didn't want to have multiple different quilting rulers because I could do everything with my Quilt Cut 2 it just took longer.  After having used this I won't go back.  This is a great tool and really helpful in getting precise half square triangles.  To see a tutorial in using this ruler see this tutorial.

Now that all the pieces were set to go it was time to layout the quilt pattern.  I don't have an official quilt wall but I have found that the curtains in my craft room work pretty well.  I took the pattern as it was written and then assigned each of my prints to one of the prints in the pattern.

What I decided to do to fix my earlier cutting issue was just to put two of the same fabric print squares next to each other to make a rectangle.  I didn't really notice in the finished product so it ended up working out alright.  After having all the pieces up on my design wall, I then moved things around to ensure the same fabrics weren't next to each other and the colors flowed well.

Time to sew!  At this point I was getting really excited.  This quilt was coming together so much better than I expected and was really working up quickly.  My go to way of piecing is to start by first piecing sections of the rows by twos and then when the rows are together sewing those by twos.
With this pattern it was going to be easier to piece a block together instead of by rows.

Each block would consist of one rectangle and two squares put together.  Once all the blocks were pieced then I reverted back two sewing in sets of two until all the rows were put together.

On to pin basting and quilting.  As I have stated before I use the minky fabric for all the backs of my baby quilts.  They are just so cozy and comfy that way.  To do my basting I use the technique described by Wendy Butler Berns in the Craftsy class Machine Quilting.

I decided the quilting motif on this would be simple as not to distract from the beautiful fabrics.  I quilted this with a 1 inch diagonal line.  To keep this as straight as possible I used my walking foot and my quilting guide for it.  To start I marked 2 or 3 lines across the middle of the quilt.

Almost finished!  Usually I would just get my binding going and be done with the quilt but I have made a personal goal to try and get better about adding tags to my quilts.  I had seen a few pins on Pinterest that showed a tag sewn into the binding in the corner on the back.  I knew I wanted to use my printable heat transfer to ensure it would hold up in the wash.

I used Silhouette studio to design and cut the HTV.  I probably would have been OK just doing a close cut to the whole design and you wouldn't have seen it in the final result but I wanted to minimize the amount of sheen you would see from this.  I also wanted to make the most of the sheet of HTV so I adjusted my registration marks to their minimums and then moved them to closely border the design.

This cut well and was really easy to adhere to my fabric.  I took one of the squares I had left over and folded it in half to fit in the corner of the quilt.  If I could do this again I may have tried to create some sort of template to help me get my registration onto the fabric better than it was.  I am sure I am the only one who will notice it isn't center but that's just how I am.

Now that my tag was made and where I wanted it on the quilt all I needed to finish was the binding.  This was a real booger of a task.  For some reason I just couldn't get this to lay as nicely as I wanted.  Once again I was the only one who probably would notice this but I just didn't understand why it wasn't working the way it did it the craftsy class or with other quilts I had done.  Then I remember I allowed for a little extra clearance on this because of the bulkier back fabric.  All in all it turned out pretty well and I was quite pleased with the end result.