Thursday, October 31, 2013

Zeros Baby Quilt


Here's a quilt I just finished. I would be lying if I said that Blogger's Quilt Festival did not motivate this finish. I don't know how, but going from 2 to 3 kids has changed my daily quilting routine significantly. I can't seem to accomplish things the way I used to...so without deadlines I wouldn't finish anything! In this case, BQF was the deadline...and I'm cutting it close! :) 


I made this one for my new niece, Kara...she is almost 8 months old. I have been plotting this quilt for a while, but I kept changing the color scheme because I couldn't decide who I really wanted to make it for...several new babies were in the running, including mine! Finally, under pressure of the aforementioned deadline, I decided to make it for cute Kara in violet, turquoise and charcoal. I went with all solids because it was easier...I already had most of them and the print fabrics I had were all different scales, and just not working for me. I think the right prints could have been so cute, so I may have to try this again with different fabrics.  


And the inspiration for this...back in January when I was making a list of all the quilts I wanted to make this year, I was trying to come up with some new ideas. One of the things I thought about doing was using some shapes I've never used before...hexagons, ovals, equilateral triangles, etc. We're all aware of my circle obsession...and since circles and ovals are closely related, I figured I'd start there. But after a little thought and a Google search or two I decided that if ovals are related to circles they are more like the circle's dorky older cousin...taller, thinner and kind of awkward. I just couldn't seem to think of a way to make them look good in a quilt. But refusing to give up, I was again Google searching "ovals" for inspiration when I came across the picture of this awesome West Elm tea towel (which sadly is no longer available for purchase). Props to the designer because it is brilliant, perfect and exactly what I was hoping for when I set out to make an oval quilt. So the pattern for this quilt came straight from the tea towel...no sense messing with perfection right? 


Applique was the only way to go with this one. So the oval shapes are appliqued on to the single large piece of background fabric. To make the ovals I used Inkscape. Have I mentioned how awesome (and free) that program is? I used it to test color schemes and size layouts and then to print out the template for tracing. I traced the oval shape onto fusible-web. Then I got a little crazy and decided to cut away the majority of the fusible web before I ironed it to the fabric. With this much applique, the quilt can end up being really stiff and getting rid of most of the fusible web eliminates that problem. So the other day I happened to be on the Fons and Porter website and randomly came across this tutorial for the very technique I used...they call it "windowing". I used a rotary cutter and just eye-balled it so it was pretty quick to remove the excess fusible web...then I just had to be a little careful when ironing them to the fabric so they went on straight. It actually worked like a charm. Here is what the back of my shapes looked like before I ironed them to the background fabric:


Once all the shapes were ironed on I stitched them down with a blanket stitch in matching thread. Then just to make a little more work for myself, I cut away the background fabric from behind the shapes. When it was done, I hemmed and hawed for like four days before I decided how to quilt it. It drives me a little crazy that it takes me forever to come up with a quilting design...good thing I had that deadline, or I'd probably still be trying to decide how to quilt it! And after all that stressing out about it...I ended up using the very first idea I came up with...straight lines in the ovals and flowers in the middle. :) 


I backed it in the darker turquoise and bound it in white. I'm fairly happy with how it turned out...simple but still somewhat girly...and hopefully not too dorky! :) 


And now enjoy perusing all the great quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

AmysCreativeSide

18 comments:

  1. What a beauty! The color combo is so pretty.

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  2. A great quilt, Cynthia! I'm stressed just reading about all your stressing. lol I love the colors and the design!

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  3. Not dorky at all! Very eye-catching and unlike any quilts I've seen at least! Loved hearing how it came to life :)

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  4. Cute! Kara's gonna love it (once she grows old enough to have an appreciation for such things) :D

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  5. I love your oval quilt. The colours are great and so is the quilting! Who would have thought a tea towel could inspire such beauty?

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  6. I think this is adorable and not dorky at all!! I love how you quilted it too. GREAT job!

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  7. What a fabulous quilt. Great inspiration and great execution! Thanks for sharing it in the festival!

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  8. The ovals are perefct. Love the colors. And the quilting. Quilting inspiration never comes to me, and I have bins of tops to prove it. A deadline doesn't help at all. :)

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  9. Gorgeous! I have not tried that method, but it looks perfect. I did try the 6 minute circle method this year and loved it - http://redletterquilts.blogspot.com/2013/06/add-border-block-swap.html

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  10. I love the graphic nature of your ovals, your quilt is wonderful.

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  11. I love this quilt. Great idea with the windowing too. Nice work!

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  12. Gorgeous! Love your choice of quilting.

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  13. Wow, this is really nice. I like the colors and how the quilting adds to the total design. It was fun to read the story about its creation, too. Super job!

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  14. Thank you so much for your quilt patterns. I've just downloaded the Advent Calender. You are a truly gifted quilter and designer.

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