Handsomepants and I are so excited for some friends who recently had some big changes in their lives. They bought a house, which in the Denver market is a feat in itself; and more importantly they had their first baby, a little boy, and the delivery was apparently went "freaking awesome!"
I haven't had a chance to meet the little guy because I've been unable to shake a nasty stomach flu and the last thing new parents with a 2 week old need is a stomach flu! But i did manage to make this little baby quilt finished on time for MR. D's baby shower (I missed it because of this stupid stomach flu), so I know he'll be nice and warm in this crazy Colorado weather.
Some other materials you'll need include a fabric choice for the letter in the center block, and paper of some kind to create a template for your letter. I used freezer paper so that I could avoid using pins to secure the paper to the fabric. If you like to use fusible webbing for applique, grab some of that and ignore the applique instructions in Step 1.
A (2) 7 x 43" strips
B (2) 7 x 28" strips
C (6) 3 1/2 x 7" rectangles
D (2) 3 1/2 x 28" strips
(9) 7" squares
(1) 6" square
Start by making the center square with the letter on it. Trace and secure your paper template to the fabric and cut the fabric 1/4" away from the paper. My letter was 5.5 x 4.4" I originally wanted the "D" to be 4.5" wide, but I free-handed the curve of the "D" and being off by 1/8" was close enough for me.
Iron under the 1/4" allowance so that the letter has a smooth edge the won't unravel. Snip the 1/4" allowance into small sections around corners and rounded edges if you need to.
When your letter is finished, center the letter on the 7" square that is going to be the center of your quilt top. You can do this by subtracting the height of your letter from the height of the fabric square, and divide the difference by two. That result is how much space you'll place your letter away from the top and bottom edges. Repeat that math formula for the left and right sides.
To clarify, my letter is 5.5 x 4.4". To determine the distance from the top and bottom of the 7" square I should place the letter I follow this equation: 7 - 5.5 = 1.5 then I divide 1.5 / 2 = .75. That means that my letter should line up 3/4" from the tops and bottoms of the 7" square. To determine the distance from the left and right sides of the &" square I should place the letter, I follow the same steps according to the width of the letter. 7 - 4.4 = 2.6, divided 2.6 / 2 = 1.3. As you can see in the picture above, I used two ruler to help me center my letter. The top black ruler is set 3/4" of an inch from the top, and the side yellow ruler is set 1.3" from the edge of the square. Pin your letter in place.
Sew on the letter to the 7" square. I lengthened my strait stitch as long as possible and eyeballed the needle placement. Try to keep the needle placement as close to the edge of the letter as possible, that will keep the letter's 1/4" allowance from slipping out and unraveling.
If you choose to use a decorative stitch to applique the letter on, I would suggest a few basting stitches to keep the letter from sliding around.
I would also suggest removing the paper template before you start the decorative stitches or else you'll spend the next couple of hours digging out tiny pieces of paper from underneath the stitches. I learned my lesson when I last minute decided to use a zig-zag stitch instead of a strait stitch. I didn't catch my mistake until I finished the inside of the "D."
Piece together the 7" squares and 3.5 x 7" rectangles so that there are 3 squares and 2 rectangles to form three rows. Attach the rows with the 3.5 x 28" strips. Then piece the 7 x 28" and 7 x 43" strips and square up the corners. Press seams open.
I will admit that I regret how the stitches look in the quilting. I don't know if the tension was off slightly or what, but I just don't like that it looks like the needle stabbed the fabric to death. At first I didn't realize how stippled the the stitches look, but the more I look at these pictures, I'm rather frustrated with how they turned out.
Because I'm a classic procrastinator, I didn't have much time for much fancy quilting, so I did a simple stitch in the ditch around the 7" blocks and then 1" away from the blocks. Simple and basic, but it helps reiterate the grid pattern of the quilt.
I also have a little mishap once finished. Little Man got a hold of an orange highlighter and I was able to stop him from scribbling all over the quilt, but he did manage to do some damage. I washed the quilt and thankfully had no problem getting out the stain!
I can't wait to not be sick anymore so that I can go visit little Mr. D for the first time! I would say that making baby quilts gives me baby fever, but I only have another 10 weeks before another of my own little peanuts pope out! What a great excuse to go fabric shopping!