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So I've been busy...

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For those of you who keep tabs on my quilting (or used to), you probably noticed that I disappeared from the blog scene for several months. You might also remember that I was expecting Wahn child #4. Well Wince arrived slightly early in June, and I’ve been run ragged ever since. Wince is the easiest baby in the world, but there is a special kind of challenge that comes with raising three young children and caring for a new born with practically no sleep.

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Unfortunately quilting, let along blogging, took a seat on the side line. Little Man has become a Little Critter. I am so thankful that he is a curious, inquisitive little boy, but I’m not thankful that his curiosity often leads him to pull apart the house and climb into or on top of the refrigerator! Everything in our house is either locked up, bolted to the wall or bungee corded together.

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M has certainly taught me patience and humility in parenthood. She decided to completely revert in her potty training (she was doing so well!). She had such a sudden 360 with constant accidents that I actually had her tested for diabetes. Thankfully she’s perfectly healthy, but I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that she would rather sit in a puddle and keep playing than spend 1 minute in the bathroom. “It’s just a phase” has become a mantra I repeat multiple times a day.

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Goose has been busy with first grade and loves to show off her reading skills by reading to Wince every day while I cook dinner. She’s also quite proud of the programming robot her teacher entrusted her with at home (she attends a STEM charter school). And Wince is so sweet and easy going, I’m contemplating asking Handsomepants for just one more baby. He thinks we’re done, but I’m not quite ready to let go of this stage of life.

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So here’s my explanation for ghosting my very own blog. I completely allowed the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife series to fall flat, but I’m working double time to try to catch up on those posts. I’ve been catching up on posts on a number of baby quilts I have made and gifted over the last two years. And recently I’ve been thinking about learning to hand quilt, so look forward to some posts on that!

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A big shout out to my friend Srna for these amazing pictures! She’s taken all of our newborn and 1 year photo sessions. If anyone is in Colorado and you’re interested in scheduling a session, here’s a link to her Facebook page.

Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

Mr. D's Baby Quilt

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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.

Cutting Instructions

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.

White Fabric

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

Blue Fabric

(9) 7" squares

(1) 6" square


Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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.

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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."

Step 4 

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.

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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.

This is one of my favorite fabrics.  I don't usually gravitate towards batiks, but this one reminds me of fireflies in the summer and I love it!

This is one of my favorite fabrics.  I don't usually gravitate towards batiks, but this one reminds me of fireflies in the summer and I love it!

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.

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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!

Vanity shot: check out that stitch in the ditch!

Vanity shot: check out that stitch in the ditch!

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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!

 

Happy Quilting!

- Rita

A New Baby, Another Quilt!

It's official, Handsomepants and I are now outnumbered! Our little boy was born in October after a very exciting weekend spent in the emergency room. (Everything was fine, it turned out to be much ado about nothing too serious.) We kept Tiny's gender a surprise but we were still anticipating a girl, given our track record of producing girls and at one point I thought the doctor slipped up. Needless to say Handsomepants was literally speechless when Tiny popped out.

Hello Tiny! (Obligatory proud mom pic)

Hello Tiny! (Obligatory proud mom pic)

Every kiddo has gotten thier own quilt (although i still have to finish Gooses' quilt, it will make a nice 5 year birthday present right?) Tiny's was a quick tummy-time sized quilt. Full disclosure here, I cheated and already had the quilt made! Last year I had made the quilt for a cousin thinking she was having a boy, but I was wrong and had to quickly make aomething a little more pink! So I've had the quilt packed away for a little while.

The pattern is super simple, it's a checker board of single square and 4-square blocks.

The pattern is super simple, it's a checker board of single square and 4-square blocks.

I used a charmpack of Nocturnal by Janet Clare for Moda as well as a yard of the collections navy moon fabrich for the backing.  I tried some new techniques for me. I made the quilt self-binding, something I think I'll do more regularly. I also tied the quilt, which turned out to be pretty adorable.

I love the fabric. The charm pack was something I had in my stash for a while. It was an impulse buy, and I'm so glad I had it. Not only is navy one of my favorite colors, I have a hard time finding fabric for boys. I'm not into the cutesy fabric, I preference more mature patterns and because of this I find boys more difficult to quilt for. 

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I think I'll have to improve my quilting taste for little boys because I'm kind of in love!

 

Happy quilting! 

- Rita