Archive for the ‘for Babies’ Category

I want to tell you about the quilt that marked time. That was made in the nick of time. That noted time passing. That indicated it wasn’t time yet. That the right time would soon be here. That measured time. But first, a digression.

I’ve made quilts for most (as many as I can) friends and family who have babies. Once I was expecting my first baby, my mom asked if she could make me a baby quilt. I of course replied I would be delighted if she did. So we raided my fabric stash together.

She chose a simple square patchwork design that complemented the beautiful fabrics. I love the scrappy feel of the patchwork!

And because how could I resist, here’s our little lady on the quilt. Later, my mom returned all the fabric to me that she didn’t use. When I looked at it, the first thought that struck me was noticing the beautiful green, turquoise, gray and orange palette. The second thought that struck me, was naturally, those colors would make a beautiful quilt!

I started and finished this quilt in the two weeks leading up to my little girl being born. If she hadn’t arrived one week late I wouldn’t have finished it. We liked to joke that she was giving me time to make one last quilt.

This Score, #4 Patchwork Doodle, invites you to take a shape, repeat it, add another, build off that block, add in another, and keep going like that. Like doodling!

Because I was just doing a small bit each day, and because each day the patchwork was slightly different, and mostly because I was existing in a strange time warp of when will baby come, I started a daily post of progress on Instagram.

Without realizing it, I had given friends a way to keep track of me. Each day I posted a progress shot, they knew baby wasn’t here yet.

Each day the blocks grew and changed and the rows on my design board grew. I kept expecting baby to come and the quilt put away, but she didn’t come and we kept stitching.

It was fun to start sewing up a block for no other reason than I felt like stitching that block that day.

Lets add more triangles, I’d think, and so we did. And without me realizing it, one morning I went to sew more blocks and when I looked at the top, I realized it was done.

For quilting, I decided on a meandering line, mimicking topographic lines. I thought of my soon to be born nephew and the adventures he would have.

And in the nick of time, the quilt was done, ready to be mailed off, and all I needed to do was rest before baby arrived.


What surprised me?

I remember thinking at the beginning, how will I come up with new blocks to add? How will I think of them? And then once I was in the moment, it was no trouble at all, ideas just kept coming to me.

What did I discover or learn?

I learned how to sew some of the techniques shared in the book to deal with puckers and excess fabric. Once I had a few blocks together things didn’t always lay flat so I learned to dart and adjust seams.

What was satisfying about the process or outcome?

I really enjoyed having my design board out to look at each day. When I wasn’t sewing I was contemplating and pondering what would come next.

What was dissatisfying?

The quilted topo lines didn’t quite turn out as I had imagined.

If dissatisfied, what can I do differently next time to be more satisfied?

In a way at this point I was rushing, so to have it be more satisfied, I think I could have taken the time to sketch out what I imagined, maybe even chalking some drawn lines as a guide on the quilt top.

Where do I want to go from here?

My world has been completely turned upside down since finishing this quilt, in only the best of ways. I hope I can be present in the moment where I am, knowing I will return to quilting some day. And at that point I can bring my new experiences to my craft. And make more baby quilts. Try a few more scores. Maybe make a score for a second or third time.

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Quilts for Twins

When my girlfriend had twins I thought this posed a neat challenge for baby quilts. Of course first off I knew I would need to make two blankets. I imagined them being similar and distinct. And I knew I wanted to continue to try new scores from the Improv Handbook. So I went shopping in my stash.

I was also inspired by my girlfriends Japanese heritage and her love of the color red. I pulled fabrics for two quilts at the same time, the colors complementary and unique.

The first quilt I followed Score#5 Rhythmic Grid. I auditioned fabrics to check for value and contrast, deciding how I wanted to build my squares.

There is so much I love about this kind of quilting. How beautiful fabrics can be featured and combined. How quickly the blocks start to come together. How freeing it is to not measure and make decisions in the moment.

This top was pieced last summer while I was on break between jobs. Winston was my trusty companion for my staycation.

While I didn’t measure, this score was unique in building off each previous row, aligning key intersections. Here I’m adding the edge borders.

For the second of the twins quilts, I chose to follow the Score #2 Strings.

I divided my fabric selections into three groups, two bright and one dark, and then cut each into strips.

The strips then got pieced together randomly, giving me three large panels of pieced fabric.

I then cut each into skinnier columns, and pieced those into the final top.

I must have pictures of the completed quilts somewhere (on a camera SD card perhaps?). The second string quilt was completed last spring. With the twins first birthday fast approaching, I had extra motivation to finish!

It was such a joy to receive the following pictures from my girlfriend when she received the quilts.


What surprised me?

It was such a pleasure to make two quilts at the same time. Pulling two sets of fabric from the same inspiration but making them different was a fun creative exercise.

What did I discover or learn?

It can be hard with all life’s competing wants to get a baby quilt done before the baby is born. I completed these a few months shy of their first birthday. Instead of being late, I think they arrived at the perfect time. How wonderful for my friend and her family to continue to feel loved and supported through all the months of raising little ones.

What was satisfying about the process or outcome?

It is such a joy to not know where the quilt is headed and to just go with it. Each step felt like an exploration to find out what would happen next. This kept the excitement high, similar to solving a mystery!

What was dissatisfying?

I made a couple of color choices I wasn’t thrilled about.

If dissatisfied, what can I do differently next time to be more satisfied?

By the second quilt I had noted what I didn’t like and was already practicing making different choices.

Where do I want to go from here?

I really enjoy baby quilts as the object to try scores on. They are small enough to complete quickly, are fun to use beautiful fabrics, and make heartfelt gifts! I think making baby quilts improv will be my new go to.

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Among my family and friends, I am so blessed to get to help welcome into the world many little ones! I love giving a baby blanket to each little.


I remember starting this quilt back in winter, when snow piled up outside and storms raged. The outside temps are quite different now, but I was lucky to have some free time to finish up the quilt this summer.


I love using printed fabrics for baby quilts, with all the cute and modern prints available now! I made simple large rectangles for the front, and used some bicycle fabric for the back, as Zylvanio’s parents love to ride bikes.


For quilting, I did a cursive loopy line. I picked a bright green-blue fabric for binding. I love the feeling of pulling the freshly washed quilt out of the dryer! It’s so crinkly and soft. Perfect for baby!


I promptly shipped off the quilt, and was so pleased when mom shared of video of baby Zyl hanging out on the quilt. Love! I can’t wait to meet Zylvanio myself. In the meantime, there are a few more little ones who will be arriving in the next year. Time to play with more fabric!

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Baby Quilt for Hunter

I love making a quilt for each new baby coming into the world. I enjoy thinking about their parents and their personalities, and from there picking a set of fabrics and colors for their new baby. For Hunter, I knew he would be born into a family that loves the outdoors and is connected to the earth. Thinking about a quilt for him, I was drawn to this collection of fabrics from Hawthorn Threads, with its motifs of butterflies, pine cones, feathers and leaves and flowers. IMG_5226

I knew I wanted to pair the fabrics with solids, and decided I like yellow as the compliment. For pattern, I was recently drawn to the North Wind block.


As I was sewing the quilt in March, our weather was turning from winter to spring. We’d have windy days with the wind blowing from the north, bringing us the warmer weather of spring.

IMG_5282And it felt like spring inside too! Choosing yellow was such a pleasure to work and sew with. As sunlight streamed in my windows on a weekend morning and I sat stitching with a cup of tea, I felt like I was calling spring to arrive.

DSC03092I chose to make the entire quilt one large north wind block. I quilted it with a walking foot, simple diagonal lines matching the points of the yellow triangles to emphasize the direction of movement in the quilt.

DSC03101I used all the remaining fabrics from the collection in the back. I imagine that Hunter will get lots of play time on this quilt, inside and outside!

DSC03103As I stitched, I hoped that Hunter would revel in growing up in the great outdoors, with the north wind bringing him fun adventures.

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As I’ve shared in previous points, I am drawing a quilt design each day. Sometimes it is a random sketch for the day and sometimes it is for a specific project. When I learned a good friend was expecting her second baby, I knew I wanted to make her son a quilt. I raided my fabric stash, and pulled out these fat quarters I purchased awhile back.

IMG_9156After sketching a design of large flying geese in a t-pattern, I did the math. Despite reading several tutorials on how to size flying geese triangles, and googling a fair amount of geometry reference, I still calculated my numbers wrong. Oops! When I sewed the triangles together, they didn’t quite match up for a rectangle, but it was easy enough to trim them down, and it didn’t affect the overall dimensions of the quilt at all. I will need to spend some more time with triangle geometry to figure out where I was going wrong! I think it has something to do with how much to add for seam allowance. Anyone with match skills have the answer?


From my calculations, I headed to our local quilt shop to purchase a bit more fabric, as the fat quarters I already have weren’t enough. My phone came in handy to snap a picture in black and white to check my values. I was hoping to find additional fabrics to add to mix it up, but ended up purchasing more in the same fabric line.


Because my block sizes were large, the top sewed together in a morning. What a thrill it was to see my first pattern materialized as a quilt top!


For quilting, I wanted to go with a lighter colored thread so it wouldn’t stand out against the light colored fabric of the front and back. When in the quilt shop, I picked a turquoise to go with the tree color. Once I started quilting though, I was bummed with how it turned out, as the color became quite a bit darker against the white then I had expected. A good lesson to pick a lighter colored thread than you think you will want, as it will look darker against the white.


This is also the first larger size quilt I’ve quilted completely on my new Brother sewing machine, and it was great! The machine performed wonderfully, humming away as I stitched, with no broken threads or weird tension or anything. The extended table made the quilt slide around easily, and I didn’t have any of the arm muscle stress I’ve had in the past. I also wanted to play around with some new patterns to stitch with, so spent a little while sketching with pencil different designs for the different areas. Quilting is a lot like zentangling!


I think that is some of the pleasure of making a baby quilt. While I want the quilt to be nice, there is also a bit of freedom, because it is for a baby who doesn’t know if the seams match or the quilting is straight. All that really matters is I made it with love imagining the new little one coming into this world. I find it fun to make baby quilts because I can play with new colors and techniques. And no matter what, after popping them in the wash, they come out soft and snugly and perfect for a little one.


Heading outside for a photo shoot, our chickens were very curious and came over to see what was going on!


I liked the brown in the fabrics, so chose to bind the quilt with a brown polka dot I picked up in the Bay Area on our recent trip, when Lesley and I enjoyed going to the most delicious yarn and fabric shop ever, A Verb for Keeping Warm. I also tried a new technique in attaching my quilt labels. This time I ironed a quarter inch hem around the sides, then cut a piece of fusible webbing slightly smaller than the size of the hemmed label. I then ironed that to the label, and then to the quilt. This helped stabilize it as I whip-stitched the edges down, and kept the shape more square.


After snapping a few photographs, I sent the quilt off in the mail. I’m super thrilled with making my first quilt design become a reality!



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You might remember last June we had a baby shower for my friend Kim. I posted on the paper garlands I stitched as decoration for the shower. One of our activities was also to personalize quilt squares for June, which I planned to later sew up into a quilt. This was my second of such quilts, they are so fun to make!


I had pre-cut flannel fabric squares in various colors, and had drawn borders on each square to give folks a guide for writing and drawing their message for June within the seam limits. Kim had two baby showers, and brought her squares to both, and also distributed to various friends and families, until we had a large stack of quilt squares!

IMG_8129In May, I visited with Kim and baby June (already 8 months old!). June was a big help laying out the squares.

IMG_8131I think she loved the feel and colors of the squares. Maybe she’ll be a quilter too, like her mom and grandma!


Kim also got to make a square, for the center, with June’s name, date of birth, time and weight.

IMG_8136There was so much love for June, the blanket quickly reached full size with just the squares. We played around with laying out of fun arrangement of random colors.

IMG_8137With both of our machines stitching, and June keeping us company, the quilt top quickly was pieced.


That afternoon, I basted the three layers and began quilting. I opted for the walking foot, with just simple quilting around the edges of each block.


It was such a pleasure to read each message as I quilted. The love for June absolutely shines from the quilt! The flannel fabric was hard to work with, the fabric is pretty stretchy, and my squares quickly became pretty wonky. Luckily, there was so much love and color in the quilt, my funky stitching kind of just disappeared!

IMG_2264For a binding, I chose a bright yellow, to be a bright pop of color against the pretty blues, greens and pinks that made up the majority of the quilt.

IMG_8150The backing fabric was a cute flannel pattern, of zoo animals. Doesn’t it look cute with the yellow?

IMG_8148After running it through the washing machine to erase the marker lines, the quilt got a cozy, snuggly, slightly wrinkled look. Perfect.

IMG_8146Here’s a few close-ups of the cute and heartfelt messages to June. The fabric pens did fade slightly after washing, but not too bad.


May the quilt wrap June in all the love of this world she is going to grow up in!

IMG_8142I’m hoping the quilt gets dragged from room to room, inside and outside, made into forts, used as a table for tea parties, snuggled with at night, washed a million times, and loved until it is threadbare. I hope you enjoy it June!


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Last October, I began a quilt for my close friend Grace’s baby while Grace was still pregnant. She didn’t know if it was a boy or girl yet, so I picked out these sweet golden yellows and grays. Looking back now, the colors I picked closely resemble the beautiful autumn colors we had in the Owens Valley at the time! Perhaps I was channeling the color in the world around me without even realizing it.

photo 1

I chose a quilt pattern from The Practical Guide to Patchwork, that I felt would highlight the fabrics nicely in big bold squares. Since I only had these eight fat quarters, I spent a little while doing some math, to see if I had enough fabric to make a baby size quilt. And the conclusion was . . . yes!


It was only halfway through piecing the quilt that I realized I had already made this pattern before! No wonder the pattern felt so familiar as I cut and sewed the squares. Silly me. Oh well, it is a good pattern for cute fabrics!

photo (1)The quilt top came together really quickly, I think it might have only taken one weekend if I remember right.

photo 2Then the pieced quilt top sat on the shelf for several months, as quilts-in-progress often do. Until I saw this pin on pinterest, which got my creative juices flowing. That design is one of my favorite quilting motifs; I’ve quilted it by hand on a wall hanging. I was intrigued by being able to use the walking foot to quilt the pattern, and thought that the quilted circles would complement the pieced squares well.

photo 1 (2)I lay out the pieced top on my kitchen floor, and using a cd case lid as my template, and a disappearing ink fabric pen to mark with, traced the pattern as outlined on the tutorial.

photo 2 (2)And then I began quilting. I love using a walking foot because it moves the quilt through the machine so easily. It doesn’t tire out my arms or make me sore. The first few curves were a bit wobbly, but I soon got into the swing of things, and the walking foot easily turned the gradual curves.

photo 1 (3)At first I sewed a row or two each day on my lunch break, but by the time the weekend came, there was no stopping me. Adding in a slight under-the-weather feeling and gray skies, I knew it was going to be a sewing weekend. In just a few hours on Saturday and Sunday I was able to quilt the entire baby quilt.

photo 2 (3)It was very meditative to just follow the pre-traced lines. I love how the intersecting circles come together. This might be my new favorite way to quilt baby quilts! It is decorative and quick. As I felt the momentum growing, I quickly dashed over to our local quilt shop to pick up a fabric for the binding. I always have to think ahead, in our small town the shop isn’t open on Sunday. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck on Sunday in the middle of a project without the materials I need!

photo 3I picked up this super cute pink and white striped fabric. I thought the stripes would make a nice patterned touch for the edge. And Grace’s baby was born in January, a girl!, so I thought the pink would be a cute addition to make their quilt hers.

IMG_7912With the binding sewn, I popped the quilt in the wash to erase the lines, and the quilt was done!

IMG_7917I love the way the pink binding came out.

IMG_7923And I love the quilting pattern, here you can see it better on the back of the quilt.

IMG_7920The quilt is already in the mail, working it’s way to Ruby’s house. I hope it wraps her up in the warmth and love I feel for her, and I can’t wait to meet her!

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I’d like to share this baby shower quilt with you! I am so excited at how it turned out, and hope that you will be inspired to do a similar quilt for your friends who are having babies!

Before the baby shower, I cut various colored squares 8″ x 8″ and I purchased different colored fabric markers. I chose solid squares, but I think patterned fabric could work well too. On the day of, while the new mom was unwrapping her presents, I had a basket with a hard surface to write on, with the squares and markers, pass around the room. This allowed folks to take their time writing/drawing on a square while enjoying watching the presents get unwrapped.

To make the quilt slightly bigger, I interspersed the hand written squares with patterned fabric. I chose this lovely woodsy kids print. I sewed the squares into a simple patchwork block alternating pattern. In the middle, I put a special square, where I wrote Baby Shower, date, and names of the family.

Each square just shone with the love everyone had for the new family. I wanted to keep these personal messages the prominent piece of the quilt, I chose to quilt in simple parallel lines across the entire quilt. I kept the lines fairly tight, hoping and wanting this quilt to be used frequently and probably washed often!

Let me know if you have any questions, I think this is going to be my new go-to gift for future friends when they start their families.

I sent it off in the mail, and hope that the new family loves it and uses it.

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This weekend, I started on a baby quilt. I chose a simple, modern pattern in earthy colors that were gender neutral.

Saturday, I cut and pieced two yards of fabric into stripy strips.

Today, Sunday, I cut the larger blocks and pieced the top. I love the way the color values play together.

Since the fabric is almost solid, I think it will highlight the quilting nicely. What pattern to use? I’ll think on it awhile.

Note: the quilt pattern is from the book, Modern Quilt Workshop.

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This morning I had a fun time trying out a longarm quilting machine, to quilt the baby kaleidiscope quilt. A local business here, Wildrose Lane Quilting, let me rent time on their machine. What fun! It was so free and quick. Jan suggested a fun siwrly wave free stich pattern which was super forgiving of my beginning skills. In two hours I quilted the entire thing!

I think I will ask for a longarm machine for Christmas and see what Santa can do.

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