I have to apologize in advance for the delay in posting the second post regarding O Baby’s quilt! Perhaps, however, the span of the last two weeks allowed some of you who expressed such interest in the project to go and buy Lotta‘s book and get your strips cut and ironed!
Or… maybe the delayed posting only increased your anticipation of how this little play quilt came together? All I can
say write is that the postponement wasn’t intentional and that I’m sorry (again).
Let’s quilt shall we?!
Organizing the Strips
As you may recall from Part 1, a considerable amount of time was spent prepping and designing the four strips which would comprise the finished quilt. In order to eliminate confusion (remember, this was pre-snack), I layered the various quilt pieces comprising each strip in the order that they would be sewn together.
Work Station Prep
Although I was eager to just sit down and sew, I had to do a couple quick things to ready the place where I would be spending the next (at the very least) few hours:
*Scrap sack: When I started working on small sewing projects in high school, my mom insisted that I have a small bag at the ready to capture all my scraps, snips of threads (there will be tons of them) and bent straight pins. Since I tend to be a person who is overwhelmed by a disordered table top, this has been a life saver.
*The second was obviously getting the sewing machine set up!
Sewing (Finally, the Fun Part!)
After threading the bobbin and properly positioning the sewing machine’s foot pedal, I was so ready to sew! One of the unique features of Lotta’s Play Quilt with Pocket is, in fact the pocket! What looks oh so impressive on the finished quilt is merely a matter of folding, pressing (yes, as you’ll see, my love/hate relationship with the iron didn’t end in Part 1), and sewing. Easy breezy… seriously.
Hint: If this is your first time sewing, you can definitely hold off on making the pocket until you have sewn all your strips since you do want your pocket stitch to be nice and straight.
And since I mentioned strips…
It was such a delight to see all of the squares and rectangles be sewn together and see the top of O Baby’s quilt taking form. Of course, as I finished sewing and pressing each strip, I laid it out by the others to make sure that the pattern was still appealing.
This was probably my favorite part of the project because it got to be very routine. The act of pinning, sewing, and pressing was rhythmic and relaxing.
After the strips were sewn individually and then together, it was time to get to quilting! The batting was basted to the back of the quilt (in this case dark rinse denim – shriek!) and this piece was then sewn to the panel composed of all the strips by sewing around the edges. I must admit that I had a really hard time imagining how I was going to be able to turn the quilt inside out through a six-inch opening. Needless to say, sewing instructions never lie (well, some may refute that actually). Voila! O Baby’s quilt finally looked like it was coming together.
At this point, I was able to take a break from sitting behind the machine and moved to the couch where I hand-stitched the opening closed. It was then back to the machine so that I could topstich a border to give the quilt a finished look.
I took my time because I was scared to death of the next step…
Quilting (or in My Case, Stitching the Ditch)
A quilt isn’t a quilt unless it’s, well, quilted. This means that all of the layers (in this project’s case, the top layer, batting, and bottom fabric) are stitched together. Per the book’s instructions, I could elect to tack the layers together every six inches but this would have to be done vertically (along the seams of the side-by-side strips) and horizontally. Given that my strips were 8 inches wide, I felt that tacking them every six inches would look funny.
As an alternative, the instructions indicated I could “stitch the ditch” which consisted of top stitching along EVERY seam I had sewn when I put together the top layer (there were more than 20!). Naturally, the perfectionist in me liked the look of this alternative better. I was also scared to death though because it meant that one mis-stitch would stick out like a sore thumb!
All I can say was that I survived (which may seem obvious because I’m blogging about it) without too many slip ups. This was the place where that previously mentioned lip pursing happened which explains the lack of pictures.
What else was stressful? As you can see by the pic I managed to take above, I was running out of thread. Gulp.
Giving and Playing!
I did, in fact, run out of thread but thankfully my Mom had a similar color on hand! I was able to the finish the quilt in less than 10 hours and was nearly as excited to gift the quilt away as I was to meet its soon-to-be-owner!
I’ll admit that as I drove over to H and M’s I totally got caught up in what I think (or hope) is a typical moment of self-consciousness prior to the moment when a handmade gift is presented. What is O Baby already has a Play Quilt with Pocket? What if the colors are wrong? What if I forgot to remove a straight pin and it slices O Baby in half during his first session of tummy time?
Luckily, it turns out that the colors I picked were the colors of M’s Alma Mater (University of Illinois) and H was serious when she told me that she loved Lotta’s designs. Furthermore, I haven’t received any frantic calls from H about O Baby happening upon a straight pin either.
It seems like this project was a winner for all parties involved!
* Don’t be afraid to fill your bobbin with A LOT of thread. It won’t go to waste and it will save you the heartache of having to restitch a seam when you finally notice you’re out.
* One more thread tip… For a relatively small quilt, this project does use a lot of thread. As such, I would say that it never hurts to buy two spools when you’re at the store (just save your receipt for a return/exchange later).
* If you love this project and know of a little girl who might need a play quilt, I highly recommend that you check out Moda’s Modern Workshop designed by Liesl Gibson of oliver+s. The colors are energizing and the patterns make me swoon.
* Have fun and be adventurous with choosing your quilt backing. I went with dark rinsed denim because I knew H would love it (she is a sorority girl too!) and it would also be durable. One thing I would caution, however, is not to spend too much on your backing material as it will only be coming into contact with the floor, grass, carpet, etc.
* Naturally, I knew I would be blogging about O Baby’s gift. As such, it only seems fitting that Justin Bieber‘s Baby ran through my head for a majority of the project. It was, of course, the Glee version.