Monday, November 28, 2016

Just in Time for JJ

My favorite baby quilt pattern is a Disappearing Nine Patch.  It is easy and quick.  So when my niece announced that she was having her first child, I went straight to my stash and dived in.  For once I'd have a quilt ready when the big day arrived.

Once again, I went with primary colors.  I didn't have to buy a thing for the nine-patches, there were lots of choices in my scrap bins.

I used the blue print for the focus fabric, the one square that doesn't get hacked up when you "disappear" the nine-patch.  And what fun -- this was the fabric that I used in the very first quilt I ever made!  It'll be a nice I Spy quilt, with toys and animals and numbers and lots of colors.

Here's the uncut nine-patch.  The squares that I want to keep whole are in the corners.  Cut each block in half vertically and horizontally.  The square in the center will be the smallest unit in the final block. Arrange the smaller blocks as you like.

I tried a couple of different arrangements.  This seemed a little boring to me.

This was better, but still not quite what I wanted.

Ta-da!  That's more like it, more movement, not quite so linear, with the blue squares offset.

This arrangement also has the added benefit that there are NO seams to match until you have the rows all made and you're ready to sew them together.

As I pieced the top, I made more flying geese for the Otsego Lake quilts as leaders and enders.  With any luck, the baby who gets this quilt will be able to sleep under an Otsego Lake quilt by the time he's in high school!  😃

Once the top was pieced, I got a little bit stuck.  I thought about just binding it in red and moving on, but the quilt would have been a little to small.  I debated between blue and yellow for an outer border, but just wasn't sure.  So I posted a photo of the top on The Quilting Board and asked for suggestions.

If you aren't familiar with wonderful group, please do visit the site.  It's a moderated bulletin board with discussion threads and photos of quilts for inspiration.  Members range from total newbies to professionals with decades of experience.  You can sign up for their "Daily Digest" to get an email every day to see the busiest threads.

Anyway, they came through as they always do.  Several people suggested going with green for the border, which I really hadn't considered.  Someone else suggested departing from the primary colors and using a black-and-white binding.  I am so happy with the final result!

The green really frames the pieced center.  It keeps your attention on the blue squares and keeps the quilt brighter than it would have been with the yellow.  I chose a print with swirls, to balance out the geometric blocks.  The center is straight-line quilted in a variegated thread.  It's hard to see now that the quilt has been washed.  The border is free-motion curly cat-tails that echo the swirls in the print (you can barely see it in the photo below).

And check out the border -- zebra stripes!  I just love it!  The back and the binding are both flannel.

The label got sewed on along with the binding, two birds, one stone.  It's my usual label, just a charm square folded over.  I left the top open to include a note to the parents.  Who knows, maybe some day the tooth fairy will be able to use it!

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