In case you thought I’d been neglecting my sewing machine…
Far from it. I have devoted the past two days to a baby quilt. Now normally, I don’t take commissions to make quilts. There are plenty of people out there who do it for a living, and as I’ve written before, I often find the process painful due to working with colours I don’t enjoy and the changes of mind that happen along the way. But I was asked by my lovely, lovely Tai Chi teacher if I’d consider making one for her forthcoming god-granddaughter in Austria. Oooh, sounds like fun! She wanted something Australian but not too in-your-face about it, she wanted it to be for a baby, but not too babyish, and she’d leave the colours up to me. Now, I happened to have in my stash two lovely Jocelyn Proust designs, featuring Australian flowers. Both were on dark backgrounds, so I hesitated a little; one was black and one was navy. I pulled complementary colours from my stash, in solids and tone-on-tone prints. Hurrah! She chose the one I preferred!
I’ve eliminated the white, added more coral pinks and a lilac with a small white spot/pattern. I had to. Wouldn’t you know it, I was two inches short of fabric for the design she and I wanted to use. It alternates large squares of the print with hourglass/bowtie blocks of the complementary colours. I couldn’t quite get the solid squares from the fabric I had. So I introduced the lilac, bordered the squares with it and used it for some of the hourglass blocks. It works well, I think. Simple, but striking, and most of all, quick to produce – we’re on a deadline here, folks, as always with a baby on the way. The nice thing about hourglass blocks is that there’s a great quick way to produce them without cutting triangles, stretching bias edges and all that fun. You can find it here, and she’s even done the math and calculated sizes for you. If you want a visual presentation on how to do it, you can’t do better than The Missouri Star Quilt Co’s YouTube video. I love it when people do all the hard work of calculating and seeing how to cut something with minimum waste for me.
The back will be the lilac fabric – I have just enough left over. To the inch; it was clearly meant to be! The label will feature the words and music for the first verse of the Brahms Lullaby (hence the quilt’s name), mainly because the translated words talk about ‘slip under your quilt/covers’ :-), and also because my Tai Chi teacher also teaches music and will be able to read the music as well as the words. We don’t know the baby’s name yet, so this is something I can do to personalise the quilt for her. I’ll show a photo when I get there. We’re also considering sewing yoyos onto the front, either at the centre point of the hourglass blocks (not that my points don’t line up!), or at the junction where the blocks meet. We like the idea, for a little texture to entertain the baby when she’s older and using the quilt as a play mat. I still have to work out what colours I’d use – and find my yoyo maker!
So, that’s been my sewing work for the last couple of days. Next is sewing it together, sandwiching and quilting it, sewing on yoyos and binding, and then adding the label. She’ll have it in plenty of time to mail it to Austria before her god-grandbaby is born in November. And the god-grandbaby will have something warm to snuggle under in the cold of an Austrian winter.
Time to get on and trim the hourglass blocks to size….