Madeleine’s Quilt

m-quilt01That’s not a typo; this quilt is for my friend’s baby, Madeleine, and not for Natalie. Poor Natalie is still quilt-less since her mother took on a project that will take the rest of her life to finish.

Not so with this quilt! This will probably never happen again, but I chose a project of manageable size with a reasonable timeframe in which to finish it. I was very enthusiastic in the beginning and sewed the whole quilt top together in about a week, and then let it languish for over a month while I procrastinated doing the quilting and the binding.

I imagine this is the quilter’s equivalent of second sock syndrome for knitters.

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The pattern is Jelly Roll Jam, available for free from the Fat Quarter Shop. I LOVE this pattern. So much so that I’ve already made a second quilt top with it (that’ll be appearing whenever I get around to quilting and binding it…so…sometime in the fall?). It’s so simple – just sew your strips together, then cut them apart, rotate, and sew them back together. Repeat until you have a quilt top.

My quilt is a little smaller than what the pattern says (by about an inch or so on all sides), but that’s only because I fail hardcore at seam allowances and sewing in a straight line. My lines meandered quite a bit, so I ended up cutting off what felt like a lot of the quilt top in order to make it square.

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I think I would do the quilting a bit differently next time. I stitched in the ditch, not realizing that this would make the quilting practically invisible from the front. Personally I prefer a quilt that has visible quilting; I think it looks puffier and cozier. I’m not quite brave enough to try free motion quilting, though, so I think if I had it to do over again I’d quilt 1/4″ away from both sides of the seams of each block. Something like this, I think (scroll down to Step 7 to see a close-up of the quilting).

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I followed this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew for making and sewing on the binding. I was really nervous about this part, but the tutorial is really well-written and, more importantly, well-photographed. My binding is certainly not as neat as hers, but I think it comes across as “charming” rather than “sloppy” :)

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The backing is suuuuuuuper soft minky fabric from Joann. This stuff is pricey like WOAH (says the girl who doesn’t buy any fabric without a coupon and balks at paying anything over $5 per yard), so definitely wait til you have a 50% off coupon. And then buy the entire bolt, because you’ll want to make yourself a giant minky nest that you can burrow into when you’re having a rough day. Also doubles as a nice place to hibernate during the winter.

Since I already had all of the fabric (I’ve used all of them except the pink chevron for Natalie’s weekly photos), this was a very economical project. I bought quilt-sized batting on major major clearance (I think it was $3), used a coupon for the minky, and made my own binding from fabric I used in the quilt. The low materials cost is balanced out by the labor, however, so I’m pretty sure my friend owes me about $400 for this quilt.

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I hope that Madeleine loves this quilt as much as I do. She’s an amazing little girl who just turned one, and was the first baby from our childbirth class to make her appearance in the world. I was sitting at my desk at work, most likely balancing second third breakfast on my belly, when I got the email that Madeleine had been born. That was totally a “woah, this just got real” kind of moment for me. I’ve looked to my friend, Madeleine’s mom, quite a bit over the past year for advice about all things related to being a mom, and would be much further along in my journey to Crazytown without her support.

Happy birthday, Miss Madeleine. And don’t worry – I wouldn’t give you a quilt that hasn’t been tested by quality control.

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One Response to Madeleine’s Quilt

  1. Michelle May 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Oh man……….I hope Natalie doesn’t expect a quilt from me for her birthday LOL. I’m just not THAT good :-).
    We LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt beyond words. What a sweet and thoughtful keepsake that we will treasure always!

    Love,
    Michelle and Madeleine

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