That’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.
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.
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).
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”
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.
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.