It may not feel like spring everywhere around the country, but recently I felt quite ready for a game of Baseball Baby! I love quilts with themes and messages, so of course this one hit a home run!
The printed blocks were purchased at a recent Shop Hop in Waco Texas. Between the blocks and fabric choices, Baseball Baby was the total package. Some little boy (or girl…) could really love this quilt. If you look closely at the red striped fabric, you will see that the stripes even look like stitches. Not only does this quilt relate to baseball, the red/white/blue colors and stars and stripes create that All-American look.
E2E Pattern and Thread
How do you quilt a baseball quilt? With a baseball E2E pattern and a tan thread that emulates the stitching on the ball itself, silly!
Even the smallest quilts can have an enormous impact on your family. This little gem is sure to be a keepsake for the child it is gifted, and maybe even be passed down in years to come. I am so excited for this baseball baby!
While the name of this quilt is Elly’s Quilt, for me it was more like Elly’s Challenge. Why was this quilt so challenging?
Not Just Cotton
The first element of challenge was very obvious right from the start – half of the blocks were made from a beautiful flower and gold fabric but it was not cotton. This poly – stretchy – poofy fabric had to have been a challenge to piece. I do say that the creator of this little baby quilt did an amazing job.
The second challenge was the gorgeous embroidered elements that covered each polka dot block. Now there was no problem quilting over these blocks, the challenge here was more of thread color choice.
Finally, if the stretchiness of the top was not enough, the back was Minky!
The first step toward accepting this challenge was the decision to float the top. It is hard enough to control stretch when you work with Minky, but even tougher when the top has a mind of its own.
If you look at the blocks as they lay above, you can see that the polka dots lay flat while the florals poof out. This prior to any quilting.
The other consideration was thread color and pattern. The customer did not want a dense pattern that would obscure the embroidery, nor did she want the quilting to stand out all over the quilt on the darker sections. Because of this and the color of the minky (dark blue), we decided on a navy thread and the Wandering Daisies E2E.
Not only did the front turn out beautifully, the additional motif in blue on blue on the minky was an added bonus.
What a fun name, Penguin Tree. Of course the name is more than appropriate for yet another beautiful quilt designed by Margret Lewis.
One block wonder
The pattern of this quilt may be familiar to many of you. The one block wonder pattern can turn panels into some of the most interesting designs. The panels used for this quilt feature penguins; however, I did not realize that at first.
Thread color and quilting
It is always exciting to audition both thread color and quilting designs. Because Penguin Tree runs the gamut from dark to light, the thread decision was made more about the front than the back. (Note, I always recommend the same color thread front and back). The choice of Lilac was made so that the quilting would not obscure the fun colors and shapes of the Kaleidoscope-look blocks.
Of course, you never do know exactly what impact thread has on contrasting backgrounds. In this case, the choice was perfect. While the inside pieced portion of the quilt is not overtaken by the quilting, the borders absolutely came alive.
Before I talk about what occurred on the back of the quilt, I want to address the E2E pattern: Circle Meander
I have used this pattern before. You can see how it plays with my Paper Pieced Scrappy Quilt. It was this inspiration that helped make the decision.
Not everyone wants the back of their quilt to make a statement. This is why so many are very busy florals or other patterns. In this case, the back is almost as much of a show stopper as the front! The pattern plays like underwater bubbles on the backing pattern.
Of course, each photo I post does not do the quilt justice when viewed in person. I think you can see by the next and final image a bit of the beauty and fun that this quilt provides.
NOTE: A little birdie told me that Margaret will be teaching this very technique at Cabbage Rose on May 11, 2019. Here is the link: ONE BLOCK WONDER
A while ago, I previewed some quilt designs that I had planned on completing in the future. You can see the original post HERE. Fly a Kite is a really fun quilt on so many levels.
I had a blast designing, creating and quilting this project. Fly a Kite was unique and also had some challenges.
A Unique Quilt
On the whole, I tried to utilize older fabrics for this quilt. Not all had their dates on the selvage, but this fabric did:
As I said, many of the fabrics were older, including the backing fabric. Not only did I have these fabrics in my stash for many years (not going to admit how many), but I also know that they were not new when I acquired them. I have a habit of purchasing and being gifted with fabric from other quilters.
It does not matter if you create a block using traditional methods or paper piecing, the struggle to make pinwheel type connection points lay flat is real. I recently purchased a flat press and found that after swirling the middles and working seams flat, the press finished the block nicely. In fact, I plan on using this press to finish all my blocks. I found that I virtually eliminate any stretching because I am not using an iron.
Because this quilt is so special, I wanted to use an E2E pattern that was just as special. I went to my friends at Urban Elementz and found KITES.
I just love how this pattern plays on both the front and the back. Also, while it is true that this is not the normal, colorful and vibrant quilt that I usually make, because these are older fabric, I still love the look.
The only thing left to do is show it off at our next Guild meeting and then give it to him the first part of March. Love you Hunter!
Bargello quilts are simply mesmerizing. They are among some of the most intimidating pieced quilting patterns out there. Then again, their beauty can draw many of us into attempting their creation.
Bargello M is a gorgeous gold-laced quilt created by my good friend Margret. Not only did she sew this quilt top, the design did not come from a pattern. Instead she decided to tackle both the Bargello design but also to create her own pattern.
The moment I loaded this beauty on my machine, I knew I was looking at something special.
Choosing thread and pattern
As I mentioned, the fabric was flecked with gold throughout. This made thread choice easy – GOLD! Of course, many of you know that I really love gold thread on so many quilts, but in this case there was no other choice.
We originally discussed an E2E Pattern of sharp petaled dandelions; however, as soon as I started setting the quilt up I knew this was a mistake. Sometimes our vision does not match reality. Instead Margret and I discussed my thoughts and options and she chose Adagio.
Adagio is elegant, flowing and nests so beautifully. In addition, the flow and movement of this pattern mimics that of the pieced pattern to add softness and compliment.
Do you plan on creating a Bargello in 2019? I just might!