Hi, guys! I have a special post for you today! I’m taking part in a virtual baby shower for the lovely Vicki Kate, and am thrilled to do so! Annabelle Bumps organized it, and I thought it was the best idea! Vicki Kate is so sweet and always has a kind word at the ready… she’s really been a great friend to me over the last few years. So I’m really excited to help welcome her new baby into the world, whenever s/he decides to arrive! If you fancy taking a peek at the other gifts, hop on over to see the other participants’ posts!
I wanted to make something really special that could work for either a baby boy or a girl, so I had the hardest time deciding what to make! But the moment I spied the Hazel Hedgehog II quilt pattern, I knew I wanted to give it a go! HEDGEHOG!! It’s so cute I was motivated to QUILT, people! I found Elizabeth Hartman‘s blog a while back when Amy sent me the link to this adorable whale pattern, and even though the lengthy instructions for that pattern scared me away, I’ve still kept an eye on her blog. This giant, single-block quilt felt achievable, even for a newbie. There’s another version of this hedgehog shape that makes a more traditional quilt with smaller blocks, if you’re not lacking in the skills/patience department like me! It’s really cute, too. OK, here it is… don’t judge me too harshly for my shoddy work! :)
I went to City Quilter to pick out fabrics and came away with an assortment of American Made Brand cotton solids (I’m pretty sure this is light aqua, dark aqua, dark sky, light grey, and navy). I thought the colors would be pretty for either a boy or a girl, but I wasn’t quite sure what they would look like sewn up. It’s a little tricky to visualize what a quilt will look like… takes practice, I guess! In the end I like the colors together… phew!
I chose this fabric, an Art Gallery Fabrics print, for the backing. It’s so easy to find coordinating prints in a quilting shop… so many fun bolts to choose from!
So, quilting. It’s so different from garment sewing! I spent 2.5 hours cutting out the blocks and 3.5 hours piecing the top, with the latter being much more fun than the former. I think I made some mistakes in my measuring and cutting because I had to trim some pieces down to get things to line up correctly. Oops! It took me forever and a day to mark the lines to quilt on… I couldn’t seem to get them evenly spaced or straight! In the end I have (semi-) horizontal lines about 2″ apart. I really struggled with the quilting part, though. My walking foot didn’t really seem to be up to snuff, and I struggled to get even stitching (the top layer kept getting dragged across the quilt, despite using tons of pins and sewing verrrrrry slowly). I spent hours seam ripping and re-doing the quilted lines, but in the end, they’re still pretty wonky. Also, the grey thread I picked to quilt with doesn’t seem right now that I look at the finished thing. OK, just don’t look too closely, Vicki!!
I used a double-fold binding (cut from my fabric) that I stitched on by machine, wrapped around to the back, and slip stitched in place by hand. I used this tutorial to figure out how to miter the corners… it’s confusing to think about, but easy enough to do once you sort it out. I used a cotton batting from Steinlauf & Stoller that has a really pleasing feel… the quilt is really squeezable!
I’d never really considered quilting before, mainly because I don’t have the patience or precision, but also because I have a huge stack of handmade quilts both made for me by my mom and inherited from my great-grandma and my husband’s grandma. I had lots of fun making this, although, honestly, I don’t think I would undertake another quilt before figuring out why I had such a hard time machine quilting. Honestly, it would have taken me less time to quilt it by hand! I spent so much time fiddling with the tension and seam ripping quilted rows with less than stellar results. Maybe, just maybe, if I figure that out, I’ll work up the nerve to make that whale quilt. :)
Vicki, I hope you like this and that your wee one does, too! Please forgive the messiness! And keep an eye on your mailbox… it’s winging its way to you! All the best to you and your family! Much love, and congratulations!!!