Saturday, September 24, 2016

Molly's Undersea Playground

Molly's Undersea Playground - NZ Quilter pattern
I know at least a few of you were anxious to see that second baby quilt in its entirety and now I can share it. I didn't put a sleeve on it because I envisioned it over or under the baby I made it for, but to my surprise, her parents think they will hang it at the end of her crib so she can stare at it. Apparently it has captured her attention and I can surely understand that after living with it on my design wall for many weeks.

I stitched in the vertical ditches, then added wavy lines between the vertical sashings before taking off the walking foot and free motion quilting in the swirls and bubbles.

I chose this Aurifil variegated thread as it had all the colors that are in the quilt. It is a spool I inherited from my mother-in-law when she passed on her few quilting supplies to me. Frankly, I looked at it and couldn't imagine ever using it, knowing I would have never bought it had I seen it while shopping for threads. However, it has come in handy more than once, and I used it in both the top and bobbin as I stitched away on this quilt.

Remember me tracing out all the swirls and curves on quilting paper for Kavi's quilt? Although I was a little nervous as I started out to do the same swirls and some bubbles here, I immediately sensed that all that practice paid off. The swirls were pretty easy now.

And I even took a big breath and quilted Molly's name without marking too!

When I started cutting the narrow strips from the fun fish fabric, I was a little worried that the motifs in it would not be recognizable once pieced in with only one inch showing. I was quite delighted to see a crab or two peaking out around a colorful rectangle.

And many fish were easily recognizable too. I have to say, my color and fabric choices give off a totally different vibe from those in the Modern Tiles quilt pattern I used out of the New Zealand Quilter magazine. (You can just see the magazine opened to show the quilt in this picture.) Theirs was calm and soothing (which I planned to somewhat copy), mine turned into more of a riot. I surprise myself sometimes.

When it came time for the binding, I decided to try something different. With the Thinsulate batting, the edges didn't seem very firm and I worried about stretching and wobbling as I sewed. I remembered that Fons and Porter recommended sewing the binding on before cutting away the excess so that is what I did here. If your quilt is relatively square (or as in this one, the squareness isn't a big issue), this actually works quite well. You can then trim away that extra and leave a perfect quarter inch seam allowance to turn your binding over.

So you remember me mentioning that the backing I chose was just big enough? I had extra in one direction but exactly the length of the quilt in the other. Actually, a smidgen short but I decided I'd chance it. There was selvage along those edges and although I normally wouldn't leave a selvage in a seam, this time it would prevent raveling and failure of a seam made with one side too narrow. It was tricky getting the backing and top lined up when layering but I was only off in a few places like the one in the picture. Another reason to wait to trim off the extra batting and backing until the binding was sewn on.

And here's that wild backing I knew the mother of this child would love, a fabric from my late friend's stash. Judi Judi Judi, what WERE you thinking? And yet, it has the colors of the top of the quilt and is so fun to pair with it.

Like with Kavi's quilt, I did not want to make a separate label that would have to be handsewn on. So I hunted down a spot where I could ink my info directly on the backing with a Micron Pigma pen. Have fun, Molly, with your undersea playground!


Christine Staver said...

A triumph my dear.....the quilt is so much fun. The baby will be able to search for the fish, learn colors, find their name. I never would have bought that thread either, but I works so well. You should be proud of both of your baby quilts.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks Chris - I rather AM proud! And I had so much fun in the process of making them. Double proud. :-)

Michele Matucheski said...

I love the colors you chose for this one -- Tropical -- like "Finding Nemo." It reminded me of one of those beaded curtains over a doorway -- or patio lanterns. Every color in the blocks is there in the background that pulls everything together. Congrats on being bold and brave enough to do the FM without marking it out. Practice definitely helps, especially when you are already familiar with the motifs and patterns. Still even now, it helps to practice a little on some scraps before I try stitching out the real thing. Well done!