I haven’t shared any of my Christmas holiday with you, yet, and to be honest, I’m still basking in the glow, just a bit. Christmas has always been a very personal and deeply family-oriented time for us and it is even more so as our older children have grown and begun to have families of their own. With more than a thousand miles separating us, once a year when the entire family gets to be together, everything else is put aside and my full time and attention are only for them. What a glorious blessing!
Flights are always less expensive in mid-January, than at Christmas, so our celebration happens after the New Year. This year we had even more to celebrate — a new grandson and his first visit to Nebraska! I always mark the birth of a new grandbaby with a handmade baby quilt. It makes me laugh a little when I think about it because, as I have confessed before, I am an admittedly utilitarian seamstress. No one has taught me to quilt and so I always take my limited sewing knowledge and create what looks right to me. This post is not a tutorial, but it should most definitely be an encouragement, that if I can do this, you can, too.
I cut 63, 6-inch, squares from the fabrics I had chosen and then 14, 3×6, rectangles. For the baby quilts I made previously, I used many more fabrics and the “pattern” was simply random, making sure no two matching squares touched each other. Somehow, as I began laying squares out on my dining room table, for this one, I established a simple pattern for this quilt. It didn’t start out intentional, but as I saw it forming, I went with it. 🙂 So, as you can tell, I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants quilter. I probably shouldn’t even be called a quilter, really, in deference to the really gifted people who are. I just wanted to show you the simple steps I took to put it together and give you an idea of how you could come up with something like it, on your own. You really can!
I sewed each row of seven blocks together, into a strip. Then, I sewed that completed strip to the last completed strip, until the quilt-top was completely assembled. The first two quilts that I made had a layer of batting, in between, and then another layer of fabric as the backing. When I made the third quilt, instead of adding the batting layer, I simply quilted the top to a piece of plush fleece. I loved the way it turned out and so it was an easy decision to do the same with this new quilt. I found this adorable gray and yellow “barn owls” fleece and couldn’t leave it on the shelf. It turned out to be the perfect back for the new baby quilt.
To quilt the fleece to the pieced top I had made, I pinned the two fabrics together, (wrong sides together and right sides facing out). I pinned carefully along the seamline of each quilted row in the top. This held everything secure, so there was no slipping or pulling as I stitched the two layers, together. Then, I simply ran the presser foot of my sewing machine along the seam of each row. This created a row of top-stitching about every six inches and fastened the top and fleece, securely together. After that I zig-zagged around the entire perimeter of the quilt, fastening all the edges together through both layers. I applied red satin blanket binding to the edge to finish and the only thing left to do was to apply the label. Thanks to my Epson Iron-On Label Maker (affiliate link), I was able to customize the perfect tag for my handiwork!
Now, I was able to deliver the handmade baby quilt, in person, to the newest member of our family and his parents!
It was great to have everyone home and to celebrate together! Here are a handful of my favorite photo memories from the visit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
So, while I know the blog has been neglected for the last few weeks, I feel like you have a better understanding of why it took second-place on my agenda. I’m back, in full force, and you won’t believe some of the things that are coming! I’ve got awesome giveaways coming up (Have you entered to win the Hunter ceiling fan, yet?) and some DELISH new recipes to share, so stay tuned and thanks so much for hangin’ in there, with me, during my down-time. Busy-at-Home readers are, without a doubt, the cream of the crop, the bee’s knees and total rock stars! Have a blessing-filled week-end!
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