Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Dreams, Baby Girl!

I just finished this little crib quilt for the newest member of my husband's side of the family, Molly Claire.


I've been working on this quilt on and off for a couple of months. The pattern, one from a circa 1996 quilting magazine, combines pinwheel, half square triangle, and Irish chain blocks. It's the first time I've done an Irish chain and it came out better than I thought possible. The smallest squares in the Irish chain measure 1.5" finished and I don't think I'll attempt making them any smaller!


But it wasn't the little squares that threw me off on this quilt. No, it was the flannel backing. Even though I used a walking foot on my sewing machine and had basted the quilt well, it was plagued by a myriad of little pleats and puckers when I quilted it. Every single line had two or three annoying little pleats! First I threw the quilt down and swore at it. Then I debated ripping out all the quilting seams and redoing it, but then decided against that. There was no assurance that it wouldn't just do it again if I redid it, so I decided to take out sections of the seams and then re-quilt those sections while trying to ease out the pleats the best I could.


And ya know? It worked. I was able to remove most of the pleats and puckers and I'm largely satisfied with the backing now.

I was afraid that the pretty pink and purple flower pattern in the binding would be lost against all the other pinks, so I added a pale green border with the pink corner blocks to the original design. I think it helps set off the pink squares and relieves some of the intensity of those hot pinks. 


There's always a moment when I question how I've designed and made a quilt. Those seams aren't straight, those squares don't measure up, I've got pleats on the back, and I'm not sure about those colors. Thankfully much about a quilt seems to improve after it's been washed and dried. I felt much happier about how this one turned out the moment I took it out of the dryer and held it up to see it.


I hope Molly Claire enjoys her new quilt. In fact, I hope it's completely stained and bedraggled by the time she goes off to first grade, 'cause that's how you know a quilt has been really loved by a baby girl.


  1. Oh my word, it's beautiful! I know it gave you fits, but it really turned out great.

  2. Thank you, Lisa! Now I'm inspired to finish that poor quilt top that's been languishing in my pile from last spring....