Daughters, Babies and Christenings

First block for the Christening quilt

After my success with the table runner, I decided to start on a larger project.

Using some of the fabrics that I had left over from the Doll’s quilt and some extras, I set about thinking of a design to use.

I wanted to do something that would be fairly simple but also a bit more challenging than just piecing together simple squares. I decided on the measurements that the quilt needed to be by measuring Grace’s bed and then came up with a simple 8-pointed star pattern. The colours are simple, reds, pinks and whites.

In the meantime, we received an invitation to a christening and being a little bit uninspired by the christening presents on the market, it came to me that a christening blanket would make a nice present. Brilliant! What a good excuse to buy some more fabric! So off I went to my local fabric/needle shop and bought a couple of packs of fat quarters in baby blue and white.

What design to make? In an earlier trip to another fabric shop I bought a pattern for a french style block quilt. The pattern is made up of four large blocks and each block is made up of a series of strips all sewn together. The four blocks are then sewn together with a border and binding.

And so I began, not sure how long it would take to piece together all the strips to make one block. In fact by using the rotary cutter, it didn’t take long at all to cut out the strips and not much longer to sew them together. So by the end of the day I had made all four blocks.

By paying careful attention to the measurements and being consistent with my cutting, the four blocks went together very well.

The four blocks of the Christening quilt sewn together.

The next stage involved adding the border, this was simple to do and did not take much time. At the same time I also cut out the backing fabric which is the same as the border.

The next stage was to get the wadding cut to size. I found that I didn’t have a large enough piece of wadding. I debated as to putting two pieces of wadding together and I even posted a thread on a sewing forum. The advice was simple, do not sew two pieces together if you can avoid it. So, off to the sop I went to buy some wadding. This time, I decided to buy a cotton wadding which is more dense and thinner than the polyester wadding that I used before. I was keen to try out another type and see how easy it was to sew with.

In addition to this, I also bought some spray adhesive to stick the wadding to the top of the quilt and the backing fabric. This worked really well and meant that I didn’t need to pin all the layers together, like I had done on my previous projects.

Following advice that I had read/ seen on the forums, I decided to change to a fresh sewing machine needle. I had not changed one before and was a little worried about how easy this would be. In fact, I had no need to worry. It was an easy change to make. In preparation for quilting the quilt, I decided to make a small quilt sandwich of the fabrics and wadding that I was using so that I could practice. I was very pleased with the result.

I decided to go ahead and quilt my quilt. In the end, I only did two simple quilt lines across the centre of the fabric in the horizontal and vertical directions. The rest of the quilting would simply come form the buttons that I was planning to add across the quilt. The quilting using the machine went very well. I don’t know if it was because of the wadding or the new needle but I was very pleased with the outcome.

Next stage: the binding. That’s the task for another day.

The four blocks, backed and quilted with buttons sewn on.

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