Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby Rose

Trying out some chenel fabric on a baby quilt. This quilt is for a baby shower of a dear friend of mine, Rosalyn, who is expecting her first child this summer - a girl! Generally I'm not a huge fan of pink motives and I have 2 boys so the chance for me to make something 'girly' is not that often. So what did I do with this quilt for my friend? I went completely GIRLY. Welcome BABY ROSE!


Baby Rose quilt in my son's room. It makes a great addition to any nursery.  Down the line I'll like to make a baby boy version of this quilt.

Another view of this quilt.  
The chennel fabric is 100% cotton that borders the complete quilt and sections the blocks for the interior of the quilt - creating a nice frame around the quilting fabric. Cutting the chennel fabric is ... an ordeal. My regular rotary cutters were not enough to cut through the material so I had to resort to my good old fashion sewing scissors. After what seemed like hours of cutting, and a sore hand, I finally got the chennel fabric cut. It looked like a White Christmas when all the cutting was complete. So before - cut the fabric in a place where you could easier clean up the mess! I did this in my living room and the kids were having a blast blowing the white "ice" around.

A look at the finish pieces - cut and ready ready for sewing.  On the bottom of the stack are some pieces I that I already sewed together.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to take a shot of the mess.  I had to clean it up before the kids got to it :P.

I didn't use any kind of seam sealer - don't know why, but the whole idea of using a chemical like that didn't seem right to me. Because of that, the mess of the cut fabric continued on until - though totally not as bad as the cutting stage - the binding stage.

After sandwiching the finished top with the batting (100% cotton Warm & Natural) and backing (100% cotton print) I headed over to my Juki for some quilting.  For the cotton print middle areas I went with a free-style swirl design.  Then I went around the middle and down each strip with a straight quilting line to create a boxed in swirl design. The combination of the swirls and straight line worked beautifully.

A view of the finished back of the quilt.  The pastel green polka-dot on white turned out to be a great match to the front of the quilt.  The green went nicely with the touch of green on one of the print fabrics.  

For the binding I went with a light pink fabric with very subtle white polka-dot.  At first I though the polka-dot from the backing would not work with the one on the binding.  But as you could see from the picture above, it went together quite nicely.

After some hand binding - voila:  A beautiful, and completely girly quilt. It's so soft and cuddly and I know it's going to make a great gift for the new mom.

Some key points to remember about using a bulky fabric like this against a regular quilting cotton print fabric:
  • Adjust your machine for the fabric difference. I had to adjust my walking foot to be highter and eased the tension of my thread.
  • Pressing the seams down is a lot more difficult. First off I had to decide which direction the press should go - open seams, to the side of the chennel fabric, or to the side of the quilting print fabric? I ended up pressing to the side of the chennel fabric on the seams that had the different fabric type. For all the other seams with chennel on chennel, or cotton print on cotton print I pressed the seams open. This worked out quite well.
  • The MESS! With regular cotton print fabric, the mess is minimal. But with chennel, you better prepare yourself for some cleanup afterwards.
  • A regular rotary blade may not be enough to cut through the fabric. I had to use a pretty heavy sewing scissor to break through the chennel fabric.

Overall the whole design was a success. The quilt turned out beautifully and I can't wait to give it to Rosalyn.

Quilt Info:
Baby Rose (1)
100% cotton
Chenille and Cotton Print Fabrics
Machine Quilting, Hand Binded

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