Baby Quilts…Part 2

I made a lot of baby quilts in 2017 – five to be exact.  Five may not sound like a lot to some of you, but five quilts total in one year is a lot for me!

The first quilt was completed in January so technically I started it the previous year.  My husband’s cousin (is cousin-in-law a thing?) was having her first baby, a boy, and wanted a southwest theme for his quilt. She is an art teacher and picked a beautiful color pallet of golds, mints, blues, and greys. I knew that she had some specific ideas about how she wanted to decorate the nursery, so I wanted her to also be involved in choosing the pattern and fabrics.  We ended up choosing the Over the Rainbow pattern by Keera Job for Live Love Sew and I used Hawthorne Threads for the fabric. Since they print their own material it is easy to get the exact color and print combinations that you want.  The quilting was done with an argyle pattern which helped incorporate the angles that we wanted, I also used a striped binding which is quickly becoming my go-to for binding.  I really love the way this quilt turned out and it works perfectly with the little guy’s room.

The next four baby quilts were all for my group of friends.  The babies were due within a few months of each other so I knew I needed some quick patterns.  I choose the Summer in the Park pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Company for the first quilt.  It was for a baby boy so I picked a Kaffe Fassett jelly roll with blues and greens and paired that with a solid white jelly roll.  This pattern was a lot of fun to make, although some of the points were hard to match up since the cut is on the bias.  I had this one quilted with little cars and curvy lines.

The second baby quilt was for a good friend of mine that was having a baby girl.   She and her husband are huge animal lovers so I wanted to do something with an animal theme.  This turned out to be surprisingly difficult as I had trouble finding anything that really inspired me.  I had a jelly roll of Hello Love by Heather Bailey that would be perfect for a baby girl and one of the prints in the line had octopuses on it.  I had also wanted to make the Modern Trellis pattern by Must Love Quilts for a while and was able to use the jelly roll for it.  This one had flowers, dragonflies, and ladybugs quilted on it, the cream background really shows the quilting pattern well. Though creatively challenging, I’m happy with the results.

Next in line was a friend from work. She was planning a zoo theme with bright colors for her nursery and as soon as I saw these Robert Kaufman Urban Zoologie fabric panels I knew I had to use them.  The panels originally had some lighter colors, including a baby pink as the natural border, and I knew that I wanted to brighten those colors up.  I chose some coordinating blues, greens, yellows, and oranges and added a new border to the panels, I also made some simple square blocks for filler.  This one came together very quickly and was quilted with adorable zoo animals.

The last quilt of the year is one of my favorite baby patterns to make, it is the Sunshine and Shadow pattern from the Tradition with a Twist book. I’ve made it twice in the past but unfortunately didn’t take pictures of them. I used Hawthorne Threads again to pick six fabrics from three different colors – I used blue, mint, and grey.  I had it quilted with a curly star design and used the stripe binding once again.  One day I need to make this pattern in a large quilt for myself!

I’ve seen most of these quilts many times since making them. It always makes me happy to see them getting worn and used for their intended purpose.

And that’s it for baby quilts, at least for the foreseeable future!

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Bargello Quilt Tutorial

One of my friends made a quilt last year using Fig Tree Quilt’s Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric line and as soon as I saw it I knew I needed that fabric.  I bought two jelly rolls but didn’t have any plans in mind on how I would use them.  I pulled the jelly rolls out over the winter and decided to make a simple bargello quilt; I had made a similar quilt years ago and I love the design!

 

A bargello quilt is a very easy quilt to make and there are lots of different layout options – you can vary the width of the strips for an optical illusion effect or arrange the fabric so the colors zig-zag back and forth.  I kept mine nice and simple and used a diagonal layout.  Jelly rolls are great for this type of design since much of the initial cutting is already done for you.

I started by arranging the strips from one jelly roll out on my table in an order that I liked, there were lots of red and brown prints in this collection so I separated those into two different sections and tried to keep 4-5 strips for each color section.  Since I used a jelly roll I had a total of 39 strips (I removed one piece of fabric that was a solid white and kept just the prints).   Once you have a layout you’re happy with you can sew all the strips together. 

The key to making a bargello quilt is making sure you press the strips properly; you want to make sure you press towards every other strip and don’t press them all in the same direction.  If you press towards every other strip then it helps nest the seams later and allows the quilt to lay better.  An easy way to keep track is to number the strips and press towards the even numbered strip.  Numbering the fabric will also help you later in the process.   

 

Once you have all of the strips pieced and pressed together you need to sew the two end strips together in order to make a large tube.  Place the tube on your cutting table and make sure it lays flat, depending on the size of your table you may have to fold the tube in half.  The selvage ends will likely not align but you want to make sure the top and bottom of the strips are as straight as possible. 

Cut off the selvage ends of one side to square up the piece and then cut the tube into 2 ½” strips.  You should be able to get 16 or 17 strips from one jelly roll tube.  If you are using two jelly rolls you will need to repeat the above steps with the 2nd roll. 

To start piecing the quilt top you will need to un-sew the seam between two pieces of fabric, I started with the seam between the first and last piece of fabric from my strip set (Fabric #1 and #39 in my case).  This strip will be your first row.  You will then need to remove the seam between fabric #1 and fabric #2 for your second row.  Seam #2 and #3 for the third row, and so on.  Sew rows 1 and 2 together, I use pins at every seam to make sure that they line up properly.  If all the seams were pressed towards the even numbered row then they should nest together well.   Once row 1 and 2 are sewn together press the seam towards row one.

You will need to repeat this process for the remaining strips and sew the rows together. 

Row 4 – Remove the seam between fabric 3 and 4

Row 5 – Remove the seam between fabric 4 and 5, etc.

This is an easy pattern to adjust the size for; each strip will finish at 2”.  Since I used 39 strips from a jelly roll my quilt is 78” long.  I used two jelly roll strips sets and was able to get 33 strips (16 strips from one set and 17 from the other), my width is 66”. 

Below is another bargello quilt that I made about ten years ago.  I used two mini rolls with 24 fabrics in each and made two strip sets using the same method above. The bargello pattern alone measures about 48″ x 66″ so I added an 8″ border to make the quilt larger.  This fabric is Charleston IV 1850-1865 by Marcus Brothers Fabric.  

Easy, right?!  Bargello quilts are a quick and fun way to use up some of those jelly rolls that you have gathering dust in the closet. If you’ve made a bargello quilt that you would like to share I’d love to see it!  If you have any questions or suggestions let me know in the comments. Happy quilting!

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