In the short space of 6 weeks in late 2014/early 2015 we greeted two beautiful grand daughters into the world. The following weeks and months were a whirlwind of babysitting, interstate trips and, through the joys of modern technology, photographs of daily milestones in shared family photo albums. We now have two toddlers and a new baby cousin on the in-law side of one family. So our world is full of all things babies. It was timely to make a quilt top for the newest little one and I was reminded by the mother of one toddler that said youngster hadn’t yet had a quilt of her very own – so off I went shopping for cot panels.
I’ve heard it said that if you want to improve your free motion quilting skills then pre-printed panels are the way to go. I’m going to beg to disagree. The one panel that I started when I first purchased my sit down quilting machine became a UFO very soon after it was sandwiched! I’m sure that I will go back and complete it one day, but the necessary accuracy in outline quilting and creativity in developing suitable background fills were beyond my early ability. Personally, I think that orphan blocks are the absolute best way to develop your early free motion quilting skills.
The baby cot panel that I quilted came from Hettie’s Patch and was a lot of fun to quilt. Firstly, I outlined all of the graphics then went to work on making the background interesting without being quilted/flattened to death. For the same reason I chose not to do more than outline the larger animals.
However, for the toddler panel I went to town on the animals and balloons, trying to build in a range of textures. I like to imagine Charli lying on or under her quilt, running her fingers over the surfaces of the different blocks.
I was totally flummoxed when trying to come up with a design for the ever changing widths of yellow sashing strips until I remembered a wonderfully simple technique used by a friend. It works a treat on super busy border fabrics too – you can zig zag your way back and forth, or all the way around a quilt, as many times as you need in order to tame the bulge. I used a ruler, but it can easily be eye-balled.
Til next time……