Monday, November 28, 2016

Farmyard Baby Quilt Finish

There it is -- hanging on the clothes line drying in the sunshine -- all finished and ready for a happy baby boy who is due to enter the world in the next week or so!!
Marti Michell's Tessellated Windmill tool has become my favorite go-to for making eye catching quilts out of my stash!!  Based on an off-handed remark between the new parents, I settled on a farm animal theme for this version.  My stack of novelty prints yielded a surprising assortment and they went on the road with me last month to be organized and cut.

I started by laying out the fabrics across the extra bed at the hotel one evening.
Then I played around with a group of plainer prints in browns and greens for the alternate windmills. This has been a successful strategy for me with this design -- start with a collection of themed prints and add a palette of simpler prints that set off the themed prints to fill out the assortment.
This is my final arrangement by rows.  This is a good way to get a quick preview of the amount of contrast achieved -- my palette is subtle with lots of medium value prints but if I had wanted more visual contrast, I could have made exchanges easily at this point before beginning the cutting.
Marti's tool is multi-sized and I love that all the pieces are cut before any stitching is done!!  Her cutting strategy is very efficient as well.
There is very little fabric waste (though I was sorry to lose this cow's eyes)!!
By the end of the evening, everything was cut for the quilt and laid in my travel box by rows with layers of paper to separate each row.  Now I could begin the piecing as soon as I returned home!
The next evening found me back in my room with nothing interesting on TV. My machine was in the car, so I brought in into the room and set it up.
I laid out the quilt and did the "shuffle" following Marti's instructions that come with the tool -- the instructions are easy to follow if you read the words along with the pictures -- don't skip the words!
Assembling this quilt is chain-piecing friendly!
I leave the chain stitching in tact for the pressing.  Flipping every other pair up makes pressing the seams in opposite directions easier.
I only clip the chain between each set, leaving the chain that holds each set of four together -- simplifies the next step! 
When I move from the ironing board back to the sewing machine, all my blocks are organized. 
Since I was not in the studio and would need to pack up, I went ahead and stitched the blocks into rows and set the rows together.  Less effort to pack and less effort to untangle back in my studio. 
I was making such good progress that I stayed up a bit later than usual and finished the top that evening!
I found a quilt shop on the drive home and there was a perfect backing -- it was even on sale!
This past week, I realized the baby's due date was upon me so I quickly layered up the quilt while the extra high table was set up in the living room (it needed to come down for Thanksgiving).  Friday found me home alone with no car so George and I launched into the quilting.
Another aspect of making this quilt design that I enjoy is that I have a quilting strategy that works -- I've done it several times and I don't see any reason to mess with it!
I used "continuous curve" to outline each piece and for this quilt, I echoed all the simple prints.  By the end of the day, I had the majority of the quilting finished.
These Holsteins look so gentle and lovable -- I don't recall Uncle Verde's lead cow Bessy looking that cute when I was 10 years old?!?
And how weird is this -- those pigs came "together" in the finished block in spite of chopping up the fabric randomly?!? 
Saturday afternoon found me finishing the quilting and thinking about the binding. This perfect stripe was waiting right on top of the stripes stack in my stash!!  And I have enough of it left to bind another quilt.  I'm in the habit of buying narrow stripes like this "just in case" -- 3/4 of a yard will bind just about any size quilt and to go on a shopping trip to try to find this when I "want" it would be exhausting.  It's easier to look through my stashed stripes on-hand in the studio!
I washed the quilt on Sunday afternoon and hung it out to dry since the weather was sunny and mild.  Willie showed up at the end of the afternoon and we pinned the quilt to the side of the cowshed. 
This is finish #3 from my fourth quarter list for the 2016 Finish Along -- the list is HERE!!   
Quilt Stats
7" Windmill blocks set 6 across by 8 down
42" by 56"

I have three more pieces to finish for a 100% success this quarter -- one is layered, and the other two are about 50% quilted!! 
How about you?  Are you staying on track with your goals for this quarter?

I hope your week is off to a stitchy start!


UPDATE -- 12/30/16 -- Logan has arrived and is thriving.
Mom and Dad are tired but adjusting.
The quilt was appreciated! 


  1. What a fun quilt! Your quilting is perfect for this, simple, pretty, and doesn't attempt to compete with the focus fabrics. We too have a little grandson due to arrive any day - Christmas comes early this year!

  2. This is such a cute quilt. The quilting looks great and I am sure it will be a well loved quilt.

  3. you had me at cows... then intrigued me with the tool/pattern... then I decided I was just too tired to learn another new ruler now when I am just finishing the uneven log cabin ruler!!! It looks great, less waste than the other way of doing these too. LeeAnna

  4. Very cute quilt - love that you shared the process.

  5. What a fun, cute quilt! Isn't it great when you have that "go-to" pattern that makes a quilt easy and fun?

  6. This ruler has much less waste than the one I use. I like that, even though I always find a home for my scrappy bits!
    Alternating theme fabrics and blenders works well. I might have to try that on my next one!

  7. This is a lovely finish, and a lovely gift! I love your photo on the line, I need to get a clothes line again. Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.