Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby's First Blanket

A few weeks back I posted here about my latest sewing adventure. It's been a whirlwind of thread and needles, and learning of course, but it's finally finished in all it's glory (well, my glory, since I'm super thrilled about it!).

I can't believe it's finally finished.  The basic idea for this quilt pattern and method came from Elise Blaha Cripe's Get Quilty E-Course that I purchased last October. While I made the table runner to start, this blanket was really the reason I bought the course. And while I really couldn't say anything in my last post about sewing it, this blanket was made 100% with baby in mind.

Now, since we don't know yet if we're expecting a baby boy or a baby girl, I *tried* to be gender neutral in the color selection. Some of the patterns are a bit more floral and "girly" but hey, whatevs.  My intention with this blanket was not to make a "bed quilt" (SAFE SLEEP people - babies shouldn't sleep with blankets over them!). What I wanted this quilt to be is really, well, an "adventure quilt."  I want it to be something we can lay out on the floor to play on, something we can take to the back yard, or the park and play on. Something to build forts with and to hide under, and then cuddle up in bed with a good book and our quilt. Sure, newborn baby isn't going to care much about it, but this blanket will be with us for many years.

I followed the E-Course for the majority of the steps to make this quilt with a few exceptions. After having a lot of trouble with the binding on the table runner, I did some research and decided to invest in a "walking foot" for my Singer sewing machine. This foot allows the layers of fabric to feed through the machine together to avoid pulling of the material, and uneven fabric in the end.  I also read up more on bias tape because I didn't feel like I cut it well for the table runner.  I found this awesome tutorial on you-tube on making a continuous bias tape and made it happen. It took a few tries - the video has you cutting 2.5" bias tape, which I found to be too narrow for my imperfect stitching technique. So I tried again with 3.5" lines and loved the way it turned out (though with 3.5" you need more than 1/2 yard, probably about 3/4).

With the walking foot I still had some issues with my binding, but much of that stems from my own impatience. I'm really the only one staring at the flaws on the blanket, and I'm learning to love them.  To be really cheesy about it, I look at this blanket as a metaphor for what I imagine parenting to be like in the first few months: you try different techniques, you mess up, you fix it, you try your best, you get impatient, you want to cry, but you put your blood sweat and tears into it (literally because I cut my finger on a pin...) and in the end it may not be perfect but you made it with all your love and baby's going to love it because of that.

I can't wait for this quilt to become a part of our daily routine somewhere down the line. It's already full of memories of this pregnancy for me, and I can't wait for our little family to grow and keep making memories with it.