X Marks the Spot

I’m pretty sure spring is nature’s baby season, but let me tell you, summer is apparently baby season for all my friends. In late June, the sister of my dear friend welcomed her first child, a sweet baby girl and I couldn’t be happier for her and her husband.

When I first found out about their pregnancy, I knew I’d want to make a baby quilt for the occasion. Then, when I found out it was a girl I really wanted to make a baby quilt. It seems like all of my friends are having boys and it was a nice change to see a girl in the lineup! 

I spent weeks trying to find the perfect fabric and finally, finally, finally, I stumbled upon Hello Baby by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake Designs. Talk about perfect! Unfortunately (for me and you), I found it right on its way out. After a ton of digging and searching, I was able to find and purchase what I swear was the last layer cake on the planet. Whew. 

Once I had the fabric, I ran into an unforeseen problem. See, I normally do pretty muted quilts. This fabric was incredibly busy and I really didn’t know how to handle it. After trying a bunch of different blocks and spending two straight evenings rearranging fabric with my husband, we decided I needed to incorporate a solid color to dampen the noise.

Just a few of the attempted layouts

The solid pink fabric I picked really did the trick. It balanced out the noise of the Hello Baby fabrics and really allowed me to explore a bunch of different layouts. Since I had cut the fabric according to my original design plan, I was stuck with something that would allow me to use 2.5” squares of fabric. Luckily, I figured out a way to make cute little X’s that didn’t result in any fabric waste (woohoo!). 

I’m a very pattern-oriented person, so I had a hard time with the layout of the quilt blocks. I wanted to employ some sort of pattern to the layout of the X’s, but the fabric just didn’t allow for it. Instead, I took advice I heard in a quilting video and randomly laid out the blocks. Then, I rearranged them based on what I thought looked best. In the beginning, I thought I’d really struggle with this approach, but I actually liked it so much that I think I’m going to make it my new default (with this type of quilt only, obviously). It makes the quilt feel whimsical. 

Finally, I quilted everything together using the Daisy pattern in Edge to Edge Quilting. I knew going into it that using the embroidery machine would take quite a while and it did. I’d estimate that I spent about 7 hours hooping and watching the embroidery machine do its thing. This is obviously quicker than sending the quilt out to someone with a long arm machine, but definitely slower than straight line quilting with my machine. The good news is that the quilting looks amazing and was totally worth the time. 

I’m happy to say that I even managed to get the quilt finished and delivered before the baby was a month old! (I’m still working on the whole timing thing.)

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