Laura's New Baby Quilt

I've had my babies, but my sisters aren't quite done yet.  One of my sisters will have her third baby at the end of the month.  Sadly, they live thousands of miles from me, but that doesn't dampen my excitement about this baby's arrival.  In fact, I've been working on a quilt...

I have tried to make a quilt for each new arrival in the family.  Each baby gets his or her own quilt that is different from all the other quilts in the family, and this baby is no exception.  For this one, I have drafted my own pattern from a block that I liked in a Jinny Beyer book.  I  had to relearn some geometry to do it, but I have really enjoyed the process.

First I pulled out my compass and straight edge and a journal and figured out enough geometry to make the sketch.

Then I made a new sketch, blowing it up onto butcher paper to the size I wanted it to be.  And then traced it onto freezer paper to make templates.  There are lots of pieces that have to fit together in just the right way for this to work out, so I had to make plenty of notes both on the freezer paper template and on the butcher paper, which I used as a map so that after cutting the freezer paper I could refer back if needed.  Once the freezer paper was cut I ironed it to my fabric, traced around the templates and roughly cut out the fabric.  Then I started sewing.

I had a really different idea for the center piece when I began the quilt.  I thought I would fussy cut a flower from a Kaffe Fassett print and sew it in.  When that was actually done, it looked sloppy to me, like I had just gotten tired and stuck it in there to be finished.  So I tried a few other options, but none of them spoke to me.

Finally, I decided to draft another center, this time with a star that I could use to pull in some of the fabric in the outer circle.  After a bit more work with geometry, and a star with too many points, I figured it out, repeated the freezer paper template process, stitched it up and added it to the larger circle.

First attempt with eight points.  I realized after I drew it that six or twelve points would work, but eight seems like an accident.

Second attempt at the center with six points.  This worked better and the points also were sized better for the little bears.

That worked better.  I love the little bears.  Actually, I ordered more, because they are super cute.

Once the center circle was complete I needed a background.  I ordered some daily linen from the Purl Bee.  I'm also using daily linen for the background of my Grasshopper quilt, a block of the month program through Sarah Fielke, and I thought it would be beautiful and a great opportunity to practice working with linen if I used it for this second project as well.  It is a bit tricky, and I put off cutting out the center circle for several days because I was scared I would mess it up.  There is so much movement, it feels a bit like working with water.  But it is soft and really a pleasure to touch.  Anyway, the circle went it without any real problem and the top is finished!  Now for the quilting...


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