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hot off the singer… finished baby quilts – finally!

Some of you may remember waaay back in May when I started a series of simple baby quilts. Well. The first one went pretty fast, but somehow I got sidetracked and… let’s just say there was a delay. So a couple of weeks ago I decided that, lest the little babes head off to college before they got their quilts, I needed a deadline. Since two of the quilts were destined for Minneapolis, I decided they needed to be finished before we left for the holidays. I got them finished in the nick of time (though Dave and my mom and I spent a sunny winter morning in her kitchen tying the binding knots).

The two quilts above are just simple rectangles stitched together (5×6″ and 6×7″ for the bigger older sister), but I decided to try a patchwork for the third quilt. Here’s the basic layout if you want to try one like it:

I made sure the patches were the correct width according to their column, but I eyeballed the length, and played around with them until I liked the way they looked, then cut the final piece to add up to the correct size. If you try it, make sure to add 1/2″ to the measurement of each patch for the seam allowance.

I used a simple envelope method for the construction, which is done before quilting or tying. Once the quilt top was pieced, I cut the batting and the backing to the same size. I lay the batting out on the floor and make sure it’s completely smoothed. The backing is centered face-up on top of the batting, and the quilt top is centered face-down on top of that. Once all three layers are smoothed and squared, I pin around the edges and at as many spots in the center as seems necessary (a lot, because it’s easy for the layers to move). Then I sew a 1/2″ seam around the edge, leaving an opening of about 12″ to turn the quilt. Once it’s sewn, I trim the edge seam to 1/4″ and clip the corners, turn, and then stitch up the opening with a whip-stitch. Finally, I either stitch the layers together, or hand tie with yarn or embroidery floss, as I did with the rectangle quilts.

Though these seemed to take me forever, they really are a lot of fun to do, and it was great seeing baby Nico scoot around on his new quilt at Christmas.

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