Pinwheel Baby Quilt

I picked up an Animal Quackers fat quarter collection plus a charm pack and couldn’t resist using it right away. The pinwheel design is made from half square triangle blocks arranged at different angles.

I really enjoyed the free motion quilting. I used an orange peel pattern for the pinwheel section, and feathers for the border. The quilting process was surprisingly easy and quick.

To make the half square triangle blocks, I started with 5 inch squares (because that was the size of the squares in the charm pack). I matched up pairs of squares and put them face to face, drew a line with pencil diagonally, sewed a quarter inch on both sides of the line, then cut along the line, producing two HST blocks.

If you look very closely, you may notice my points are not perfect. Unfortunately, that’s because I trimmed up my rows to an even width, and in some cases cut too far into the points.

On the bright side, I think my free motion quilting is beginning to improve. I was able to produce more flowing and beautiful feathers this time.

Next, I am finishing up the second baby quilt from this collection, then plan to make some smaller items for a craft show in November. I also have two new original quilting designs in mind. How did I ever have time for a full-time job?

Foundation Pieced Bunnies

This is the fourth and final baby quilt made from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. You may recall that I challenged myself to use every scrap of the fat quarter collection I purchased.

My inspiration for this design was a beautiful antique quilt that I own that was foundation pieced on feedsack.

I went ahead and used my scraps fairly randomly, piecing them on a light cotton foundation fabric. I don’t love the resulting quilt, I’m sad to say, because I think it is too random. The off-white corner triangles in each block do not do enough to create a cohesive look. However, I have dutifully quilted it with a mix of walking foot and free-motion, and I will just have to chalk this one up to living and learning.

Bunnies Around the World

This is the third quilt from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. This time, I used the lighter fabrics from the collection and added a polka dot and a gingham from my fabric stash, along with the same off-white plain fabric I used in the first two quilts. I watched an Angela Walters how-to video on Youtube, then quilted the quilt with my free motion foot in an all over paisley feathers design.

Did I mention before that I have a stitch regulator for my machine? This really helps.

Up next is the fourth and final, super-scrappy quilt, which is still in the early design phase. This challenge has been fun, I’ll have to look at the four quilts together once complete. It seems like four baby quilts from one fat quarter collection is a good way to stretch the feature fabric as well as to use fabric from my stash. I’ve been hanging on to the blue gingham for about 20 years.

Reverse Irish Chain

Here is the second quilt made from the Beatrix Potter fat quarter collection. It’s an Irish Chain, but reversed so that the cream fabric makes the chain and the coloured fabrics are the majority of the quilt.

Once again I used a scrappy binding, and quilted with a mixture of the walking foot and free motion. Finished blocks are 9 1/2 inches, with a 3 inch border. It was much easier maintaining accuracy with the larger blocks.

As I finished piecing the quilt top I realized there was still quite a bit of leftover fabric, so I came up with a personal challenge: to use every last piece of the collection in as many designs as possible. In this case, I think two more baby quilts are possible. Not bad for a collection of 11 fat quarters, some plain cream fabric, and a small amount of coordinating fabric from my stash.

Raised Beds

I wanted to design a low contrast baby quilt using the Beatrix Potter fat quarter set I bought recently. Going with the Peter Rabbit theme, I wanted the quilt to look like a garden design with raised beds for the different vegetables.

This was very quick and simple to piece, though it took a bit of math to get the blocks right so that they would be the right width for the strip of 5 blocks as well as for the strips of 4 blocks.  In the end I chose to use 4 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch pieces as well as 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pieces. The raised bed borders are 1 1/2 inches, the paths lengthwise between the beds are 2 1/2 inches, and the other border and path strips are 3 1/2 inches. The finished quilt measures 35 by 43 inches.

I had fun choosing the different quilting motifs for each raised bed, then filled in the rest of the quilt with feathers and stripes. This part took much longer than the piecing. I wanted to keep the quilt low contrast, but add a bit of zing, so decided to use a scrappy binding.

One great thing about this design is that it used very little of the fat quarter collection, only a 6 1/2 inch strip from each fat quarter. That means I can go back and design another baby quilt using the same fabric. Just for fun I want to make this design again in bright, high contrast fabrics. I have just the fat quarter collection in my stash.

Honeybees Irish Chain Quilt

I bought a beautiful collection of honeybee themed fabric last fall when I was in Alberta, at Addie’s Creative Fabrics in Cochrane. I thought for many months about the fabric and how I would like to use it, and finally decided on an Irish Chain. I believe this pattern is a triple Irish Chain. As it got closer to cutting time I added a few more fabrics to brighten the overall effect (the bright greens and yellows).

I took every possible measure to ensure accuracy because of the many small pieces: cutting with the rotary cutter, strip piecing in manageable lengths, using the quarter inch piecing foot, and pressing the seams so that they would nest. Thanks goodness I did all that, because it was still very difficult to get my corners to match, and my quilt top to lie flat. I think the large plain sections have a different amount of stretch to them as compared to the blocks with many seams, and that was the cause of my frustration.

I quilted the quilt in an all over pattern of chevrons (note to self – very time consuming for a queen size quilt), with straight lines around the border. As you can see from the picture Pippi the cat is already enjoying the quilt.

I still have some unfinished objects to complete, but I have been sidetracked by some adorable Beatrix Potter fabric that I want to work on next.

Windmills

While I was playing with 6 x 3 inch rectangles, I got out a fat quarter collection I had bought a couple of years ago from the Fat Quarter Shop online. My thinking was that 6 x 3 inch rectangles would be very fat quarter friendly, and they are; I got 21 rectangles from each fat quarter. This collection had twelve prints, and I set out to design a block that would use each print once.

I call the resulting block “Windmills”. The rectangles are organized in groups of 3 around a central 3 inch square, in this case a light yellow. I laid out the rectangles randomly, with the only rule being each block should contain all twelve fabrics. Once the block is pieced and trimmed, it is 13 inches square, which makes a nice size to create a baby quilt, like this one, with 9 blocks.

I quilted it with my walking foot using an echoing random zigzag pattern.

I have another fat quarter collection that I am eyeing, but I may be ready to move on from 6 x 3 inch rectangles. Only time will tell.