Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Up, Up and Away

I mentioned yesterday that I'd finished up my nephew's quilt that I agreed to make for his nursery.  My sister fell in love with the balloon prints from the amazing artist at Trafalgar's Square.

She ordered 4 of the prints, all with different colors and different animals long before she knew when there baby would come or what gender he'd be.

So when baby James arrived, she asked if I could make the crib quilt coordinate with these prints.  We batted some ideas around and I took her to JoAnn's to pick out the fabrics she wanted.  The nursery is gray, so she wanted that for the background.  We agreed on good old Kona Iron as Coal was way too dark and Ash seemed a little too light for the room.  She wanted navy accents in the room, so that was the perfect balance to the gray and then she picked 4 solids to match the balloons.

I apologize for the pictures.  I didn't take any before the shower so I had to rely on my non-quilt-blogger sister to take these for me!  And she does have a newborn to deal with too...
Her directions to me were gray background, navy border (she meant binding), and a big version of the balloons floating with James' name embroidered like I'd done on a few other baby quilts.  Other than that, she told me to use my judgement.  We considered adding one of the animals like he was holding all of the balloons, but she decided she didn't want that.

So I first embroidered James' name.  I just did a simple outline stitch and had it done in a day or two of watching TV at night with Chris.  Then I made the back.  She gave me no direction for the back whatsoever other than to make it match the colors from the front.  I wanted to try and use up as much of the fabrics we'd bought and the navy I had here, so I played on my EQ5 and came up with this basic design.

I actually really love the back and think it would make a great quilt top all in itself.  Like, I seriously want to throw my to-do list out the window and just make a giant version of the back.

I used the rest of the quarter-yard sections of the solid colors and then incorporated coordinating prints in each color to add a punch of fun.

Up next--the quilting.  I told her I thought it would look best to quilt the layers together before adding the balloons so the quilting really became part of the background.  I had it in mind that I'd quilt clouds all over.  But my machine did not agree.  Numerous times.  Seriously--my machine had NO interest in free-motion quilting clouds this past weekend.

So instead of giving up, I decided to go with a looser interpretation and quilt random lines across the quilt like wind maybe.  It was that or hand stitch the clouds and I really considered that option, but time waits for no man or baby shower so I went with the "wind."

Up next were the balloons.  I drew a circle onto Heat N Bond and then ironed that to my solid fabrics.  But then I cut out each balloon a quarter- to a half-inch bigger than the adhesive.  I wanted the balloons a little bigger than I'd originally thought and I thought the raw edge might add a little more whimsy.

So I sewed them down individually and then sewed down their strings.  Carrie wanted them to come together in a bunch but that was her only direction.  So I thought a lot about how to do that best and then just sat down and did this in 20 minutes.

Sometimes you have to plan things out and sometimes you have to just let creativity be in charge.  As I had to use my presser foot (remember my machine said NO FMQ) the balloon strings are a little pointier than I had envisioned, but you know...

Again--sorry for the pic quality.  I swear, that balloon is navy and not black!

My sister said she loved it at the shower and I can't wait to see it in the crib.  With school starting our baby visiting is definitely being cut short, so Emma and I are anxious to get some more sweet love for our special boy.

What are you up to this Tuesday afternoon?  We're off to Oren's Open House...  Ahh, the busy life begins again!


  1. Super cute! I love the back as much as the front!

  2. So cute! Your embroidery always looks so neat, too. And yes, the back is fabulous! So bright and fun. Hope you get some quality snuggles in soon!

  3. We LOVE the quilt! And sorry about the pictures. :)

  4. We LOVE the quilt! And sorry about the pictures. :)


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