Last July, my brother and sister-in-law adopted my niece Molly. They received a phone call from their adoption agency on Friday, and went to pick up their one-week old daughter on Saturday! All the frustration, disappointment, heart-break and waiting were replaced with over-flowing joy and gratitude for them and our whole family. Because I am a mama to a boy (whom you will meet at the bottom of this post), living in a world of way too much cute girly fabric, I sew for Molly. The fabric in this quilt, from Oz by Sanae, with its cheer, sass, and bright whimsy, suits her and this Spring season perfectly.
4 ½” x
4 ½” x
4 ½” x 8 ½”
*not to scale
Line up your fat quarters on your cutting mat, making sure you have a full 18″ height (If you do not, then make your bricks a tiny bit smaller; it will not impact the design so long as you are consistent with the width of all the bricks)
You will then sub-cut those strips in to three different sized bricks: small (4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″), medium (4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″) and yes, you guessed it, large (4 1/2″ x 8 1/2″)
For the next step, after cutting, all the greens went in to a bin, and all the pink went in to another. Because I didn’t want the vertical seams of my bricks to line up, I graphed a random lay-out with the different sized bricks (see below).
Following the graph, I picked up the bricks for each row in to a stack and sewed them together. If you could have heard my inner dialogue during this process, it would have sounded something like this: medium pink flowers, medium pink stripes, large pink packed flowers, small green packed flowers, medium dark green dots, large green flowers.
I found working one row at a time was easier for me, because after each row was sewn, I used it for comparison in selecting the bricks for the next row down. This way I did not have to lay out all the bricks for the whole quilt before sewing, and yet I was happy with the way the fabrics went together, and didn’t have too many of any one design bunched together.
Because the vertical seams did not line up, I pressed my seams open; I find it helps make the quilt top lie flat. If you prefer to press your seams to the side (saves time after all), either direction is fine.
The appliqué section:
Go back and grab the fat quarters with the large focal prints. Look at them and decide which parts you like best and may want to use on your quilt. I left out most of the large leaves and/or any of the flowers that looked too jungle-y. Do not cut until you have decided on your method of appliqué.
If you are new to appliqué, like I still consider myself, then I recommend you follow Natalia’s starch appliqué tutorial (Natalia from Piece ‘n Quilt). With this method, you simply starch all the areas of the focal fabrics you plan to cut out (and remind yourself how badly you need to make one of these), starch the base fabric, cut out and arrange your pieces, glue or pin on to the base fabric, and then sew them down. (Make sure you sew the pieces on the bottom layer first, and stack up).
There are other methods of appliqué which are also effective; feel free to use whatever method you prefer. On my blog, I’ve written up a few notes for newbies that are meant to help you get through this section of the quilt.
After my pieces were starched and arranged, I lowered my feed dogs, attached my darning foot and free-motion stitched around them. I had to go back in a few places where I had failed to catch the fabric, but I found this method much faster than pivoting and turning my fabric over and over. Some of the pieces had very small curves that made it difficult to blanket or straight-stitch. I did use a blanket-stitch to go around the letters, because I wanted them to have a nicer finish.
All the pieces in the original quilt were done with raw-edge appliqué.
After you have sewn on your appliqué pieces, attach all your rows together, and your quilt top is complete!
For the back:
(This is my son, Steiger, pictured here… Just breaking it in for Molly…)