This Month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is all about baby and crib quilts.
Although our guidelines were(roughly 30” x 40” - 36” x 52”), I chose to just let the fabric speak and finished up at a size of 45"x57" when pieced, but when washed and dried 43" x 54".
I chose to use a Lake Life Stamp set (5" squares) and some Twilight Blush fabric for the background. I love the colorations in this collection!
I thought it would work perfectly using the inspiration from a photograph I had seen several years ago when searching for ideas with another line of fabric.
This is from Heather's blog and her Chrysalis Quilt. She used two charm packs (total of 80 5" squares) and her quilt turned out just a bit bigger, but she must have used a smaller background piece than I did.
So, here is a tutorial on how I did it.
First step was to cut background pieces. I chose to cut them:
2" x 5" and 2" x 6.5"
Cut enough for each of the 5" squares.
Sew the 5" piece onto one side, then add the 6.5" to an adjacent side. This particular set of 5" squares doesn't have any fabric that is obviously directional within the 5", so I didn't need to worry about how it was going to end up in the quilt. Here are all 42 pieces with their backgrounds added and then placed on my design wall in a possible scenario.
I decided since I did have some yardage leftover from my "Zig Zags at the Lake" (free download pattern) quilt that also used the "Lake Life" collection, that I could add a few more 5" squares if I wanted to. The quilt could have looked just like this (right), but I wanted a bit more of a fade to the outer edges, so chose to add some more 'light' squares and ended up with this (below). This used 63 5" squares.
Pleased with this result, I then wanted to do a similar 'circular' motion in the quilting, but not concentric circles, but a continuous spiral. I quilt just about exclusively on my long-arm and a continuous spiral seemed like a fun challenge.
First I basted horizontally at each new row of piecing --the entire quilt. Not something I normally do, but I wanted to quilt from the center(ish) and wanted things to stay well stabilized.
This worked fairly well, except for a few times the long basting thread caught and stopped me from advancing my stitch line until I snipped it and was able to continue (not ideal).
I used one of Linda Taylor's circle attachments for my hopping foot. The largest one is 1.75", so decided that was what I would use.
By starting in the middle with a tight spiral and quickly getting to the distance of the attachment, I could then use the attachment to eyeball the distance from the past stitching line and just keep going and going, round and round.
I'm already done in this photo, but wanted you to see how the attachment looks on the hopping foot.
TIP: Make sure you load the quilt so that the top leader is at least the distance of the 'attachment' AWAY from the edge of the quilt. Unfortunately I didn't so had to remove it when I got close to the edge and wing it. Should I want to do this again and be a bit more precise, this would be really important to help with consistency of the curve.
The quilting went very quickly, even though once I had reached the greater size of my stitching path, I did have to roll the quilt back and forth as I would go around. But, with the entire quilt basted, I just didn't worry about the clamps on the sides until I got out to the edges and then just hand held it as I came by to make sure it was kept taut.
I used The Warm Company's Warm & Plush for batting. Here it is after binding it. I used two different fabrics from the Lake Life collection and pieced them together for the binding. They are the same motif, just slightly different colorations.