Last week’s quilting project: making this rag quilt (about 60″ x 40″) for a brand-new baby boy. The pattern for the quilt is just about the easiest pattern in the whole world, (you can get it here, in my rag quilting book for beginners), but making this quilt was a challenge for me because of the colors the baby’s mother chose for the quilt. They are bright. Bright, bright, BRIGHT! So bright that when I cut the fabric strips for the quilt and laid them out on my cutting table, I really hesitated to sew them together. I had to find a way to tame these intense colors, or this quilt would not look good at all.
Luckily, rag quilts offer an easy way to soften colors that don’t play well together — the backing fabric. The backing on a rag quilt also forms the fringed seam allowances you see on the front side of the quilt. I decided to back this quilt with white polyester fleece so the white fringe would create visual resting places between the strips of bright color on the front of the quilt. I wouldn’t ordinarily choose white for a child’s quilt, but polyester fleece doesn’t stain easily, and it is very tough and washable. Find out more about using fleece as a quilt backing.
You can see how the white strips of fringe make it possible to put a bold multicolored stripe next to a flaming orange-on-orange zebra pattern on one side and a crowd of cartwheeling robots on the other. It’s a kind of visual miracle the way white can soothe powerful colors, even when used in small amounts as it was in this quilt.
Here are a few more views of the quilt. This one shows how simple the pattern is:
Here’s a detail showing one of the decorative stitches I used to quilt the sections:
I quilted every section with a different stitch. That’s a great, low-risk way to try out stitches and free-motion quilting motifs you haven’t used before.
I like the robot fabric a lot, but I think my favorite is the orange zebra fabric.
We’d like to thank Quilter’s Diary reader Beth for posting a link to our new Cats and Quilts Coloring Book on her blog, and for letting us post these photos of her own quilting cat, who looks about as helpful as quilting cats usually are. Anyone else have a quilting cat to share with us?
If you want to see an impressive quilted work of art, check out the Attic Window quilt Beth made for her son and daughter-in-law. The quilting is elegant and the cross-stitched details make us feel a mingled feeling of jealousy at her skill and exhaustion at the thought of making all those tiny stitches. Beautiful work, Beth!
This Throwback Thursday, we’re looking back at a simple Valentine’s Day quilt tutorial first posted in 2012. This little 24″ x 21″ quilt is the perfect size to hang on the wall or at your front door. Click here for a detailed photo tutorial that shows you how to make this cute small Valentine’s banner. It takes just a few hours from start to finish, so there’s still time to make it before the big day!
Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, dear quilting friend!
Have you gotten caught up in the adult coloring book craze? I have — not so much on the coloring end, but I have really gotten into creating pages to color. I am currently working on a whole book of coloring pages featuring — what else? — cats and quilts. For this Valentine’s week, though, the theme has to be hearts. Here’s a simple page I made this morning to thank you for visiting this blog.
The Nine-Patch block is one of the basic, infinitely useful, and surprisingly easy-to-make blocks every quilter should learn to sew. Amish quilters loved it. Learn to make it, and I predict that you will love it too. I had almost forgotten that we had written this Nine-Patch tutorial until I saw that quite a few of the visitors to this blog were looking at it today. So here it is, from all the way back in 2013: how to strip piece Nine-Patch blocks.