WIP: Starting on Ansley’s Diamonds

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Ansley's Diamonds Squares Cut

Just Starting, Ansley's Diamonds

Ansley's Diamonds Stitching

Ansley's Diamond Blocks

I tend to think of quilts as my big “background project”.  Smaller projects jump in, like gifts for Mother’s Day and birthdays, and once they’re done I go back to my quilt in progress.  But baby quilts, much like babies, have a timing all their own.  My current quilting project is on hold again, this time so I can work on a little quilt I’m calling Ansley’s Diamonds.

I’m using hour glass blocks set together so they’ll form diamond shapes.  The added bit of interest with this quilt is the fabric which has a nice ombre gradation to it.  I’m using just one yard of green and one yard of pink, but because of the shifting coloration there are lovely variations in value.  The blocks pictured here combine the darkest green with the lightest pink, but they’ll shift across the quilt to reverse to a paler green and deeper pink.  Hopefully that will create a feeling of movement, something that will draw the eye back and forth over the pattern.

This one is maybe a bit different for another reason — I really don’t know the recipients all that well.  I met Lucy at the gym and she’s just so sweet, and her husband Chad is, too.  They’re young and kind, having their second child but still just starting out, really.  (At least it feels that way to someone who’s been married 22 years!)  Anyway, I’m a believer in positive reinforcement, so for their kindness alone baby Ansley gets a quilt.  And if I’ve done my math right, her big sister will get a little doll quilt from the leftover squares.  Otherwise I suppose I’ll be making a scrappy doll quilt!

sarahsigres

Dallas Cowboys Baby Quilts

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Dallas Cowboys Quilt B

Our friends Chris and Angel are about to have a son — an unexpected, completely blessed surprise.  Chris and my husband Jay are best friends, and they share a love of the Dallas Cowboys.

Just for full disclosure, I am an Eagles fan.  But when the Cowboys win, my house is happy, so … hard to be a hater.

54. He BIT Me!!

But anyway … Chris and Angel are having a baby boy right in the midst of football season, and the boy will grow up cheering on the Cowboys along with his Dad.  I thought he should be welcomed into the world as I know he’ll go on, as a Dallas Cowboys fan. So I made him this quilt:

Dallas Cowboys Quilt A

The stars are made using the pattern One Star Americana Patriotic Mini Quilt from Bubblestitch.   This is the first paper piecing I’ve ever done, so even though it looks tough, I can vouch for it being an easy pattern.  I altered the pattern ever so slightly.  The middle “1, 2, 3″ spaces are made as one piece in blue for the center star, then a ring of white, one more of blue and then alternating gray and white.  Perfect Dallas stars!  For more interest, I tilted the stars a little this way or that.  I think it keeps the eye moving over the quilt and lends a feeling of motion.

Dallas Cowboys Quilt E

The backing fabric is Dallas Cowboys fabric, just in case the point isn’t made by all those stars on the front.  After baby outgrows his little blanket, I’ve offered to sew a hanging sleeve on the back so it can be hung up on the wall if they like.

And they’re getting a bonus stroller blanket in the softest flannel and voile, just because I want to help spoil this baby.

Dallas Cowboys Quilt Flannel

More Dallas blue and stars!

Dallas Cowboys Quilt C

Hooray for babies!  Hooray for football and for unexpected little football fans!

TWINS! An I-Spy Quilt and a Spectrum Quilt

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My friends Desiree and Al just publicly announced Dez’ pregnancy — by showing off pictures of the twin boys, already here!  Now if THAT isn’t a surprise, I don’t know what is.  :)

See, little Frankie and Charlie have two older brothers.  Cole is in college, and baby Gianni is in heaven, looking out for them all.  After the heartbreak of losing their beloved baby, Dez and Al wanted to be very careful with spreading the news of her pregnancy.  I can’t say I blame them at all, and WOW is it fun to see the joy of all their friends!  Love is floating thick in the air, giving all of us goofy grins.  Babies are the most amazing of blessings!

Of course those boys were anticipated, the news was quietly shared, but carefully, carefully.  I often show my excitement by sewing and made two unmatched quilts for the boys.

Twin Quilts

Twin Quilts

One is an I-Spy circle quilt, the other is a spectrum quilt.  Both were designed and personalized just for this family.  On the I-Spy quilt, I threw in patches that would have special meaning in the boys’ lives.  There are a couple patches for the New York Giants, one cropped to look like Gianni’s name.  There are patches of African wax prints brought back from trips to St. Monica’s, a place that brought them hope and healing.  Kanji characters can spark a conversation about their family in China.  Of course there are dogs, because this family is known for their care.  A patch of their home state.   A bike patch for their Dad.  Many colorful patches of random things to look for and learn.  Tummy time should be interesting for Charlie and Frankie!  (There’s a better full view here if you’re interested.)

I-Spy Quilt Detail

Twin Quilts I Spy

The Spectrum quilt has special meaning as well.  After the loss of Gianni, a friend said that the sunrise was Gianni playing with his colors.  I’ve tried to look at the sky each morning, take notice of the sunrise and say a little prayer for their family.   When thinking of quilt patterns for these boys, my first thought was to make a rainbow for their parents — the promise of better days and the lessening of a storm.

Spectrum Half Square Triangle Quilt

The back is an adorable world map that even has a square for Nairobi!

Spectrum Quilt Map Back

Frankie and Charlie, we are so glad you’re here!  Welcome to the world!

Juju’s Quilt

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The moment I saw this little quilt by Erica of Craftyblossom, I knew I would be making my own version of it.  It was just perfect — crisp and clean, eye catching yet simple.  And it didn’t take long until I knew who the recipient would be, as my friend Sarah is having a daughter she currently calls Juju.

There’s a lot to like about Sarah, but it can be helpful to focus on one aspect of a person if you want to make her a quilt.  Sarah’s seamlessly blended her very techie family life into their historic Virginia home.  She loves sharing the stories of her community’s past and can give you the best guided tour you’ve ever had.  Taken down to the basics, she just has a passion for keeping the past alive and here with us in the present.

When she and her husband got married, Sarah wore a beautiful white dress.  Around her waist was a bright red ribbon in memory of her Dad.  It was a simple but powerful thing.  With a red ribbon, she tied her past, present and future together on one of her family’s most special of days.  This little quilt is an attempt to help Sarah wrap her daughter up in those amazing memories.

And so we have Juju’s baby quilt.  Here it is pieced, but not yet quilted or bound.

WIP: Juju's Quilt Top

The ingredients, if you’re curious: A charm pack of white squares, two charm packs of Silent Film and Kona solid in Red.  I removed the black from the Silent Film packs.  The darkest gray in the packs, Pepper, seemed dark enough without being harsh.  (It looks black in these photos, and it almost is.)  The backing is Kona in Coal, the darker medium gray from the front.  The half square triangles were made as in this tutorial.

The binding is more of the Kona Red, a ribbon of red like Sarah’s wedding dress.

Juju's Quilt: Binding

And here’s the finished quilt:

Juju's Quilt

Juju's Quilt

Juju's Quilt

I hope that Sarah will have many new memories of Juju and her quilt!

Floral Cut Chenille Baby Blanket

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I love cut chenille baby blankets!  Layers of flannel are sewn into lines across a pretty cotton fabric.  Cut, bound and ready to wash …

Floral Cut Chenille Blanket

it frays up so nicely into a thick froth of chenille.

Floral Cut Chenille Blanket

This style is so easy that it would make a great first quilt for a new quilter, yet it makes a plush, incredibly soft blanket.

Floral Cut Chenille Blanket

This type of blanket is perfect for those fabrics you like so much, you don’t want to cut them up. Show them off!

Floral Cut Chenille Blanket

You can see more about cut chenille blankets here.  In the near future, I hope to make another one of these for a little sports-fan-to-be!

Chervon Values Quilt

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Chevron Half Square Triangle Values Quilt and Pillow

I posted a tutorial recently for making half square triangles, the basis of this quilt and pillow, if you’d like to try it for yourself.  I plan to use half square triangles for a very different style of quilt for another upcoming little one soon, but for now I’ll just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment from this one.

Chevron Quilt

Have a great day!