Friday, August 30, 2013

Terrain St. Louis Sixteen Baby Quilt

Isn’t it amazing how going on vacation can inspire and revitalize you? After a week away from home (and my sewing machine), I was fired up to sew, sew, sew! I wanted to work on something fun and easy, so I grabbed some Kate Spain fabric I had been hoarding and set to work, even though that meant ignoring my existing WIPs.

I started this blog in April 2011 to document and inspire my quilting journey, but I’ve also ended up using other online tools as well. After double-checking Pinterest and Evernote, I was able to piece together this quilt’s short, yet long, history:
  • Mid August 2011: I purchased a Terrain Jelly Roll and Bella Solids Terrain Iris yardage from Fat Quarter Shop for the top and binding, respectively.
  • Late October 2011: I purchased Terrain Mist Lichen yardage for the backing, also from Fat Quarter Shop.
  • November 2011-July 2013: The fabric sat unloved and neglected in my laundry room closet.
  • August 2013: I did some quick math and sketching, and completed the quilt in 16 days. (Hey! I made a St. Louis 16 Patch quilt in 16 days! How 'bout that.)

Why is it that I can finish one quilt in a little over two weeks, while another one takes me over two years just to finish the top? I have a few ideas:
  • Planning: I had a clear vision before I started and did not have to make any major design decisions on the fly.
  • Simplicity: The pattern I chose was simple and lent itself to strip piecing.
  • Preparation: I had everything I needed on hand before I made a single cut or sewed a single seam.
  • Energy: My vacation gave me the energy to make a strong start.
  • Inspiration: It kept me going even when I returned to my everyday life and its demands.
  • Focus: With the exception of a little bit of piecing for the backing of another quilt, I only worked on this quilt until it was done. No Zakka, no bags, just quilts.

At 48”x48”, this quilt is the perfect size for a baby quilt. So much so, that it has my sweet toddler’s seal of approval. She insisted on helping with the photo shoot, and assumed that the quilt was for her.

Lately, I’ve seen this pattern all over the blogosphere. Turns out there was an informal Instagram sew-along for St. Louis 16 patch quilts recently (#stlouis16patch). If you don’t have Instagram, there’s also a Flickr group. Be sure to check out all the other great versions of this quilt out there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mini Doll Quilts for the Traveling Toddler

Our family did a bit of traveling this summer, so I was on the look-out for small, portable toys that would keep my sweet toddler entertained on-the-go. Her favorite toys are baby dolls, but her normal dolls were too big for long trips. I bought a few Disney Princess Magiclip figures, which she liked, but something was missing. They didn’t have blankets! (My daughter loves piling blankets and quilts on dolls and people alike. I wonder where she gets it from?)

One evening, I sat down with my box of 5” charm squares and my bag of leftover binding, and in no time I had a custom mini doll quilt for each princess. I popped the dolls and mini quilts in a previously made drawstring bag, and they ended up being a welcome distraction while traveling.

Monday, August 5, 2013

This Is the Quilt That Never Ends

This is the quilt that never ends.
It just goes on and on my friends.
Somebody started sewing it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue sewing it forever just because,
This is the quilt that never ends…

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fresh Sewing Day: July 2013

July was a busy month, but it was good busy. I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to complete a quilt, a shirt, and four Zakka 2.0 Sew Along projects last month! This mosaic represents why I started this blog: to document what I’ve accomplished and motivate me to do even more. August will be full of fun summer activities, but I’m going to try my hardest not to lose this sewing momentum!
Lily's Quilts