Saturday, May 28, 2016

It's baby time

A friend is expecting her first baby in a few weeks. Although I've know the baby is coming for many months, I've postponed making the quilt until it was crunch time. I'm not really a baby quilt kind of person so I've been casting about for an idea. In the mid-1990s I found a patchwork book in a clearance bin. It was jam packed with ideas and so I bought the book. The projects inside the book are the designs of Chuck Nohara and the instructions were translated from Japanese.

I used one of the patterns in the book to make a quilt for a friend who was expecting her first child in 1997 and really enjoyed making the quilt although I modified the pattern by eliminating the pieced border and instead used a solid subtle neutral plaid for the border. This time I decided I would piece the border (more about that in a moment).

The instructions for making the quilt are "scant". In fact they fit on a single page! They are accurate but you need to be an experience quilt maker to understand them,

The quilt is made up of 20 blocks twelve of which are numbers 0 to 9 (some of the numbers are duplicated) and eight of the blocks are stylized birds. I decided to make the number blocks without repeats so there were ten of them and I made ten bird blocks.

I embroidered the plumes on top of the bird's head and topped each one with a colonial knot. The eyes were cut from a dotted fabric and appliqued to the face. I used a marker to make the dark pupil in the eye.

The feet were outlined with a stem stitch. I though they were dull and didn't stand out enough so I used a Sakura Pigma pen to add some shading to the legs.

The blocks were sewn together with sashing and cornerstones in a soft grey-green print. I made the pieced triangle borders and added the side borders to the quilt. I stepped back to have a look and realized that the border on the right was attached the wrong way! Argh. I little reverse sewing (i.e. ripping out) and it was ready to be reattached.

Much better, don't you agree?

The last step was to make the corner patchwork units and attach them to the top and bottom borders. TA DUM! The finished quilt top. It measures 44" x 54".

I wasted no tine in making the quilt sandwich and pin basting it. This one will be hand quilted with a larger stitch. I think it will make for a nice soft baby quilt. There is a baby shower next weekend and my goal is to have it finished in time for the party. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Meanwhile Jinx has found himself an nice place to sleep out in the solarium ..... he is curled up in a flower pot with a Mandevilla vine! Silly little boy!

Time to get back to hand quilting. Until I post again, happy sewing!

Karen H


  1. Sweet quilt and so unusual - love the funny little birds! Jinx must be a delight :)

  2. I'm sure you will be in time to offer this beautiful quilt !!
    Your cat is sooo fun like this !! ah ! ah !

  3. Different quilt and cute. Are you trying to outdo me on being the "ripping Queen"? LOL. Good work with the birds.

  4. What a lovely quilt. I love the pops of bright colors you have used. What a lucky friend to receive such a gorgeous quilt for her precious new baby.

  5. A lovely and unique quilt for baby. Lucky you to have found a book by Chuck Nohara. Those are rare indeed.

  6. Such a lovely design, cute birds too!
    Great book find too :)

  7. Hi Karen! Such a fun, lovely quilt, yo've done!
    I hope, you are fine.

  8. I love the quilt Karen! It amazes me so much how fast you can make these involved quilts-You are Amazing!

  9. Thank you Karen, for showing your mistake. I do this sort of thing ALL the time and it's nice to know I'm in good company! Delightful quilt.

    1. Sorry I couldn't send you a person not be you are a no reply blogger! :-(
      They say that we learn from our mistakes and if that is the case I wonder why I made the same mistakes over and over. Am I just a slower learner?

  10. Wow that is an ambitious project!! Good luck! love the nice bright colours and your pretty birds. And of course I love seeing jinxy. :) I am glad that you are back.

  11. Lovely baby quilt Karen, with clever use of the marker pen! Good luck with meeting your goal!

  12. We used to make numbers like that when I was in junior high!! It took me a minute to recognize them--this is so delightful. Big quilting will make this perfectly soft for the special person it is being made for. Sweet bird blocks too.

  13. What a sweet quilt!! Love the birds, of course!