a ‘welcome to the family’ quilt


Over the summer I gained my fourth sister when Joey married Brittany. I had grand plans of making her a quilt as a shower gift. I bought material, came up with a design, and started on the project. Back in May. Then I put it on the shelf and during the first trimester and while finishing school, that’s where it stayed. Over the past few weeks I dusted it off and finished it, just in time to deliver it in person over Thanksgiving.


Brittany loves purple and I wanted to do something in all solids, without any busy patterns. Most of the local craft stores don’t carry a large selection of solid colors, so I tried fabric.com for the first time. Overall I’ve been really happy with buying from them. You can create a design wall (above) to see how your various fabrics look together. I added all the purples I could find and mixed them around until I came up with 7 or 8 I liked together.


In person they were pretty true to the color on the screen. By this time I’d decided to go with a square patchwork quilt. This is the first time that I can think of when I made up my own design for a craft.

IMG_8065_edited-1I picked six of the colors for the top of the quilt and cut them into 3.5″ squares. In retrospect this was pretty small and meant a lot of cutting and sewing. But I love how it turned out so it was worth it.


The seventh color I saved for the binding and cut it into long strips until I had about 220 inches, or a little more than the perimeter of my total quilt.

IMG_8092_edited-1Then I started sewing squares together. I definitely should have planned this better. Instead, I just keep adding on, making really big squares and rectangles. I think if I had been more methodical, the corners would match up better in the finished product.

IMG_8094_edited-1When I left off in May, I had about half a quilt top sewn together and the rest of the squares just cut. I picked it up this month and finished the top first. Then I went to the fabric store to pick out a backing. I had originally bought a polk dot fabric, but it seemed a little juvenile. Instead I found a geometric black and white pattern that was still basic and not too loud, but seemed like a better fit for the look I wanted.


Note the difference between lovely May light and less than lovely November light here in the PNW. Next up was deciding how to quilt the top, the batting, and the backing together. I decided to go down both sides of every row and column. It looks great, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The only other quilt I’ve made had 15 lines of quilting on it. This one had 68. I underestimated just a little how long that would take.

I also underestimated how hard it would be to quilt at six months pregnant. I forgot just how much arranging, lining up, and pinning fabric happens on the floor. I’m not super mobile these days, but made it work.


I used white thread after having a hard time deciding on a color. I thought about silver or gold, but in the end just went with white. On the front, it really brightens things up a bit. IMG_8488_edited-1And on the back, it doesn’t take away from the pattern itself at all. I wasn’t sure about it at the time, but after the fact I think it was a good choice.




One of these days I need to make a quilt that is going to remain on our couch! I have one more in the queue before I start on Martian’s quilt. Hopefully it will be done before s/he arrives. IMG_8492_edited-1I added ribbon and an ‘I made this for you’ tag that came in the first Happy Mail box.

Project: 9/35
Time: not sure; somewhere around 15 hours in the last few weeks plus five hours in May
Tutorial: n/a
Cost: $50 ($20 – top and binding fabrics; $6 – thread; $14 – backing fabric; $9 – batting)

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