When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love

Finishing the Tide Pool quilt

See Part One here.

I procrastinated long enough and finally told myself I need to DO the machine quilting or give up the project entirely. If each quilt took at least two months to hand-quilt, I wouldn't be finished until next year, and I dearly want to have the fourth quilt done when our granddaughter arrives in November.

So I jumped in, practiced on a smaller "sandwich" of fabric with batting in the middle, and then went for it. And while it's not perfect, it's not awful.

I quilted most of it in straight lines since this was my first time using a walking foot, but the borders are quilted in wavy lines to resemble rippling waves on the shore. It was actually fun doing that, and I'm looking forward now to trying free-motion quilting at some point with a darning foot.

I used three fabrics for the binding - I had to, I'd miscalculated the fabric needed. I love how it turned out and I'm going to pretend I planned it that way.

This quilt is named "Tide Pool" and I hope you can see why. You'll find Part One of this quilt's story here.

The back.

Our great-grandson will receive this for his first birthday later this year. Now it's on to quilt #3 for the baby that's due this month.

"How to Sew" Series

We're never too old to learn new tricks!

A blogging friend of mine is writing a series on how to sew, by hand and by machine. I'm sure you'll find something that's new to you even if you're an experienced sewer.

How to Sew Series from Spring Lake Homestead

I especially appreciate the post on how to "fix" your sewing machine. I recently replaced mine due to issues it had; maybe I could have fixed it if I'd known these tips. I do miss my mother and grandmother, who were both sewing machine wizards.

For this Sewing Saturday, we're going to get to know the basics of your machine.

Finishing the Starry Night Crib Quilt

The hand quilting on my grandson's Starry Night quilt is finally completed and I've added the binding. This quilt is now officially finished.

I was hoping for a grey and white striped fabric to use as the binding, but all the grey prints at both stores I visited were much too yellow to match the other grey fabrics in this quilt. I settled for a dark blue abstract print that reminds me of clouds at night.

I used this tutorial to add the binding. I don't do it often enough to remember how to do the corners, so I'm thankful for Pinterest where I've stashed all the tutorials I use when needed.

The backing is a grey print that says "I love you to the moon and back."

After I admire it for a few days I'll get it packaged up and sent to our grandson.

At this point I always worry if they (that is, mom) will like it. The recipient is 2 1/2 years old so he already has a favorite blankie. Then I decided that I make these quilts for me as much as for the baby, so it doesn't matter if they like it or not. I pray for the child and the family as I work on the quilts, so it's time well-spent even if it just sits in a drawer or is completely ignored. It doesn't matter. It's an offering of love and prayers.

Oh, does it have a heart stitched into one corner? Of course it does.

Tide Pool crib quilt

Now that the Starry Night quilt is ready to be sandwiched and quilted I moved on to my great-grandson's crib quilt top.

My youngest daughter had taken me to the two quilt stores in her town during my visit, but I didn't purchase fabric until the second store. The next day I walked back to the first store, just two blocks from her house, to buy the fabric for our great-grandson's crib quilt. As I walked I was thankful that I don't live two blocks from a quilt store; you know the saying "she with the most fabric wins"? If I lived that close to a fabric store, I'd probably win. Anyway, it was a gorgeous day and I walked the two blocks to the quilt store without feeling guilty because I don't live two blocks from a quilt store and this was a one-time thing.

My four-month-old great-grandson lives in a little coastal town in New England, and his nursery theme is "whales". I knew from visiting this store two days before that they did not have any fabric with whales. I'd noticed fabric with moose, pine trees, bears and so on that would have been appropriate for a New England quilt, but no whales. Melissa had suggested going with blues and greys instead and I liked that idea.


Although I didn't quite end up with blue and grey, I'm very happy with how the idea shaped up. I found two prints that look like water ripples in blue-green colors, but had some trouble with the darker prints needed. One of the store clerks showed me a shelf of gorgeous blue-green fabrics with gold and tan veins and marbling, and I fell in love. The fabric is called Stonehenge by Northcott and it's a very appropriate name.

Reminiscent of barnacles and seaweed-covered rocks

This quilt is based on the Around the World crib quilt I made for my first grandson, but I changed the corners and the middle square from dark to light. I want this quilt to represent the edge of the ocean with surf, sunlit ripples and barnacle-clad rocks. I hope I accomplished that, and I hope that my granddaughter, the little guy's mother, will "get it." The outside border and the backing fabrics are reminiscent of beach sand.

Quilt top

Part Two is here,

Starry Night crib quilt

I've felt bad that our youngest grandson didn't get a crib quilt when he was born, even though his brother did ("In the Jungle" crib quilt). Poor little guy is 2 1/2 years old already.

And then suddenly, we also had a great-grandson AND have TWO more grandchildren on the way. I'm four quilts behind.

I've resolved to set this to right. On my recent trip to visit several of the grandchildren, my youngest daughter took me to the two quilt shops in her town. I never turn down an offer to go to a quilt shop.

She helped me choose fabrics for the 2.5 year-old's quilt, mostly blues and greys. I decided to stick with the three-inch squares but put together in a pattern that is different from his brother's quilt. This one is similar to my granddaughter's pink quilt.

My visit coincided with National Quilting Day, so I borrowed Melissa's rotary cutter and sewing machine. Melissa kept me company as she worked on other projects, and wound bobbins for me and threaded needles and fixed things that didn't work right for me, which was very appreciated.

The quilt top (spread on a green blanket)

By the end of my visit I had the patchwork part of the Starry Night quilt all sewn, and once I was back at home I set up my *new* sewing machine and added the borders. It was so nice to not have to fight with my old machine! Thank you, hubby, for spoiling me with the new one.

Read Part Two here.