Hurrah! The oodalolly quilt is done and mailed to its recipient — my friend Karen’s now-nearly-6-months-old baby boy! And while it seems like this took forever to make, I think that’s mainly because it’s been on my to-do list since December or January. When I really think about it, I’d say it took 15-20 hours spread out over the last 5 weeks to take this one from fabric to finish.
The pattern for this one — as much of a pattern as there can be when there’s a lot of improvisational sewing involved — is by Rachel of Stitched in Color. I’m not sure she actually sells it, but I got it when I signed up for her online Curves class earlier this year. Mine is smaller than hers since I wanted something more baby-sized.
The front is a combination of low volume prints and Kona solids. The prints are several different shades of the crosshatch pattern from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures collection, and the solids are from a single coordinating Kona jelly roll. (As I got towards the end, I worried I was going to run out of fabric, but whew, I had just enough. I used up every single bit though!) The back and binding are the same dark blue print from Carolyn’s Doe collection. I think the colors turned out being “boy” enough while also being happy and baby-ish.
I quilted this one with “organic” straight lines using light gray thread on top and navy on the bobbin. It seems to me like “organic” straight line quilting really just means straight-ish, and as I quilted the first few lines I started getting really freaked out that the little wobbles were just going to make it look sloppy. I decided to keep going though, and in the end I really liked the result! The not-perfectly-straight lines give the whole thing a more relaxed feeling, and I think they go well with the curved piecing.
Also, I’d never quilted anything with two different thread colors before (top vs. bobbin). My tension was just slightly off, because you can see tiny dots of the gray thread peeking through on the back, but I actually kind of like the subtle dotted line effect it has.
Also? I’m happy to report that this quilt features the best machine binding I have ever done, hands down. As much as I’ve commented on my lackluster machine binding skills over the past couple years, it’s cool to see that I improve a little every time. Here’s what worked for me this time (essentially, it’s this method):
- I used 2.5″ strips, folded once lengthwise.
- I attached the binding to the front of the quilt first. In the past, with 2.5″ strips, a 1/4″ seam has been too little but 3/8″ has been too much. This time I used the 4mm needle setting on my machine and used the right edge of my presser foot as a guide, giving me a seam allowance that fell between the two, or ~5/16″. (I used my regular presser foot, not a walking foot.)
- I pressed the binding really well, both on the front and then again after I folded it over to the back, making sure that once folded over to the back, the binding covered my previous stitching line by a couple millimeters.
- I stitched it down again from the front, stitching in the ditch between the binding and quilt top so that the stitches are barely visible from the front.
- I used ample wonder clips spaced every 3-4″ to keep it in place.
- Overall I didn’t rush, but took it very slow and steady while stitching.
Emma wanted to get in on the quilt picture-taking action, of course. When I asked her if she wanted to come outside with us, she said yes — and then told me to hold it up so she could run into it…
…and fall onto the ground giggling hysterically too.
I’m really happy with this one! Yes, I realize that I say that basically every time I finish a quilt these days — that I’m really happy with it. But instead of feeling like a broken record, I’m feeling pretty proud of my quilting skills at the moment. They certainly aren’t world-class, but they aren’t too dang shabby either. I’m proud of what I’ve been making lately, and that’s a good thing.