My latest quilt was a gift for my friend Melissa’s baby boy Connor and since it arrived safely on Monday, I can finally post some pictures of the whole thing instead of little glimpses! I used my own (free!) Triangles at Play pattern for this one and am really happy with the result.
The print fabrics are Cosmic Convoy by Michele Brummer for Cloud 9 fabrics. I came across one of them while browsing online and since Melissa is also a coworker at NASA, using a space-themed collection was totally appropriate. I actually had these fabrics in mind before Connor was born, when I didn’t know if he’d be a boy or girl. The finished product does feel a lot like a “boy” quilt to me, so that worked out well!
I had planned to use coordinating Kona cotton solids but after an email exchange with Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) in which she mentioned Cloud 9’s Cirrus solids, I decided to give those a try. I didn’t have a color card for those but took a chance that the solids would be close enough to the prints…and fortunately they were.
I really LOVED the Cirrus solids. I found them softer than Kona, and thought they had more visible depth and texture. I hope they expand the range of available colors because I’d love to be able to use more of them in the future. (This is my second quilt made with Cloud 9 fabrics — the other was my Wildwood quilt — and I really love them. They feel SO soft.)
As usual, I did very simple straight line quilting. One of these days I’ll bust out of my comfort zone, but not this time. I didn’t piece anything special into the backing, but I did use gray thread on both the needle and the bobbin. The different color makes the diagonal pattern stand out on the back, which I think makes it a little more interesting.
I used Mountain Mist cotton batting, which I’d used once before. After finishing the quilting, I had a moment of regret because this batting is pretty thin — it doesn’t lend itself to a nice, plush feeling. But after washing the quilt, it felt SO soft and snuggly to me, and I think the thin batting is a factor in that.
I also have to mention the binding! I continue to improve on my machine binding technique and I think I’ve finally converged on the best possible method — or at least what works best for me, that is. I cut the 2.5″ strips, attach them to the front of the quilt with a ~5/16″ seam (using the 4 mm needle setting and the edge of my presser foot as a guide), fold to the back, secure, and then stitch in the ditch from the front which just catches the binding on the back.
For the first time ever, I glue basted the binding down on the back and it worked sooooo amazingly well. I’ve been a little skeptical about glue basting in the past, but I am totally 100% sold on it after this experience. Was my machine binding perfect? No, still not quite. But for the first time EVER, I didn’t have to go back and re-do a single spot! I was ridiculously excited about it.
It’s been almost exactly 4 years since I finished my first quilt, and it make me feel really good to look back and realize how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come since then.