Of all of my handmade gifts this year, for some reason this one means the most. Maybe it’s because I had to overcome a serious mental block against sewing quilts (the billion pieces, straight lines, need for attention to detail and hand stitching are all major stumbling blocks for me). Or maybe because it’s a blanket, which is inherently nostalgic and timeless. Or maybe it’s just because it’s for my peanut Eliot who has serious grip on my heartstrings. Whatever the reason, this one I seem to want to take everywhere and show everyone and use everyday. And I am:)
I got the idea for the gradient color from the one toy we bought for E this Christmas. I love fabric, but am not really much into prints, I guess because most apparel is not print, and that’s what I mostly work with? So I wanted to go with straight, simple color solids. I used all 100% Kona cotton for the front, and went with this great Echo fabric for the back, because it was simple, neutral, and most important to me: masculine.
After finishing the top, I tweeted my friend Katie (who happens to also be a quilting genius) “I have no idea what to do next!” And it was true. She sent me some great tutorials to walk me through basting the layers (with a combination of basting adhesive spray AND pins, just to be sure:) quilting and binding. I decided to quilt a single line 1/2″ from each seam. I had planned on doing more, but when I finished the one side, I loved the simple, off-set stripe that the quilting lent. Then I was ready to bind. Totally clueless, and apparently unable to read and decipher simple tutorial instructions…I created a double fold bias tape, like I use in apparel, and sewed the whole thing on before realizing I needed single-fold. So I unpicked, re-ironed my binding, and stitched again (this is about midnight on Christmas Eve and Dave is working on Milo’s gift…) Then I was ready to hand stitch the back of the binding. After two hokey Christmas movies on Hulu, I was finished.
I’m going to go ahead and say that Eliot loves it.He hasn’t really told me that yet, but he seems quite content to play on his colorful new quilt. And I am over the moon for it. Is it weird to have a crush on a blanket? I see more quilting in my future…watch out.