I attended my cousin's baby shower this weekend.  I was excited only because I could FINALLY make a small craft thing for a BABY instead of something extremely time consuming for large adult people.

Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts [LAST-MIN PATCHWORK + QUILTED G]
Joelle(Author) ; Williams, Anna(Photographer) Hoverson

My cousin is a rather picky girl.  She likes her designer labels so I decided to make a baby quilt/blanket using Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  The idea is adapted from the Joelle Hoverson book, "Last-minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts." 

She has this big person quilt in there called "Just sweet enough" with this geometric square/rectangle quilt top.  I decided to shrink everything down to baby size and instead of using fabric with a color gradient, I used two contrasting prints called "White King Crab" and "Belle of Lillyville."  One is a powder blue/lavender/sea green color palette print on white and the other is a mix of pinks with white outlines.  I set the colorful squares in a bright white muslin.

The top sheet has 4 inch border of muslin surrounding alternating 3 inch strips of either plain white muslin or chained pieces of bright Lilly fabric with varying sizes of white muslin.  I was going for a "square polka dot-like" effect.  I pressed the seams open instead of to the side.  You can see the seams through the white muslin, but I actually kind of like the effect it makes.  The seams almost look like mini borders or outlines.  It highlights the colorful squares.  After quilting, this effect was mostly lost due to the diffusing color of the white batting and the blocking affect of the pale yellow fleece fabric that I used for the back of the quilt.

Washing, ironing and cutting the fabric took one night (Wednesday).  The next night I plotted out the basic design, figuring out how to make all the varying length pieces fit together so that they all add up to the same length AND look cool (surprisingly difficult).  Then I chained together all the strips and made the top sheet (Thursday).  The day after that (Friday, aka. crunch time) I cut the batting, yellow fleece and white muslin border pieces to make the back of the quilt and made the double-fold binding out of more Lilly fabric.  Before adding the binding I quilted each colorful square.  I was only going to do a spattering of quilted squares, but after doing a few, I realized it looked stupid so I did them all, like the psycho OCD masochistic person that I am.

I hand-stitched Aug 2009 using dark brown embroidery floss into the fleece backing to commemorate.  I used yellow fleece because I wanted something more gender neutral.  The fabrics are pretty girly, especially the pink flowers, but I didn't want to it make too pink because I hate that gender pandering shizzit that goes on during these "baby shower" type deals.  I mean, boys don't always have to get sports stuff and girls don't have to get everything in pink.  Like Joelle says in the book, I wanted it too be sweet, but not too sickenenly sweet.

I really wanted to make the back fleecy because I thought that would be so great for a baby–a nice snuggly warm blanket.  The extra layer of high loft batting I used in between made it really fluffy and soft and poofy.  That baby will never be cold!

Finished product: (sorry about the blur)

The double fold binding was super easy.  I cheated and I didn't hand stitch the back with a blind stitch.  This is mostly because I had to stay up pretty late Friday night to get the blanket done in time for Saturday morning.  I couldn't be bothered.  I just machined stitched the binding closed.  This was my shoddiest work, but it was late and I needed to sleep to drive to the baby shower!

All in all, I think it came out super cute.  So cute that I kind of want to make an adult sized one for me.  I'm glad I stitched all the squares and I liked how to alternating binding colors turned out.  I also really liked how puffy the quilting came out.  I actually really like when quilts do that and sometimes it is hard to get that look when you machine quilt. 

My cousin liked it, and her friends at the party (whom I didn't know personally) liked it so much that they joked that my cousin would have to learn how to quilt in time for when they get pregnant and are planning their baby shower.

I was really excited to FINALLY know a baby so that I can make and give away these cute small projects.  It probably took me a little over 14 hours total from start to finish (washing, ironing, cutting, planning, etc).  The quilt in the book is listed under the "8-12 hour projects" and I think I could have done that if I followed the pattern exactly and didn't try to adapt it and change it for a baby size. 

Baby sized projects are so satisfying because you can do them quickly and they are so cute.  But I don't really know very many babies so if I made baby sized stuff I wouldn't know what to do with it all.  I guess I could just cross that line and start making tiny baby stuff for my cats, but I don't know if I want to wear that heavy mantle of a truly psychotic crazy cat lady.  There's plenty of time for that to develop at its own pace without help from me.

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