Lots of quilting!

I've been trying to keep up with my craft projects despite the chaos with my travel and work schedule and have gotten into quite a routine. I do really enjoy working on something with my hands where I can actually see the output immediately. So much of my life is working on software, which is amazing, but has a different level of satisfaction when it comes to making things. When I first started at Google, I vowed to include a few personal goals in my quarterly work goals that were visible to everyone in the company (holding myself accountable), which included working out 5 days per week and doing at least one craft project per quarter. Almost 10 years later (I can't believe it's almost been 10 years!), I've managed to stick with both goals and each have made such a difference for me. 

So with that, my quarterly craft project as been making quilts as there are lots of babies coming soon! I'm super excited as not only are we welcoming a little guy in July, but three of my cousins on my mom's side are expecting and we're all within one month of each other! And at work, three of my closest coworkers are also having babies and we're within about 6 weeks of each other. And out of my high school girlfriends, two of them are expecting babies within 2 months of ours. So, lots of babies coming this summer and fall and I couldn't be more excited!

I've really liked a classic herringbone pattern and decided to try and come up with a pattern for a baby quilt. At Christmas, I decided I was going to get organized while I had the time off and figured that I needed to make a bunch of quilts this spring. So, I purchased all of the fabric at once and figured I could mix and match colors and backings to make them unique. The nice thing about making the same quilt pattern is that you can get really efficient with the cutting. Here's what you need to make a baby quilt:
  • 1 1/3 yards of color A fabric
  • 1 1/3 yards of color B fabric
  • 1 1/4 yards of color C fabric (for back of quilt)
  • 1 crib size batting package
  • Quilt basting spray - I just used this for the first time and it made the sewing process so much easier
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Embroidery thread that matches one of the colors on the front of the quilt
I had this pattern, but found that it made a much larger quilt than I wanted, so I adapted the pattern for a baby quilt and tried to write down the steps I took:
  1. Wash all fabric ahead of time and iron it. This will prevent your quilt from shrinking and will also make it easier to cut.
  2. I first cut color A and color B fabrics into 5 3/4 inch strips. I then cut 25 squares of each (5 3/4 x 5 3/4 inch). Using the fabric guidelines above, you'll end up with double the amount of squares (so an extra top for a second quilt). 
  3. To create the herringbone look, you need to take one block of color A and one block of color B and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. I did this with all of my blocks.
  4. Next, I sewed 1/4 inch from the line diagonally (corner to corner) on either side of the line. You can look at the picture in the pattern if you're confused!
  5. Then I cut the squares on the pencil line. Once I had sewed and cut all squares, I ironed each of them to make it easy to arrange the quilt top.
  6. Next, you'll arrange the quilt top and I just followed a standard herringbone pattern. There's lots of alternatives so I would just pick the design you like most. Begin pining each row together and sewing the quilt top.
  7. Once you've assembled the quilt top, I laid my batting down on the table and laid the quilt top on top. I then cut the batting to fit the quilt size. 
  8. I cleared the table of the batting and quilt top and laid the backing fabric down (wrong side up). I placed the batting so there was about 1.5 inches around the entire piece of batting and then cut the fabric so I could use that to fold the fabric over and create a nice border around the edge. 
  9. I removed the batting and then sprayed the backing fabric with a little quilt basting spray and waited 3 minutes before centering the batting on the fabric. I repeated this same step spraying the batting with the spray, waited 3 minutes and then laid the top of the quilt right side up.
  10. Next, you'll need to pin the border all around and I usually start in the middle of a side and fold over and pin. Once you've pinned all sides, it's time to sew your quilt together! I saw about 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the border and quilt top to hold everything in place.
  11. Once you finish sewing the quilt together, you'll use embroidery thread to tack the quilt down. For a quilt this size, I generally break the quilt up into thirds and tack the quilt down in 9 different places. And then you're done!

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