Thursday, April 1, 2010

Babies on my mind -- part 4

Still no baby today, but here’s another baby quilt to show you. This one was for Elijah’s big brother. As occurs in the best baby quilts, it has his name on it.

I love babies whose names include few or no curved letters, because I like to piece their names. Great names from my baby gift past include Matthew, Ella, Lily and Will. But if you name your child Cassandra, expect her name to be embroidered down in the corner, not pieced in.

J doesn’t count as curved, because it’s so simple to just pull in the bottom of the tail stroke as you stitch. U is easy if you make two mirror-image Js and sew them together. C, O, G and Q are difficult, unless your letters are pretty large. The hardest, of course, is S, because you have to change directions halfway through the curve.

B, P and R are relatively simple, because you can make tiny semicircular bowls without worrying too much about the shape, and let the strong straight strokes carry the day. If you want, you can make it easier by cheating and omitting the hole in the bowl – just have a solid semicircle attached to the vertical stroke, as I did with the R in Irene in yesterday’s quilt du jour. I generally hand-applique the bowls onto the background, then stitch the vertical stroke over the top, but if you were feeling really feisty you could probably figure out how to piece them in.

Once I made a quilt for my brother Bruce that had his name pieced in, by finding print fabric with semicircular motifs on a plain background. I found fabric of the same color for the background of my other pieced letters. Then I fussy-cut the print fabric so the semicircles became the bowls of the B and R; I pieced in the vertical strokes and there were my curved letters, with no circular seams at all!

And once I made a quilt that had all the letters of the alphabet -- except those with curves. 

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