Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby quilt marathon 1

A couple of years ago I wrote about some very special baby quilts I made for the grandchildren of my friend Zuki.  Seems that Zuki's grandmother, who lived in Hawaii, was in a sewing circle that got scraps from a factory that made muu-muus and Hawaiian shirts.  She made a lot of quilt blocks from the scraps.

Interestingly, she made only one block, in varying sizes and fabrics.  I've never figured out what the name of the block is, but it's a tricky one, with bias edges.

First Zuki and then I inherited this stash, and I made quilts for the babies.

But then came more babies, and I got sadly behind in my sewing duties.  Finally, just before Christmas, I was in the throes of catching up on overdue tasks, and decided it was time to haul out the muu-muu blocks and see what was left.  By this time the quilt-lacking baby count was up to four so I had to do an assembly line.

I was pleased to discover more blocks in the box than I had remembered.  Perhaps they multiply in the dark.  So I sorted through and found sets that seemed to go together.  Here's an intermediate step in my experiments:

Eventually I decided on two 12-block quilts that were a bit too small.  For the one below I found a Hawaiian print in blue and green colorways in the stash that made a nice border -- but not enough to go all the way around.

Here are several other fabrics auditioning to fill out the edge.

Here's the second quilt, also needing a border.  I had plenty of the red fabric, nicely printed with tropical motifs including a map of the islands, each one labeled with its name, but I thought the quilt needed to be a little more girly, so I tried the pink stripe instead.

I had a lot of fun working on four quilts at once. Some of the blocks got swapped back and forth between sets.  It seemed that making four quilts together took a lot less time than making one quilt four times, especially at the end with the binding and sleeves.

I think you always spend a half hour just trying to get yourself organized on those tasks, remembering how wide you cut your binding, deciding how wide to make the sleeve, remembering to thread your bobbin through the finger to increase tension for embroidering names, and such details.  So doing it only once saved a lot of time.

I'll show you the finished quilts tomorrow.


  1. As well as the time spent organising the binding, there's the pre-organisational stage of simply getting round to starting! So doing it just once instead of four times saves a *lot* of time!
    These look like fun quilts - and how wonderful for all the grandchildren to have the same block, but each one different and special.

  2. I love these quilts! I am trying to figure out from the photos how you made the block. It looks like the second triangle added tucks under the first one. Thanks for sharing!