Friday, January 4, 2013

Matching Boys' Quilts

Hey. I am not obsessed with these quilts. I did not spend over an hour of precious boys'-naptime staging a photoshoot for blankets. Come on. Give me a break.

(Admission: I totally am obsessed and I spent a really, really long time taking these pictures. And I LOVE them. The quilts weren't running away, they weren't wiggling or screaming, they didn't try to push their brother down the stairs. On an unrelated note: The last time that I got a good picture of my boys together was like 6 months ago.)

I think the real question is, Why aren't you obsessed with these quilts? They're the most impressive thing I've ever made (besides my kids.)

So let's talk about these quilts, since over the last few months, I've been posting pictures of them in various stages of completion on my instagram (@rebeccahlouise) and gotten lots of questions.
I don't know how much fabric I used, since I bought a lot over the last year in a half-yard here, a half-yard there increments. But I used all the same fabrics for the quilts, so that they match in color, if not in design. I would guess that I used about 6 yards per quilt top, but I totally made that number up.

Micah's Herringbone Quilt:

When making the top of this quilt, I was inspired by {this gorgeous quilt} and I used {this herringbone tutorial} but I made up my own measurements and didn't use a pattern, and added white stripes in between the rows. You can buy a similar pattern {HERE} though. 
There are 7 rows of slanted-stripes (about 7inches wide), with a 2inch stripe of white in between. It was shorter than I wanted, so it also has a 3inch top and bottom edge.  As you can maybe tell, I mostly made it up as I went. 

Grey's Chevron Quilt:

I am so delighted by the way that this quilt turned out. I love it. I LOVE IT. It was very tedious, and I was very good about ironing everything, which I've never done with a quilt before. (Can you believe what a lazy quilter I am?!) I loved the idea of both Grey and Micah's quilts being different forms of zigzags. This quilt was designed and created entirely in my own brain, but it's a basic half-square zigzag quilt. You can see a bigger clearer version of what the squares look like {HERE}. For those wondering, I started with 5inch squares (of white/cream and blue/grey) and then... you know. Did this. I'll look up a tutorial for you right now.
Okay, {here's a good one} and you can buy a similar pattern {HERE}. (Don't you wish this was a tutorial?)

I did the binding on the quilts 100% on the machine (much to my grandmother's horror, I'm sure) using a tutorial, like {this one.} They aren't as clean-looking, but they were fast, and they're very sturdy. And I HATE handsewing! (You'd never guess, based on that octopus, right?)

The Quilting:

I did the quilting myself, as you can see in the righthand picture. (To "quilt" a quilt is to sew over all the layers).
On Micah's quilt (Herringbone):  I used a walking foot on a normal sewing machine, and sewed up the middle of all the stripes, and then zig-zagged across every 6inches or so. 

On Grey's quilt (Chevron): I used a walking foot on a normal machine and did straight lines across, boxing in every four-square block. You can see on the back how sloppy and uneven it is. Did I mention that these quilts are for toddlers?

To quilt, I duct-taped the backing of the quilt to the kitchen floor (I used pieced together flannel), then lay the batting on that, topped by the quilt top. Then starting in the middle, I used safety pins and pinned all the layers together. Then I took up the whole kitchen table, sloppily sewing it together.
I kind of wish that I'd sent the quilts away to my grandma (a profesional quilter), but I also love that I was able to finish each one during a single naptime and I love that I did EVERYTHING on these quilts by myself.
I feel like Ma Ingalls. 

Thoughts? Questions? Which quilt is your favorite? I can't choose because I'm in love with them both.

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Polly said...

They look so great, I love them both. Your photo shoot looks awesome too!

faeriequeene said...

Oh, they're so lovely! And I'm sure those boys of yours are going to use them until they're ragged and then beg you for another one. I've had quilts from my great-grandmother that are so precious to me because she made them.

Also, that light blue border, I'm drooling. SO PRETTY. I am now convinced that I need to make my kids' quilts before I make one for our bed - that herringbone is speaking to me :)

MARCIE said...

Becky, I am so, so, so proud of you! You are going to be designing and publishing before you know it! The quilts are amazing and I can't pick a favorite either. Also, they look so striking hanging together on the clothes line in the snow. I know how much time it takes to get good pictures, even if your quilts are well behaved. Nap time well spent! I'm putting them on my blog!

pcflamingo said...

I got here via your Gramma/Grandma/Grandmother (covering all the bases) Marcie's blog - she's been bragging on ya. Love the fact that you like a pattern and then totally make up your own measurements and go your own way with it.

Nice job on the quilts, Ma Ingalls.

Joanne @ Our ABC Life said...

I am way impressed! I am not into crafty things and really the only thing I have been able to teach myself is cross stitch christmas stockings for my girls.

Sewing machines kinda scare me : )

Yolo Momma said...

I haven't done any quilting of that size/magnitude yet. More so just baby bedding size. Although I do pick patterns that will grow with the child and not look babyish. Going from a girl to a boy to make one for was such a struggle in wanting something cute and neat for a boy. Great job!

Thanks for the binding tutorial. I learned something new from what I had done.

I need to get myself to photograph Nolan's quilt before he gets here at the end of the month!

Unknown said...

Now you have an excuse to set up the big boy beds, and see how the boys like sleeping with their cute comfy quilts! They are very cute!

Nana B said...

you did such a good job Becky, both of your quilting Grandmas are very proud of you. They both turned out so cute, and the photo shoot is well worth your time. The boys will love using them. I made Gabriel a quilt for Christmas and Lizzy says he drags it around the house all day long.

SandyQuilts said...

Love them. I've so been wanting to make a herringbone and your tutorial is the best free one I've seen. Thanks so much.

Hope you mom takes my advice and contacts the Phoenix area quilting ladies. They are so much fun.

Marge Bjork said...

these are amazing! I'm so impressed!

Brittany H said...

I'm a little bit embarrassed by how often I keep coming back to this post and admiring these quilts.

Multiple times a day.

Amanda said...

I keep coming back too!!! Weeks later, even. I've decided that I'm going to make some for my twins!! Super excited!