Baby Blanket tutorial with Cuddle Fabric

Don’t you love Cuddle fabric (aka minky fabric?) Today I’m sharing a quick tutorial for making a self-binding baby blanket over at the Cuddle Corner blog for Shannon Fabrics
I used the Aqua Dimples Cuddle fabric with some Valori Wells Novella zigzag I bought a little while back. (I did see it was still available here.)

And then, just for silliness, look what comes up on the hashtag #amysmart on instagram. Lol. The poor actress Amy Smart will always have random quilt pics on her hashtag thanks to this crazy quilting lady with the same name.  If you’re looking for more quilting pics on Instagram, you can find me @diaryofaquilter on Instagram. I can’t promise pictures of Ryan Reynolds though.

I-spy baby quilt + i-spy charm packs available

One of my favorite go-to baby gifts is an i-spy quilt made from different fabrics with little motifs like animals, vehicles, etc., that you can hunt for or play “i-spy” with. 
The design for this quilt is a classic checker-board pattern, but the i-spy prints give the quilt an added element you can play with.

I like to use the Essex cotton/linen blend by Robert Kaufman as the off-set blocks because they give some added texture and contrast to the quilt. (You can find it here, and here.) Not to mention when the quilt is washed, the linen shrinks and crinkles up so nicely, giving the quilt a nice vintage feel. I have a simple pattern for this i-spy quilt in my etsy shop.

I had the perfect backing in my stash – a Moda print by Jan Figuroa from a few years ago with more items to spy! The quilting is a simple meander loop by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. 

I’ve been collecting cute (not cheesy) i-spy prints for a while now and finally had them all cut up to sell. I’ve done this in the past and most likely this will be the last round I will do this. Each set is made up of 65 different 3 1/2″ squares, all of high quality quilting fabrics.
Here is a close-up of some of the prints. All of the prints in the above photos are in the charm packs in my shop. Also, if you buy a charm pack the baby quilt pattern is included for free! You can find the I-spy Charm Packs here. And they are SOLD OUT. Holy Moly that was so much faster than I expected. Thank you so much to those who bought them!
I am also listing copies of the book Modern Baby in the etsy shop. This book contains patterns for 14 fresh, modern baby quilts by a variety of modern quilt designers and bloggers.
Martingale - Modern Baby
One of my favorite is this pattern by Shea Henderson.
This book also contains the pattern for this quilt by yours truly. (It is charm pack and jelly-roll friendly.) You can see more quilts from this book here. For a short time, I am listing this book at 40% off! To buy Modern Baby visit my etsy shop
Thank you so much to all of you who have supported my etsy shop for almost 5 years now. I-spy kits were one of the first things I ever stocked. I’m blown away by all that has happened since then. Thank you, THANK YOU!

Quick and Easy Baby Quilt tutorial

 Tutorial originally shared on the Riley Blake Design blog, but I am reposting here in case you missed it.
I suddenly have had a lot of friends and family have babies in the past months, and I feel very behind on my baby-quilt-giving. But I do seem to have an (over)abundance of adorable fabric on hand that needs a loving home and someone to spit-up on it. So rather than get further behind, I’ve been creating very simply-pieced panel type quilts using strips of fabric to create a simple embellishment.
With so many great large scale fabrics available, you can create a simple baby quilt, letting the design motifs do all the work for you.  Or by adding a simple monogram embellishment you can both personalize the quilt and give the quilt added design detail.
This tutorial will show you two variations on this design to create a 41″ x 54″ crib-sized quilt.
  Supplies for Quilt 1:
  • 1 1/2 yard of fabric for front (I used Riley Blake’s large Gray Chevron)
  • 1 5/8 yard for backing (I used Aqua Marine)
  • fat quarter for circle (I used Aqua )
  • fat quarter for letter (I used Charcoal)
  • batting (I used Pellon Legacy White cotton batting)
  • 1/2 yard for binding (I used Charcoal)
Supplies Quilt 2 (with stripe):
  • 1 3/8 yard fabric for front (I used Mystique Black Petal)
  • 1/6 yard fabric for stripe (I used Mystique Gray Stripe)
  • 1 5/8 yard cotton fabric for back (I used 60″ wide minkie and needed 1 3/8 yards)
  • fat quarter for circle (I used Peony)
  • fat quarter for letter (I used Charcoal)
  • batting
  • 1/2 yard for binding (I used Charcoal)
Cut a 15″ circle out of thin cardboard. (Cereal boxes work perfectly.) From your circle fabric, use the 15″ template as a guide and cut a circle at least 3/4″ bigger than template all the way around. (Hint: If you are working with a light colored circle fabric that will go on top of a dark, patterned  background fabric, you may want to use interfacing so that the patterned fabric will not show through when you applique the circle to the front.)
Using a needle and sturdy thread, sew a large running stitch all the way around the circle, about 1/4″ away from the edge. Carefully pull thread to gather edges around the cardboard edge.
Bring circle to your ironing board and spray edges with starch. (You may want to put a dish cloth on your ironing board so your cover doesn’t get gucked up with starch.) Press the edges so that you have a nice, clean edge all around your circle. Don’t remove cardboard yet.
To create your monogram, choose a font on your computer and increase the font size so that it’s about 10″. Print the letter. (Hint: using a bold, chunky font is easier to work with. Ask me how I know this.) Using Wonder Under (the thinnest, lightest kind), trace the letter onto the paper side in the reverse. (You might want to tape your letter backwards to a window or light box and then trace letter backward.) Fuse Wonder Under to the back side of your monogram fabric.
Cut out monogram and peal off paper side of the Wonder Under. Carefully center letter on top of your circle and iron into place. Remove card board and take monogram to your sewing machine to either top stitch or satin stitch around the raw edges.
Take your pressed monogram circle and place it where ever you desire on your top fabric. (I chose about 3/4 of the way down and 1/4 of the way from the right side.) Carefully pin in place.
Carefully top stitch around the outside edge of the circle.
To create the quilt top with the “stripe” you will cut your main print into two pieces: One measuring 36″ and the other measuring 13″.  From your “stripe” fabric, cut a piece 6.5″ (6″ if you only bought 1/6 yard – either is fine). Sew the stripe fabric between the 36″ and the 13″ piece using 1/4″ seams.
Use the same method as above to create the circle monogram. On this one I satin-stitched around the letter because it was thinner and needed more reinforcement.
Once your monogram is in place, square off the selvage edges plus about 1/2″ of the front side of your quilt. This will help when you go to create your quilt sandwich with the front, back and batting, the backing fabric will be visible from the front on all four sides.
Then quilt the top as desired. These two quilts were quilted for me by Melissa Kelley.  We decided to use the chevron as a guide for the quilting on this one, but changed the look in the circle to reemphasize the monogram. I love the pebble quilting she chose.
When the quilting is done, square off the batting and binding fabric to prepare the quilt for binding. Cut 5 strips 2 1/2″ wide from your binding fabric and sew them together end to end. Binding tutorial here.
Easy DIY Monogram Baby Quilt Tutorial
And there you go! A quick project for your new favorite baby. And as pictured above, you could just use pretty fabrics from your stash and create a simple, quilted baby quilt without the monogram. Easy peasy. Put that fabric to work!

Monogram Baby Quilt tutorial

This is my first contribution as part of that series. Lots of great ideas for not just quilts, but bags, clothing, and aprons. I felt so honored to be invited! 

I’ve had a bunch of new babies to make quilts for recently and liked the idea of using the large-scale prints – like the large Chevrons – as the feature design for the quilt, and then personalize a little by adding a contemporary monogram. In this case, the chevrons also create a perfect guide for the quilting. This quilt was quilted by Melissa Kelly who added the cute pebbles to set off the monogram circle.

I decided to add minkie to the back of one of the quilts. Both are crib sized. Melissa also custom quilted this one as well.

I feel so excited and honored to be invited to be a part of this team. As an added perk, Oliso sent brand new irons to all the members of the Design Team. (You’ll get to see it in action in this tutorial.) SCORE! I was lucky enough to come on board just in time! Thank you Oliso!
This is one of those fancy irons that rises up on “scorch guards” (I had to look up what they were called) without having to tip the iron on it’s end while it’s not in use. I’ve already noticed a difference in my wrists – especially when there’s a lot of back and forth to the iron. Also I’m in love with the yellow color.  There was some getting used to the lifting up and down mechanism (it’s activated by touching the handle) at first, but now that I’m used to it, I really like it. 
My kids love to touch the handle just to watch the iron go up and down (which you can imagine, gets annoying fast). But at least this way I won’t find a giant scorch mark in the middle of my brand new portable ironing table because someone left the iron flat after ironing a new perler bead creation…

One more fun thing to share. (This one also makes me break out into a cold sweat!) I am going to be teaching this fall at Riley Blake’s Fabric Fest. (What, what, what??) I will admit to getting slightly nauseous when I saw my name on the same schedule as Eleanor Burns, Nancy Zieman, and Lori Holt.  That song from Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the others…” kept running through my head.

Hexagon Baby Quilt with Sarah Jane fabrics

Guess who has a brand new, cute baby niece this week? 
Every cute new baby deserves a cute new quilt, so… I made one. Shocker, right? I let my sister go through my stash and pick out favorite fabrics and colors, because I’m a super nice sister that way. She is much more artistic than me and has a great flair for color and style, so it was fun to let her do her thing and see what she came up with. You can see what I mean – this is what she picked for her first baby.

She choose lots of Sarah Jane prints and colors. (Those narwhals get me every time.) My sisters and I have been Sarah Jane groupies for a long time. It’s so fun now that we can play with her art via fabric as well. I threw in a few more prints in the colors she chose and I love the way it’s turned out.

For the back we used Sarah Jane’s pinwheels and for the binding the orange polka dot from Children at Play.

I love the balloons print too. This new little gal has an older brother that LUVS balloons. So this print is in there for him. Maybe he can play I-spy with some of the other pictures in the quilt too. I’ve found that big brothers are often in need of good forms of distraction when new babies show up.

When I asked her what design she wanted, my sister was drawn to hexagon quilts. Which kind of freaked me out a little. I love hand-sewing hexagons together english-paper-pieceing style but had only ever completed small projects. The thought of a bigger quilt felt daunting to me.

Until I took a class from Kati about machine pieceing hexagons. So awesome! She has great tutorials here and here showing how she does it. Takes some patience, but so much faster than hand sewing. I also found an awesome 9″ Hexagon die from AccuQuilt for my GO cutter and got it for myself for Christmas. Made the cutting SO slick. I think it’s my new favorite die. I plan to put it to good use.

The custom quilting on this quilt was done by Emily of Emerson Quilting. I love how she custom quilted each hexagon. All of Emily’s work is done free hand. Check out her website to see some of her amazing samples and great pricing.  If you’re looking for Sarah Jane fabrics they are still available at Fat Quarter Shop and Poppy Seed Fabrics.

Modern Baby – Coming Soon!

A fun little project to share. Martingale has a new arrival this spring: a new book called Modern Baby– a collection of fresh, fun quilts for the new babies in your lives.

And I got to contribute a project toward this happy cause. This quilt is called Crossweave. It’s so fun to finally spill the beans! Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the other quilts in the book. The adorable cover quilt with the fish and bubbles is by Dana of Old Red Barn Co.
Martingale - Modern Baby
 I love this one called Busy Blocks by Shea Henderson.
Martingale - Modern Baby
Very cool Floating Pyramid by Audrie of Bleu is Blue.
Martingale - Modern Baby
Ombre zig-zags in this one by Melissa of Happy Quilting.
Martingale - Modern Baby
And I love these Tiny Textured Trees by Carolyn Friedlander.

Here’s a little more detail from the folks at Martingale: In this amazingly diverse collection, a bevy of talented quilting bloggers present appealing baby-quilt designs for sewists and quilters of all skill levels. Designers include Amy SmartAudrie BidwellCarolyn FriedlanderCarrie Bloomston, Dana BolyardJake FinchJen EskridgeLindsey RhodesMelissa CorryPippa Eccles ArmbresterSarah FlynnShea Henderson, and Victoria Findlay Wolfe.
  • Showcase bright, bold solids and modern fabrics–perfect for stimulating Baby’s senses
  • Choose from 14 small quilts that can be easily completed in time for the baby shower
  • Rely on clear instructions and illustrations for each inviting design
I feel truly honored to be in such company. Modern Babyis due for delivery at the beginning of April. I’m sure there will be more to share when it arrives. Yay!