When we did our Reprodepot stationery giveaway, Shelley (of Albertine Press) wrote in to say she was working on a special quilt made of the fabric. I asked her to share it with us when she was finished and here it is! Thanks for sharing such a special heirloom with us Shelley!
I learned basic sewing machine skills in middle school home economics and the rest is self taught, so anyone with access to a sewing machine should be able to put together this basic baby blanket.
At the Bazaar Bizarre Boston, before Sadie was even a twinkle in her daddy’s eye, I bought a whole bunch of scrap fabrics that I fell in love with, planning somewhere in the back of my mind a future baby blanket. Two years later and eight months pregnant I actually began the quilt. I finished the front in a few evenings, but didn’t figure out the backing fabric until about five months after she was born (okay, I was a little busy).
I finally settled on a simple red and white checkerboard pattern with 3″ finished checkerboard squares so I cut 3-1/2″ squares of the fabric, allowing for a 1/4″ seam all around. You can use a rotary cutter, long ruler and cutting mat, but a cardboard template and scissors work just as well (if a little slower) and are great if you want to center a particular part of the design within the square (as was necessary for the goldfish).
Next I laid the cut squares out on the floor, rotating some, swapping out others, until I was satisfied with the overall pattern. One row at a time I sewed the pieces together with a 1/4″ straight seam. I ironed the finished rows and then sewed them to each other completing the center of the blanket. I added a 1″ border around the checkerboard (1-1/2″ wide strip of fabric, to allow for the seams) to finish the front.
For the backing I sewed two layers of red flannel together in a heart chain pattern I used to draw when I was a little girl. I used the machine and simply kept rotating the fabric to create the pattern. It was not exact at all, which I like, but you could certainly use any traditional quilting pattern here, or draw directly onto the fabric and follow the lines with the machine or by hand. The last extra special touch on the backing was a hand-embroidered “for Sadie – love Mommy” along one of the hearts.
Finally I attached the backing to the patterned front with a 1/4″ seam around the edges, flipped it inside out and hand sewed up the opening. It’s now the perfect blanket to play on the floor, cover up for naptime, and decorate the room!
I didn’t get to use all of the different fabrics I bought, but can’t wait to be inspired to create some other project with them. Ideas, anyone?