Saturday, February 12, 2011

Embroidered quilt block

A fellow fiber guild member is expecting a baby this spring.  One of the members suggested we each make a quilt block and she would set them together into a quilt as a baby gift.  The choice of design was left wide open but she plans to use blue fabric to separate the squares in the quilt as the baby is a boy.

Recalling small quilts my grandmother made for my brother and sister when they were small, I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate embroidery into my block.  She had embroidered nursery rhyme characters and farm animals on white blocks then spaced them alternately with solid-colored blocks -- blue for my brother's and yellow for my sister's.  The quilts were like Linus' blanket and went with them everywhere.  Then what was left of the quilts went with me everywhere.  There are only one or two blocks remaining of those quilts.  They were well-loved.

I really like the baby duck fabric, and used a little of it last year for a baby bib, so I pulled it out for this project, too.  Plus, I remembered an old duckling iron-on I came across in a '60s-era Workbasket not too long ago and tried to draw it out on my easel pad.  Hmm.  The little duck was not well-proportioned to say the least.  Fortunately I found the iron-on when I scrounged through the stack I'd culled and didn't have to rely on my rendering.

When I tried to find a white fabric for the embroidered block, they were either too harsh and bright or tended towards a cream instead of white.  Then I found a 100% white cotton pillowcase in my stash that had been washed so it was soft but without wear.  The fabric's slightly heavier than the duckling fabric but that is a good thing as it means it's not as see-through.  Even so, I still pressed the seams away from the embroidered square.

The center square is 6" on all sides.  The duckling fabric is cut for 3" squares.  And the blue fabric, which also came from a pillowcase, is cut as 3x6-inches rectangles.  The finished size should be 12-1/2" square but I allowed for 1/2" seams on my pieces (trimming away the excess as I seamed the blocks) and left the full 1/2" on the outside edges.  I figure that way the block would offer a little ease when fitting all the blocks together -- one can always trim away fabric but when an 1/8" or  so is needed, it can't be added back.

I can't wait to see the other quilt blocks.  The meeting and baby shower are later today.  Nothing like waiting till the last minute...

1 comment:

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, that's wonderful, Carolyn! She'll be so touched to have that treasure. I can't wait to see the whole thing--will you try to get a photo? Hope so. Beautiful gift.