Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hearts for a Heart-Stealer

Being principally a landscape quilter, and having made only a few very basic bed quilts, I'll admit to feeling a bit nervous when my daughter-in-law Shannon suggested that a quilt be made from my granddaughter Lucy's first-year baby clothes. Not all of them, of course!--just the ones she wore for each month-anniversary photo.

Three times over the last six months, those cute little outfits were pulled from the bag and laid out on my cutting table. All three times they were put back in the closet, untouched. I had no clue where to begin, even after viewing several such quilts online. Totally stymied. Then last week the bag came out again, and this time it stayed out. Inspiration had finally struck, however tentatively.

Fortunately Shannon had said I could cut up the outfits. What worried me, though, were all the jerseys, rayons and sheers in this pile. Cottons and cotton blends are all I've ever used in bed quilts, although I do have a garment-sewing history with jersey. So I decided to just take things one step at a time and try not to think too far ahead.

For the backgrounds of the twelve blocks, six colors of Hoffman batik hand-dyes (included in the photo) were pulled from my stash.

A simple heart shape--for the little girl who has stolen our family's hearts--was drawn on tracing paper for the applique pattern. (Two of the outfits weren't compatible with that shape, because of lettering and fabric print. I'll show those in a future post.)

Each applique was fused to Pellon Featherweight interfacing, which took care of any stretch problems for the jersey and rayon, and gave the thinner fabrics more body.

But here's the piece de resistance, as far as I'm concerned, for this blog post--centering the appliques on the blocks.

That process went super-fast, thanks to this very reasonably priced template I found at Nancy's Notions last month. I'd had no idea how soon it would come in handy.

Only two tiny marks needed to be made on the block backgrounds--right through the template holes nearest the top and bottom points of the heart. The template was removed and the applique was quickly re-positioned between the marks, ready for pinning or fusing. (I pinned, not wanting yet another layer of fusible to stitch through).

(Enlarge the Packaging photo to read about other features of this time-saving template.)

The applique that most concerned me was from this little purple dress with a beautiful, accordion-pleated organza overlay (I take back what I is the real piece de resistance--and I don't mean the dress!  :).

Lucy at 8 months
The purple under-dress was jersey--no problem after fusing it to interfacing. But it looked plain and dull without the pleated overlay. Somehow, some way, the top part of the overlay needed to be salvaged and stitched over the jersey heart, without distorting the organza pleats.

I'll save that for next time. Long story short, that's done and it came out looking fairly good.

That and more progress next time.

Have a great weekend!



  1. I love this idea. Can'the wait to see the finished product!!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! Crossing fingers it turns out as well as I hope it does.

  2. What a great quilt that will be for precious Lucy.

    1. Thanks, Angie, it's coming along pretty well. Hoping she likes it!


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