Category Archives: charm squares

Baby Quilts

When I first began quilting, many of my projects were baby gifts for family and friends. They remain one of my favorite items to make. I think the attraction lies in the fact that they are small and will get lots of use, so there is no pressure to be too fancy or difficult. For me, fun color combinations, simple piecing and quilting make them relaxing and satisfying projects. Here are two that I recently finished.

red, white blue

The first one is for my niece’s  son. Dad is in the Navy, so I decided to go with a red, white and blue theme. I used my favorite design, a simple charm square quilt with a wonky star.

The charm squares came from a variety of different fabric lines and I supplemented with a few fabrics from stash.

Since this quilt had quite a few white fabrics in it, I used a Hobbs bleached, 100 per cent cotton batting.

It is quilted with straight lines half an inch from the seam lines  using 40 wt Aurifil cotton thread. The star block was the perfect spot to add a bit of hand quilting with some 8 wt Wonderfil perle cotton.

hand quilting around star on baby quilt

For the label, I just folded a charm square in half diagonally and stitched it in with the binding.  It is such a simple way to create a nice, durable label that will stand up to lots of washing.

label on ba

Before gifting, I like to wash the quilt in a fragrance-free detergent so it is ready to use. This also  allows me to make sure that there are no problems such as color bleeding and it  removes the sizing since the charm squares are not prewashed before piecing.

The second quilt combines freeform plus blocks and charm squares. The plus blocks were made using the same method that I used in my “At the Junction” quilt, but this time I squared the blocks up to five inches to match the charm blocks.

baby quilt plus blocks and charm squares

It is quilted with a wavy grid using an aqua 40 wt Aurifil cotton thread and has Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 blend inside which gives a nice soft loft and drape.

charm squares and plus blocks

I used visible stitches with perle cotton to do the hand side of the binding. Next time I am definitely going to attach the binding by machine to the back of the quilt so the hand stitches will show on the front. (Unless I forget, of course!)

binding on baby junction, Marla Varner, penny lane quilts

 

 

 

an invitation

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Following the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a request for quilts. “The goal is to gather enough quilts to help not only the victims who survived, but the families of victims who perished, as well as first responders, nurses, police officers, etc.”

For additional updates and information, follow the Orlando MQG on their blog.

On Instagram, check out #quiltsforpulse to be inspired by the many quilts being created.

“Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox

rainbow pixelated heart, Marla Varner, pennylanequilts
I started with a Kona Snow and a Moda Grunge charm pack , then added from stash.

The weight of tragedies can be overwhelming, particularly when the tragedy is the result of violence. My hope in participating in this project is that the tangible outpouring of love sends the message that there is much more love than hate in this world.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” Henry David Thoreau

While creating this quilt, my thoughts were with those affected. My sincere hope is that this gift from a stranger will give some small comfort. I hope that the recipients will be reminded that they are surrounded by people who care.

orlando-top-pieced
The top is pieced and ready for quilting. I plan to invite a friend to help me finish it.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” John Lennon, Imagine

Follow the links above to see how you can contribute. Or, find another charity who gives love and comfort through the making of quilts and share a little hope.