Tag 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

 

 

 

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snow day

Our winters are mild, so snow days are a novelty. This week I took advantage of a sunny morning and a lovely, snowy backdrop to take a few quilt photos.

hand quilted by Marla Varner, penny lane quilts
Zig Zag Chevron (HSTs from charm squares, hand quilted)

One of my goals for 2017 is to improve my photography skills. Of course, this means learning how to use editing software. I’m trying to check out some of those helpful tutorials in the process.

blue and green baby quilt by Marla Varner, penny lane quilts
My first finish of 2017: baby quilt made from charm squares + a wonky star

The photo pictured above was edited for Instagram using a mobile app.

Hourglass Bedazzled by Marla Varner, penny lane quilts
Hourglass Bedazzled, improv piecing, hand dyed fabrics, machine quilted

This quilt was the last one I completed in 2016. It is my most complex quilt to date that uses improvisational piecing, and I hand dyed all of the fabrics. I don’t think I ever properly documented it, but a few photos appeared on Instagram during the months that it was in process.

On another note, QuiltCon is right around the corner! Our newspaper, the Sequim Gazette, was kind enough to write an article about the local quilters who will have quilts in Savannah. They even sent a photographer out to capture me in my own environment. Those of you who are curious and  have bugged encouraged me to include photos of myself on this site, can check it out.

It is snowing again today, so I’m off to curl up with a cup of tea and some hand quilting.  I’m on the home stretch quilting the mini for my partner in the MQG swap.