In my last (and my very first newsletter) I wrote that I would write about a quilt project in my last blog post of each month. When I wrote this newsletter I had already a specific quilt in mind, but then this wonderful baby quilt workshop project came along at the beginning of August. This is why Sara’s Baby Quilt became my quilt of the month of August 2020!
Invitation to give a Baby Quilt Workshop
In fall 2018 I met Hobby House Qatar in a course on creative entrepreneurship. The course took place here in Doha at Virginia Commonwealth University. In this context, I developed the logo for the blog. It would take almost two years to get it started. 🙂
We have stayed in touch and I did a few weekend short courses organized by Hobby House Qatar.
But it never worked out that I actually gave a workshop for Hobby House Qatar! We had been in touch about it several times, but it always turned as too complicated. And it was always me who said, ‘No, it is not really feasible’. I already started feeling guilty about it! Teaching patchwork or quilting just requires time and also a lot of tools and equipment. Having more than ONLY ONE sewing machine was one of my requirements!
When I was asked by Hobby House Qatar to give a quilt workshop at a baby shower parts, I was intrigued. But I was skeptical at the same time. When we started talking about it more, it became more of a realistic idea!
Making a Plan
We started brainstorming how we could plan this workshop. Of course, in two hours you can finish neither a complete quilt nor a patchwork top for a quilt. But we should be able to introduce making Half Square Triangles, one of the basic patchwork blocks. From there, you have so many options to arrange them into all sorts of patterns!
I started digging in my fabric stash and sent photo after photo with suggestions for fabrics to use. In the end, the ladies chose a nice charm pack of different floral and polka dot prints in yellow, baby blue, light pink, and green. Nice choice!
And as we wanted to use precuts, I started to rework the pattern that I had suggested to make it fit. I prepared a nice little hand-out explaining all the steps for making the quilt and especially all the steps for making Half Square Triangles!
The Baby Quilt Workshop
The workshop took place in the house of the mama-to-be. I had planned for having six ladies sewing with me, but we ended up being around ten.
I explained the technique and the pattern and we started off making Half Square Triangles and piecing squares together. A few ladies were pinning pieces together, others were ironing, and one was always on the sewing machine. A little nice baby quilt assembly line! 🙂
At the end of the workshop, we did not have a finished baby quilt top, but we could lay out the pieces on the floor to see how they would come together. And I started packing my things to head home with a bunch of Half Square Triangles and squares to put together into a baby quilt top and actually also quilt it.
Finishing Sara’s Baby Quilt
I started off the next day organizing the blocks and squaring the Half Square Triangles up. Then I also noticed that the light must have been really bad the night before. We had mixed up the front and back of the white print and several blocks were not sewn with the right sides together.
So my grandma was right after all when she kept reminding me as a teenager, ‘This light is too dark, you can’t see properly what you are doing’. I used to ignore her at the time, but this was clearly a case that would have proven her right! 🙂
But thanks to the inventor of the seam ripper, I could correct everything quickly. After a few evenings of work, I had a finished baby quilt top. And a short trip to the fabric market solved the issue of the backing fabric as well.
Do, undo & redo
Quilting it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare at first! I decided to go for polyester batting. Not that I like polyester batting more than cotton, but the polyester one I have is thicker than my cotton batting. And as you can wash it with higher temperatures, I just thought it might be a better choice for a baby quilt.
Bad choice! 🙁
So my dear little seam ripper was very busy for a day again. I undid what I had done before, reassembled my patchwork sandwich with cotton batting, and started quilting again.
And this time it turned out beautifully! I just quilted straight lines to enhance the star shape pattern of the patchwork. I gave it the final touch by embroidering the baby’s name in one corner on the front. This is how the quilt got its name: Sara’s baby quilt. While the workshop was still named after her mama, it is only fair to name the quilt after her to welcome her into this world! 🙂
If you are interested in the pattern of this baby quilt, I am planning to start a little section of downloadable patchwork patterns. The pattern will be available together with the pattern for my quilted patchwork cushion for download in the Me + My Craftroom Shop soon. Just stay tuned and in the meantime let me know if you like it!