Sunday, July 4, 2010

Baby Quilt for Sava

My latest sewing project was quilt for a friend and her new baby, Sava. As with numerous projects before, I set somewhat unrealistic expectations for myself for the deadline. I decided to make the quilt about a week before I was supposed to meet the new baby; at the time, a week seemed sufficient for a simple hand-made quilt. I had not accounted for the numerous distractions that would put off my visit to the fabric store, and when I finally made it with only 3 days on the clock a minor case of baby quilt mania set in. I had to have this color... and this texture... this design is nice... oh, I should add some personalized embroidery... so many threads... which embroidery ring?... which hand-quilting thread should I use?!?

2 hours and a very large bag later, I was ready to roll. Or stitch.

I had noticed dragonflies decorating the baby's room, so I decided to go with a hand embroidered one in the center of the quilt. This is how it looked after 4 hours :)

2 days to go, and all I had was cut fabric and part of a dragonfly. Oh my.

By day 2, my living room was feeling the heat.

After work the next day, I was ready to go again! Beau helped me to choose these colors from the decorations in Sava's room.

Frozen yogurt surprise from Beau gave me the boost I needed! :)

Sewing these pinwheels was one of the worst experiences in my life. Under the fluorescent lights of luring fabric stores these shiny blends might seem a good idea, but I do not recommend using this delicate material for something so small. Each small triangle had a base of about 2 inches, and each time I used my machine to sew the pieces they would shred to bits. Full of coffee and tiny embroidery pinpricks, I was ready to figuratively shoot myself in the face. Proceed with caution.

Although I faced some difficulty with the decorative pinwheels, I learned to be happy with their whimsical lopsidedness :) Only a few more hours until we leave!
Beau is Sava's uncle, and he helped me to write out her name in Cyrillic to embroider.

I added in some reds and burnt orange to the center embroidery to spread color in layers through the quilt.

I don't have any photographs from the next several hours because, well, it was a rough night. I stayed awake through all of it eating homemade dal and drinking red bull while I finished the embroidery, assembled the layers, basted, binded, and began to quilt (I finished the hand quilting on the drive).
I used a patterned flannel backing (which doubles as the binding) and thin bamboo/cotton blend batting. I chose bamboo as it is a naturally antibacterial fiber, earth-friendly, has a low 2-3% shrinkage and can be quilted up to 8 inches. Tying is my quilting method of choice, and used a soft gold thread for the knots.

Although I was exhausted, every ounce of effort paid off when I got hours of new baby snuggles!

Congratulations to the happy family, and welcome to the world baby Sava!