Saturday, June 23, 2012


Today I'm going to show you how I fuse the stabilizer to the blocks and also affix the appliques. Because the fabrics I use from the baby clothes vary in weight from thin tshirts to knitted sweaters, I like to use a lightweight fusible interfacing. I found the the Pellon 911FF - fusible featherweight - serves my purpose very well. All I need is something that will keep the knits from stretching out.

I cut the interfacing in 6.5" squares, just like the clothing blocks using my ruler and rotary cutter. All it takes to fuse the interfacing is a steam iron set on cotton for about 10 seconds.

Now the blocks are stabilized for the next steps that involve sewing.

After the stabilizer is applied, I trim any part of the squares that extend beyond the interfacing. Then it's on to the appliques.

For my appliques I use Pellon Wonder Under Regular weight. This helps hold the piece in place until I can sew it. It's very easy to use. Larger pieces like the one above are sewn using a fairly tight zig zag stitch. For small ones I just use a straight stitch around the perimiter.

This is a sample of the different appliques I used in this particular quilt. Some are very tiny and some cover just about the entire block.

Next time I'll show you how I frame the blocks so that the seams can be ragged.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Back for part 2 of the holiday baby clothes quilt show. I apologize for the delay, but I'll explain that in another blog. You'll understand. Ok, back to the quilt. This picture shows the opened garment with my 6.5" ruler, getting ready to cut a block.

Here's the cut block. It's really quite easy on the solid pieces. The blocks don't always come out exactly perfect, but that's ok.

When cutting out the blocks with a print or embroidery,I like to have the embellishment centered, but that isn't always possible.

Most tshirts have the picture or whatever, closer to the neck so the picture ends up on the upper portion of the block like this one. I just try to crowd the ruler as close to the ribbing on the neck as possible.  Even if  you get a part of the ribbing, you can later remove it and that portion will end up in the seam allowance of the framing. More about that later.

When the embellishment is on a part of the garment that can't be cut into a 6.5" block, I cut a block from another part of the garment and then cut around the embellishment. This will be part will be trimmed down and appliqued to the block at a later time. Sometimes I even have to use another garment for the background block like when I'm using the embellishment from a bib that doesn't have anything big enough for a block.

Here are a couple more examples. I try to cut the applique as big as I can. If I can cut a piece that's the same width as the block, it makes things a lot easier and looks better with less stitching involved. But sometimes you just have to go small. It all depends on the applique, its size and how it's located on the garment.

Each of these quilts offers it's own challenges and opportunities to learn something new. I guess that's why I like making them. They are each truely one of a kind.

On the next installment I'll talk about fusing stabilizer to the blocks and preparing the appliques.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


For a long time now, people have been asking me to do a tutorial on making a baby clothes quilt. Well, I'm not very good at tutorials, so what I'm going to do is tell the story of one baby clothes quilt from beginning to end. With pictures, of course.

It all starts when the box of baby clothes appears at my doorstep, courtesy of the USPS, FedEx or UPS. I love the feeling of anticipation when that box arrives and I can't wait to open it.

This particular box that arrived yesterday contains all holiday themed baby items and looks very festive right from the beginning. Look at that cute little reindeer.

Of course I have to take out all the clothing items so I can ooh and aah over them. This batch has a bunch of onsies and footed pj's that will yield lots of colorful blocks. There are also lots of cute tshirts, sweaters and bibs that will contribute to a truely one of a kind quilt. The main colors, of course, will be red, green and white with some blue thrown in for contrast.

The next step will be to cut apart the items just enough for them to lay flat for cutting blocks. I'll show that in the next blog. Stay tuned to see how this quilt turns out.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


This pretty quilt was a real pleasure to work on. The baby clothes from two little girls were just so cute and girly. Almost everything was in some shade of pink or had pink in the print. There were sparkly things and saucy things and sweet things.

What was really neat was that the customer had an item from each girl with her name on it plus tshirts that said "Big Sister" and "Little Sister". Those blocks made the quilt really personal so I put them right in the middle. The quilt was framed and backed with a pretty soft pink cotton and had white flannel in the middle.

The really sweetest thing about this quilt is that it was to be a Mother's Day gift for the customer. She put together all the clothing and made the color choice, but when I sent it back, she was not to open the box. Her husband would open it, look at the quilt and share it with the girls. Then it would be wrapped up and presented to my customer on Mother's Day. Of course she loved the quilt and I'm so happy I could help make this a very special day for the family.