I've just completed this little quilt for Jack's newest cousin, Maya.
This quilt is based on the "Small Plates" quilt in Elizabeth Hartman's book The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker. I absolutely love this book and can't wait to try pretty much every pattern in it. The directions are very clear and there are wonderful illustrations.
Despite all of that, however, the quilt didn't turn out exactly as I planned. My intention was to create a more random-looking, multi-colored quilt like the example in the book. Maya's quilt, however, is much smaller than that one, and the random look combined with this pattern and smaller size just didn't work for me. (Maya's quilt is 29 x 21-1/2 inches. The one in the book is 68 x 8-1/2 inches, with eight blocks in a row compared to my three.)
Also, the book instructed me to square up the blocks during assembly, but personally? At this stage in my quilting, I probably should have skipped that step: My blocks still aren't square and the quilt is even smaller than I planned. Oops.
I chose to hand-tie this quilt rather than machine quilt it. Although this is only my second quilt, I am finding that I have a strong preference for hand quilting. For me, hand quilting is much more personal and comfy-feeling, which is what I am looking for in a quilt. Check out this hand-tied quilt by Alicia Paulson. I love it, and I agree with most of what she wrote about quilting in her post.
This was my first attempt at using a binding - with my first quilt I didn't even dare consider it. The instructions in the book were very helpful with this step, but it was still very challenging for me. Tara suggested this tutorial, which was a life saver. Even with the tutorial, however, the corners were extremely frustrating! I even had to do some repair work after sending the quilt through a couple of test runs in the laundry.
Although I am pleased with the finished quilt overall, my favorite part may just be the back. In fact, I think I chose to make this quilt almost entirely on the suggestion for the back:
Maya lives far away from us, and I am not sure when I will get to meet her, but I hope that she has as much fun with the little quilt as I did! Even if it's a little small on the small side, maybe she can use it for her dolls in a couple of years. Welcome, Maya! We are so glad that you are here.
Now, on to my next project . .