Wednesday, March 21, 2012

June 2011 Jessica's Ballet Baby Quilt

My friend Joan brought me a piece of pink poly satin with lots of ruffles already gathered up and a piece of minkee fabric that she had brought home with her from her daughter Jessica's after helping with Jessica's new baby.  Since the baby came early Jessica was unable to finish the quilt she had planned and was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Knowing I had just gotten my longarm, but not really understanding the process, Joan knew I would try my best to make it wonderful. This was a real challenge.

The back and front fabrics were cut evenly and Jessica's had planned to put a ruffle on the quilt and then tie it (I think). the problem was that to load a quilt on the frame for longarming, it is necessary for the back to be (preferably) 6" longer and wider than the front.  Joan told me to do whatever I could to make it work.  I wasn't at all sure about putting a ruffle on "after" quilting it but said I'd give it a shot.  In order to make it work I had to cut down the quilt size and take out the ruffling.  I stitched the body of the quilt with Anne Bright's "Ballet Recital" which was perfect because Jessica had studied ballet for years and now teaches.

After the quilting was done I re-gathered the ruffles onto the body with my wonderful industrial Wilcox and Gibbs 5 thread serger with shearing blade.  I LOVE THIS MACHINE.  This is a leftover from my manufacturing days with Litte Things Mean a Lot.  I would never give it up.  The machine serges and applies the ruffle at the same time.  I then covered the ruffle with binding made from the fabric I had trimmed from the body and ruffles to begin with.  It turned out so cute.  Not a process though that I would recommend.  A ton of work.  But it sure added to my knowledge base.

I love the fact that I can make the stitching so very personalized to the individual the quilt is for.  This is so fun.  I also love the "creation thrill" I get to experience on a regular basis.  And I love the thrill of learning and sense of accomplishment when it turns out great and the client is thrilled.  Joan told me she recorded Jessica's reaction when she gave her the quilt.
Jessica's Baby Quilt.  Stitched with Anne Bright's "Ballet Recital"
Jessica's baby quilt with ruffle
Pink Minkee backing showed the pattern so nicely.

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