I started this little quilt about three weeks before Sarah was due to be born last year. I had somehow stumbled across this blog where Randi was leading a quilt-along for new quilters and I decided to join in knowing full well I would be here a year later (if I was lucky) finally finishing it. I wasn’t exactly new to sewing or quilting but there were some definite gaps in my knowledge base. Cutting fabric was my biggest issue. How hard can it be right? You have a ruler and a rotary cutter, right? Ahem.  So I picked up a few tips including a great method for straightening out your fabric which made such a difference when I went to cut it all out. Since my pieces were more accurate my seams were more accurate so the whole thing ended up more accurate. Yay! It was a real treat not to worry so much about lining up seams.  No, they are not perfect, but they are my best yet!

I’ve also been learning how to embroider.  I picked up Betty Barnden’s “Embroidery Stitch Bible” and some really, really, extra lovely hand dyed thread from Laura Wasilowski’s shop (you should really get to know her, btw) and am really pleased with the results. Honestly, it was a lot easier than I thought it might be and not nearly as time consuming as I expected.

Finally, one of the best things about this little quilt is the backing. I used minky (soft plushy fabric), because if you want to make a child’s favorite blanket there’s really no alternative! But, it does come with some limits. Minky, being a knit, will stretch unforgivably if you try and sew it to a woven fabric with a standard presser foot and forget about free motion quilting.  So out comes my best friend the walking foot.  Seriously, I love this presser foot. It keeps the layers from shifting and works well in all kinds of applications. I usually whip it out anytime I’m feeling just a little queasy about getting the seam just right. I probably use it more than my No. 1 foot. Now I wanted to show you a photo of the finished quilt (all I have left to finish is the quilting!), but that didn’t happen this evening. Soon though, Sarah needs her quilt!