Friday, February 20, 2009

Amy Butler's Patchwork Crib / Playtime Quilt

I bought Little Stitches for Little Ones from Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago using a hoarded birthday gift card (my birthday is in October). It's an absolutely gorgeous book with amazing photos and lots of images of Amy Butler's fabric. The format of the book is nice because it has a sturdy hardcover with a spiral binding to lay flat. All the patterns are in a cute little pocket. Overall it's great for inspiration because it's just so beautiful. Because of that, I bought a previous book of hers called In Stitches.

I decided to start with the quilt project because we really needed something for Zadie to play on in our living room. This is a perfect size. I nabbed this photo during naptime.

The book is really lacking in diagrams (and often photos of the completed pieces -- if you're a visual person and not good at following written directions then this probably isn't the book for you).

So, as you can see, I made my own quilt map using photocopies of the 4 diagrams that were in the book. I then color-coded the blocks so I would have a better visual. I also made a little key of the fabrics so that I wouldn't make any mistakes when cutting or piecing.

The fabric is the Funky Monkey line by Erin Michaels for Moda. I bought it a couple of years ago. The pattern calls for 4 fabrics but since I had so many I decided to add two more. I wanted to use the green number print and the crowd print to add some more color. If I hadn't, this would have been too baby-ish with all the pink and aqua. The green gives it a nice punch. Since the pattern of the blocks repeats, it was easy to make the switch.

The back of the quilt is the fabric that has the monkeys in a crowd. Half is cream and half is red. I put all of the cream pieces facing up and all the red pieces facing down so there wouldn't be an orientation to the quilt. I also used regular quilt binding that you can buy from the store. I just didn't have time to do any more ironing and cutting.

I absolutely love this. It turned out really well and I'm sure we'll have it forever. The hardest part was the cutting and a technique for quilting called stitch-in-the-ditch. I hadn't done that before and found it kinda challenging. But now that the quilt is finished, you can't tell how bad of a job I did. I also used really thin quilt batting. It's good for a play quilt but for my next quilt (see this post), I'm going to get something thicker.