Friday, June 3, 2016

Firefly baby quilt

For a while now, I have been ensuring that the clothes I sew are finished garments throughout; that the seams are enclosed on the inside as well - no loose strings! I want them to look as professional as I can get them, and to be high quality and durable enough to last for many washings. 
I have recently finished my fourth quilt (two full size, two baby quilts) and am happy to say that with this one, I have achieved the quilting equivalent of this: 
I am as proud of the way the back of the quilt looks as I am of the front!
It was the free motion that did the trick. It virtually eliminated all bunching, and allowed me to create some really exciting quilting designs that are so fun to see illustrated on the back of the quilt. 
So, here she is.
I am going to start by gushing about Michael Miller's Wee Wander fabric once again.
This is the project I finally bought this fabric for, after drooling over it for a couple years.
I made sure to get extra and used some for Fern's Easter skirt as well. I love this print so much. It defines childhood innocence and wonder to me. Not to mention reminding me of countless memories of prancing around as a child myself, then with my younger cousins,
catching fireflies in jars or just marvelling at these brilliant creatures. 

I made two of these quilts, identical in fabric selection, one for each of the friends I was talking about last time. Both of the border fabrics are part of same fabric collection. The back is yellow minky, because I wanted to add a different, super soft texture to the blanket for the babes to explore and snuggle in. And the binding is made from the green sheet that I used for Althea's Jakku dress

Since the print is so engaging, I decided to emphasize my favorite parts of it with the quilting. I started with the grass, tracing the tops of the blades and then adding some additional texture. 

This shows up well on the back also:
Then I began tracing the flight of the fireflies. This was when I finally switched into free motion mode and it was the best possible first project for that technique! Being erratic as I spastically became accustomed to the freedom created by covering the feed dogs fit perfectly into the look I was trying to achieve. Some of the fireflies come out of the grass, some from the top of the sky and some from the sides. My girls loved the maze that it created and kept asking if they could trace the fireflies trails. Hopefully the little ones these blankets are for will be just as mesmerized by that aspect of it as they grow and begin noticing greater details of the world around them.

For the square around the center, I just stitched in the ditch around the inner and outer edge (free motion is not ideal for this I realized). But then I couldn't help getting fancy again for the outer edge of the quilt and began tracing the trunks of the trees. I thought I would just do a few of the them, but ended up doing just about every one. It was too addicting. 

It also looks pretty rad on the back. 

I had so much fun with this. I have realized that baby quilts are something I could sew every day. If I had a craft fair booth, this might be what I would fill it with. I don't have a specialized quilting machine, never mind a long arm, so quilting the larger quilts gets so complicated and frustrating. But these little guys fit in my machine with no problem. And I can get super detail oriented without spending too long on one project. Plus, there are so many awesome panel fabrics out there, which make sewing a showstopper of a baby quilt even speedier. 
There will be more of these in my future!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Holy Smokes...this quilt is divine AND it makes me think about fireflies which we don't have in Colorado and which i miss dearly.

    1. So sad- this quilt is for a Coloradoan, too- I thought about that at the end. You will just have to come home for a tuck away solstice camp out sometime so Dylan can have some firefly fun!