Saturday, June 28, 2014

30 hour baby quilt ... and a knitted dog

Two weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I checked the mail and found a birth announcement.  This baby's parents are college friends of Robert's, and on Saturday morning at breakfast I decided to make a quilt for him.  He is already 6 weeks old or so, and I really didn't want to add another long- or even medium-term project to my list, so I decided to make a strip quilt using fabric from the Hawthorne Threads scrap packs I got several months ago.  I started at about 11am, and in a few hours I had the fabrics and layout chosen and the strips cut.

I didn't have much of a plan on the strip widths.  I decided to make the quilt 45" long, so I figured out that with 15 fabrics, I needed their unfinished width to average 3.5".  I knew I wanted the fish and penguin fabrics to be pretty wide so the animals would feature prominently, so I made those quite a bit wider and the others narrower in varying widths, and kept track of the total length as I went along to make sure I was on track to hit the target.  I think it worked wonderfully!
I pieced together two pieces of Warm and Natural batting leftover from other projects, trimmed the top so it was about 32" wide, and quilted a line on each side of each seam.  It was super easy and fast!  I had all the quilting done and the quilt trimmed on Saturday evening.  Sunday morning I cut and pressed the binding before church, and when I got home I machine stitched it to the front and back.  I had one very ugly corner on the back, but I covered it up with the label.  Then it got a trip through the washer and dryer, and Huck helped me photograph it!  It was finished before dinner on Sunday afternoon.
This baby has a big sister, who is about a year and a half old.  When we moved in March, we sent our friends and family a postcard with our new address and a picture of Huck.  This little girl's dad told us that she really liked the picture of the dog an got excited about seeing it hanging on their fridge, so I decided to knit her a dog of her own as a big sister gift.  This is the labrador pattern from the book Knit Your Own Dog.  I knit it in a heavy worsted superwash merino that I've had in my stash for at least 5 years.  The yarn was a lot heavier than the recommended yarn, and I used up pretty much exactly the whole skein for the body, head, legs, ears, and tail.  Luckily I had a skein of grey, too, so I could give the doggie a belly that still pretty much matched.  I sewed up the seams (and there were many, for some reason I don't understand the legs and head are knit flat and then seamed) with black sewing thread.
I think the dog and the quilt turned out well, and I hope their recipients will enjoy them!

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