I recently completed a new quilt for Mini Man. Didn't I just make a quilt for him? Yes, I did. That quilt was backed with flannel meant for warmth in the winter. This new quilt is backed with cotton poplin and is a lighter. It will be much better for spring and summer.
I've had this quilt in mind for awhile now. I had the fabrics below pulled, but could never figure out a design.
After purchasing some neutral prints (for a different quilt) I decided to use some of them to off-set the brightness of the original fabrics. I thought a disappearing nine-patch would be a good quilt pattern to use. I also added in several blue, turquoise, yellow, red, and orange prints. A nine-patch quilt block is nine squares sewn into a three-by-three grid. To make the block 'disappearing' you cut the nine-patch in the middle horizontally then vertically. You can then piece together the four new (daughter) squares in whatever fashion you choose. Typically the four small squares in the daughter blocks are placed in the corners of the new block. Instead of piecing together the same daughter blocks from each nine-patch I spread them around to create larger areas of neutrals and color. I didn't want a uniform pattern throughout.
I found this tutorial at St. Louis Folk Victorian for a modernized disappearing nine-patch. I like all the negative space in the quilt and thought I would do something similar. I knew that all the different neutral prints wouldn't blend as well as the quilt in the tutorial (where it was all the same fabric), but I knew that all the black, white, and gray would help the bright colors stand out more.
The tutorial illustrated five samples of block layouts to increase the variety. They concept for each block was the same. Four squares (of the nine) are prints, and five squares (of the nine) are neutrals. I followed the same pattern of five neutrals and four colors, but didn't use all the same layouts in the tutorials. I made 18 nine-patch blocks which created 72 daughter blocks.
For the blue transportation print I wanted large areas of the fabric. The scale of the print is somewhat large and I didn't want to break it apart into smaller blocks. I cut two larger blocks and used them in place of four of the daughter blocks. They were both slightly smaller than the 2-by-2 area of daughter blocks so I added extra squares to the top or bottom of each. I added two orphan half-square-triangles to the bottom of one. That is my favorite.
I backed the quilt with cotton poplin prints by Little Lisette. I found all of them at Jo-ann in the clearance bin. They are so soft!
My favorite is the hot air balloons. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough to use just that print.
I tried something different with the quilting. I have seen a lot of quilts quilted with decorative stitches. They are quilted on regular machines using straight-line quilting. They add interest to the quilt that straight-line quilting sometimes lack. Since I am unable (or unwilling) to try free-motion quilting on my machine I thought the decorative stitching would be a good compromise. Unfortunately, my machine has zero decorative stitches. In addition to straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, blind stitch, and 'M' stitch, my machine also has a multi-stitch zig-zag which is meant for "mending, overcasting, joining, or reinforcing" as well as bar tacks. I have never used this stitch for any of those things, but thought the stitch looked neat and would look interesting.
I started by quilting straight lines horizontally across the quilt two inches apart. I then went back and added a line between each to create lines one inch apart. It looked unfinished with two-inch spacing. I, unfortunately, has issues with horizontal shifting. That is the biggest reason I don't like to quilt horizontally or vertically. If I quilt diagonally I have less shifting. I didn't use my walking foot. I know that would help. I don't love using my walking foot because it creates and uneven stitch length. I'm not sure why that is, but I knew it would be much more obvious with a zig-zag stitch so I didn't use it. I can live with a little shifting.
I used a lot of novelty prints to create a semi-I-spy quilt.
I really like how it turned out. I think the neutrals help keep the novelty prints from being too busy. It also helps it feel less baby-ish and more kid-ish. Hopefully this will allow the quilt to 'grow' with him. I'm currently working on a second one for Little Man.