Many moons ago I was expecting my second baby, having taken up patchwork and quilting after the birth of our first son I was eager to make a stroller quilt for the next addition to the family. I was totally addicted to patchwork, I loved that you could pick it up and put it down in a flash when you needed attend to a baby without the risk of the stitches falling off the needles which is what happened to my knitting! English Paper piecing was a technique I had yet to try so for my stroller quilt I decided to make baby blocks using the English paper piecing technique.
I was so happy when I found the original little quilt safe in my linen cupboard- so was Felix who as you can see decided that it was the perfect place for a nap! The fabrics in my original little quilt are poly cotton, this was about the only fabrics I could buy easily at the drapery store in the town where I lived. There were only a handful of quilt shops in the UK when I first started quilting and none of them were within a days driving for me and of course we did not have the internet, (gosh saying that makes me feel very old)!!
My sweet boy now has a one year old boy of his own....its amazing how the time flies.
Wanting to make a new version of the original baby block quilt that included my style, I added a stitchery border. The stitchery border is at the bottom of the quilt so that it can be seen and admired by all, if you wanted it at the top then it would be very easy to move. I would like to thank my friend Yvonne who kindly stepped in and made this sample for me when my injured finger prevented me from doing any stitching at all - its 5 months since the injury I can now stitch for a short time each day, each day my finger is thankfully getting stronger.
Working with two strands of Valdani stranded embroidery floss in #0512 chimney dust gave this subtle effect. I really like the nice soft variation of colour that the hand dyed threads give, one of my other fabrics threads are produced here in Australia are Cottage Garden Threads.
I chose some neutral fabrics to work with as I wanted to create a timeless baby quilt that was gender neutral although I know that most expectant parents these days know ahead of time whether they are having a boy or a girl and you can select the fabric colours to suit as this sweet quilt will look great in any colour combination. These type of fabrics can always be found in my fabric collections.
I decided to work with the 'leave in' fusible water soluble appliqué paper for this project but you could easily use the traditional removable papers.
Emma has created a printable page for you to download for the diamond templates which you can print either on the appliqué paper using an ink jet printer or on a slightly heavier weight paper for traditional removable paper piecing.
Cut out the diamonds on the line, take your time and be accurate. Wobbly lines as you cut will mean wobbly shapes which may not stitch together nicely.
Place the shiny (fusible) side of the Appliqué paper on the wrong side of the fabrics and fuse in place with hot iron (I prefer no steam). Remember to leave a 1/2" gap between each shape for the seam allowance.
Cut each shape out approx. 1/4" beyond the paper, this is your seam allowance. I love working with the Perfect Scissors, they are sharp and cut straight, if you haven't treated yourself to a pair yet what are you waiting for???
Using a fabric glue pen, put a small amount of glue close to the edge of the paper shape. If you havent used a glue pen before then don't panic the glue dries clear and is water soluble, when you have used all the glue in the glue pen you can buy refills and as far as I can tell and I have tested a few different ones any brand refill fits any brand glue pen.
Work on one side of the diamond at a time and turn the seam allowance over to the wrong side, the glue will hold the fabric in place.Continue working each side until the diamond looks like these (see picture below). Please notice you can leave the 'tails' out, don't try to tuck them in its too bulky.
Place your diamonds together to create the baby blocks, then you are ready to get stitching.
Did you see my primitive black little love scissors??? They are so cute and so sharp and come in lots of colours.
Ok, back to work - Take two of the diamonds you have prepared and place them right sides together, using a fine thread and needle stitch across the top edge making sure you only catch a few threads from each diamond. If you stitch too deep into the fabric your stitches will show on the front of your work. This stitch is called a whip stitch.
I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial, if you would like to make a 'First Love Baby Quilt' then we have made the pattern ready for you to download. I would love to see pictures of your quilt if you make one.