SIZE: ~18″ x 24″ (each square is around 6″ finished)
FABRIC: Dick and Jane prints + red, orange, yellow, green and blue scraps and prints
DESIGN: bento box
QUILTING: by machine; quilt-as-you-go method then stitch in the ditch
BINDING: Wee Play ruler print by American Jane; machine sewn to front and back
INSPIRED BY: wanting to find a way to use my small batting scraps
FOR: either a future birthday gift or one of my daugthers
With only a couple more days left of having just two little ones to look after, I decided to squeeze in as much quilting as I could. (Nevermind the fact that the sink is overflowing with sippy cups and other unwashed dishes. I’ll get to that later.) On Thursday I pieced/quilted and basted this little doll quilt and on Friday I bound it. I still need to wash it and will be interested to see how it crinkles up after the laundering process.
After seeing some completed quilts from Penny’s (Sew Take a Hike) Quilt-as-You-Go Quilt-a-Long (that’s a lot of hyphens!), I decided I wanted to try that method of quilting. And I wanted to find a way to use some of my collection of many small batting scraps.
I strayed from the quilt-a-long’s log cabin pattern because I don’t have many light scraps and I wanted to do a simpler block. I’ve loved the Bento Box quilt pattern ever since I first saw it (my favorite bento box quilt; make sure you check out the quilting) and have been itching to make a bento box quilt since. This won’t be the last the bento box quilt I make, that’s for sure.
I found the Michael Miller Dick and Jane fabrics hiding in a bundle at JoAnn and knew I wanted to make a doll quilt with them (I love making little quilts, as if you couldn’t tell already). I used the Dick and Jane prints on the back and they were the jumping off point for the color palette on the front. About half of the fabrics on the front were scraps and the other half I had to cut from larger fabric pieces in my stash. I even had to cut into my Katie Jump Rope collection for the first time to bring in some oranges. It actually felt good to use some coveted fabrics instead of just saving them.
I feel like I am growing in terms of how I came to pick the fabrics for the front. I normally want my fabrics to EXACTLY match each other colorwise and I have a hard time putting together fabrics that just kinda match. I see others put together kinda matching fabrics in their quilts and they turn out beautifully. For this quilt, I tried to keep each color family in the same hue, but varied the shade (darkness) and tone (lightness). Maybe next time I can branch out and vary the hues too! 😛
For the binding, I used the fun ruler print from Wee Play by American Jane. It fits the quilt perfectly. I machine sewed the binding to the front and back (again) using the new-to-me method and am really quite pleased with this new method. The corners look even better this time too. I cut my binding strips to 2.5″ instead of 2.25″ and that gave me a little more wiggle room when it came time to sew the binding to the front.
I really like how the quilting looks using this method. It is nice and tight and clean looking, despite the fact that the quilting lines aren’t all exactly straight. The quilting gives order to the quilt. And it just feels good to the touch. What I don’t like about this quilting method is how the back looks. It is very loose despite the fact that my quilt sandwich was very tightly basted and I used more than enough pins. Maybe there’s a different way to back this type of quilt so that it looks better? I’d love to make a larger quilt using this method, but not until I figure out how to get a better looking back. I also realized that it’s probably better to use a darker fabric on the back since the fabrics from the front show through on the back through their seams. Not a big deal, but something to adjust the next time I make a quilt like this.
I am going to try this quilting method one more time in a small quilt before I try to make a big version. Hopefully I can work out the kinks with the back next time. For a big version, I’d love to follow Penny’s quilt-a-long instructions and end up with a quilt like Marit’s (of Quilt It) Short Stories quilt. Isn’t it gorgeous?
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All photo of this quilt edit.