I have wanted to make a quilt with lots of dots since I started quilting. These dots slowly made their way into my stash (specifically, Michael Miller Ta Dot prints (with no white or black) as well as a few Anna Maria Horner Polka Line prints, which are the same scale as Ta Dot).
needed wanted to make a gender neutral baby quilt and I thought the raw edge circles + polka dots would be a perfect combination for that.
I then added some Kona solids — solids that match the dot colors (not background colors) —to give the eye a place to rest.
To appliqué the circles and straight-line quilt, I used a 20-weight rainbow variegated thread and I love how the thicker thread stands out on the bright quilt.
As I was making this quilt, my girls kept calling it the pizza-pie fabric and my husband said it would give a baby seizures, but I disagree.
This quilt does not have my new labels on it because I got my label supplies one day after I finished the quilting. The next quilt will incorporate them though.
I was so, so close to loving how this quilt turned out. Then, I washed it. You could say that I learned how not to raw-edge appliqué with this quilt. I much prefer the other lesson I learned while making this quilt. Darn circles. (I wonder if the raw-edge appliqué issues were because of the heavy weight thread??). Some of my raw edges unraveled a little too much and were just a wash or two away from coming apart from the quilt.
I tried a few different ways to fix my problem…
First, I outlined the inside of the circles with another line of
sloppy stitches, thinking this would keep the circles from coming apart from the quilt. But, because of how I constructed the circles, this was not a solution at all; as it would expose the batting if the fabric unraveled more.
Luckily, I liked how the extra outlining looked on the back, so I left the outline stitches that I did in the quilt (I only did a row of circles with the outlining).
Next, I tried using a wiggly decorative stitch to sew all around the edge of a circle. I did not like how this turned out but I thought I would damage the fabric removing those stitches, so they stayed in the one circle that I stitched like this.
Last, I used a zig-zag stitch, but used it only where needed on the raw edge. I like to call this look the Frankenstein. While I don’t hate how the Frankenstein stitches look and I would have much preferred not to have had to patch my circles in this way.
So, even though I do not love how this quilt finished, I still do like it and can appreciate it since I hopefully will not make those same mistakes again!
A note about the quilt’s recipients
Our super nice neighbor-friends are expecting their fourth child and the baby should be here any day now. This family has really helped us out a few times and I thought a baby quilt would be a nice way to show them that we appreaciate them being our neighbors and to thank them for coming to our rescue on more than one occasion! I am thrilled to be able to give back to them in some way.
I had planned to keep the quilt a surprise, but I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut once the wife happened to tell me that she loves polka dots. So, I spilled the beans and told her my quilt plans. I also warned her that there is some pink in the quilt, and asked if that was ok in case the baby is a boy (they are waiting to find out the gender until the birth). She said she didn’t mind (whew!). And it turns out that my backing fabric was a great match for them too because the husband really likes maps.