This was my first baby quilt in quite a while. My friend N had a baby boy back in December, but I was so busy working on the Christmas/engagement quilt for my brother and his fiancee that I didn’t get a chance to start on N’s baby quilt until January. N’s family is Pakistani and when I thought about what I wanted the quilt to look like, I thought about my book about the history of global quilting traditions, “Quilts Around the World.” I have used it before, when I made the quilt for my cousin T and her husband, the people who had given me the book, and I turned to it again for inspiration. It has samples of Pakistani patchwork, which is very geometric, and I liked that. I decided I wanted to use green – something like forest green. I had a solid rectangle of green. I decided to make a border of white and black triangles. I don’t use a lot of solids in my quilts, but I made this entire quilt out of solids. It doesn’t look anything like my usual quilts but it’s beautiful!
I added another solid green border. The quilt top was still smaller than I wanted, so I decided to add a third border of black and white stripes. I cut long strips of the black and white fabrics. Each strip was 2 inches wide. I sewed the strips together, alternating black and white. I ironed the seams flat and then I cut perpendicular two inch wide strips, thus creating black and white stripes.
The strips remind me of Beetlejuice (the cartoon/movie), but I think they look really good edging the forest green.
Next step: the quilting
I used my machine to quilt the triangles. I sewed triangles in the center of each triangle – white thread on the black triangles and black thread on the white triangles. See the triangles traced below:
I also sewed lines on the green fabric – a white line on the outer border and two rectangles, one with white thread and one with black, in the center rectangles. I made the mistake of not tracing the white line I quilted on the green border, so that one came out a little wavy. Moral of the story: Always trace before you quilt! (Unless you’re doing crazy/random quilting and it doesn’t matter, of course.) The white quilting on the black triangles shows up really well in the picture below, but unfortunately the black quilting on the white triangles is only visible if you look really closely.
Here’s the back. I used green fleece for it.
I hand-quilted the baby’s name in Arabic in the center. I have to thank my friend M’s dad and/or uncle for writing out the Arabic calligraphy for me, so it would look prettier than if I drew it myself.
I used white thread to do sashiko-style quilting (I can’t guarantee that it’s actual sashiko quilting so I won’t claim that) and created a pretty geometric pattern on the sides of the rectangle. I drew the lines 1.5 inches apart.
In the future, I will not use fleece for anything that involves hand quilting. It was difficult to pull the knots of the thread through the fleece. In some cases I had to pull the knot through the top fabric instead of through the back, the way I normally would. I used fleece because it saves a layer of batting, but it added more aggravation when it came to the quilting. I had considered quilting the Arabic alphabet in the triangles, but I decided against it because hand quilting with the fleece was so much extra work.
I was really pleased with the way it came out. I think I need to start incorporating more solid fabrics into my quilt. The geometric patterns are so striking. I sent it several months late, but I’m sure N will forgive me.
Here’s the finished quilt: