I have been in radio silence (or rather blog silence) because I have not wanted to reveal the completed quilt until after my daughter-in-law's baby shower. I can proudly state that I did finish it about two weeks ago, long before the baby shower, which was today. I was not putting the last stitches in it the night before as I am wont to do with gifts. It has a bit more of a modern twist than is my normal style but my husband told me it still says little girl without shouting it. Here is the front. The quilt measures 39" wide x 45" tall. I'd like to call it Paisley Pearl but since that name is nowhere on the quilt it will exist only in this blog. I usually embroider just my initials and the year on the quilts I make. For some reason I never developed a system or custom for more extensive labels.
The hot-pink triangles and pea-green squares are quilted diagonally. The citrine squares and chocolate triangles are quilted vertically. The pale pink and multi-color paisley fabrics are quilted along the curlique shapes. The small half-square triangles are stitched in the ditch along their seam lines. The striped border is quilted in parallel lines along the turquoise and hot pink stripes. In retrospect I wish I had been braver in using colored rather than clear thread for the quilting. But again my confidence in my free motion quilting skills is not quite there yet so I made the subtler choice. Here is the back. I permitted my cutesy tendencies to peek through in my choice of backing fabric.
I did wait until two days before the baby shower to build up my nerve to wash it. I never pre-wash my fabrics because I like working with them crisp and not soft from the sizing having been removed, but I always cross my fingers that the dark fabric dye will not bleed into the paler fabrics. I like my quilts to have contrast so the old adage of "wash dark colors separately" is just not possible. But now that I use Synthrapol, a detergent that sets dye, along with Shout Color Catcher cloths, small treated sheets that attract any released dye before it resettles, I am less concerned. Before I gift baby quilts or burp cloths now I pre-wash them twice, first with the Synthrapol and Shout Color Catcher cloths and then again with my regular detergent Era and Color Catcher cloths to be sure that when those new parents wash them they need not fear color bleed. If the colors bleed into each other on my watch – so be it, I will make replacement quilt. I do not want those new parents to feel that they messed up somehow. Besides, after washing, the quilt crinkles and puffs up so nicely on the quilting lines. The quilting does show up after all even though I used clear, soft, polyester thread. Here is the quilt packaged and ready for giving. That happy striped border still makes me smile. Perhaps the border could have been a bit wider but I was concerned that too much of it with it's bright colors and graphic pattern might detract from the featured large print paisley blocks. Also, if wider, then the backing fabric would have had to be pieced.
Underneath the quilt I tucked a selection of washcloths in the same color scheme as the quilt. I pre-washed these too with the color cloths and was glad I did since the bright turquoise did give up a bit of dye.
I thought it kind of bemusing that the box is from the Fat Quarter Shop – the ultimate in recycling. Get fabric in box... give quilt in box!
I wrapped the box in my signature polka dots motif and used the remaining rose paisley binding as the tie. I will be an Indian giver though. I am going to ask for that binding back for another project. It breaks a quilter's heart to see usable fabric discarded.
Now, as for the present on the right with the striped fabric tie...? That is the subject of my next post.
After the baby shower today, I can safely say that Paisley Pearl was a success with the expectant couple, my son and daughter-in-law.