I was commissioned to make a baby quilt for a little girl who was born to parents with very traditional taste. After a little research on quilt designs that were popular at the turn of the century, I settled on making an Ocean Waves quilt using scrappy pink half-square triangles. My research turned up Ocean Waves blocks with different sizes and numbers of squares in each block, but the design below is the one I liked best, and went with for my quilt.
I pulled scraps from my bins, some orphaned blocks from earlier projects (namely my HST Chaos quilt), and finally rounded it out with some stashed fabric. I went with Kona Snow for the background. Some of the orphan blocks had low volume fabrics for the "background," but it is such a subtle difference that I had to mark them with a tiny green clothespin when I was laying them out on my design wall. That allowed me to be able to see their location more easily and make sure they were evenly spread over the whole quilt top.
I kept the blocks themselves unpressed in the hopes that when I assembled the whole quilt top, I could nest the seams. I did end up nesting the seams in the end, but in one block a seam might have been pressed up on one side of the block, and down on the other. It wasn't perfect, but it worked out all right in the end.
Straight line quilting didn't seem right for this traditional baby quilt, so I made the decision to try "orange peel" quilting diagonally through every square. In the picture above, I'm working on the diagonal wavy lines. It was a lot of quilting on such a small quilt, but the texture was amazing!
I did all of the quilting myself on my "home machine," and Jacquie Gering has a great lesson on how to quilt this pattern in her book, "Walk." It looks complicated, but is really just sets of wavy lines. I usually only do this type of quilting on smaller projects, because it is more time-consuming, but I am so happy that I challenged myself to use it for this quilt. The result was a baby quilt that was more heavily quilted than I am used to, and I debated about washing it to soften things up a little (imagine the crinkle!), but in the end, I wanted the recipient to see it before it was washed.
I chose a lawn fabric from Heather Ross's new collection for the backing. The pattern is more floral than I usually do, but I love how it looks with with the quilt - and it is so incredibly soft. When I posted about my backing fabric on Instagram, someone asked about lawn fabric, so here is a link to a brief description of it.
When it came time to bind the quilt, I realized that I didn't have anything left in my stash that was quite right, so I ordered this stripe (and waited and waited and waited for USPS to deliver it...) and it was totally worth the wait! The stripe is part of Andover's Sweet Shoppe Candy collection and is their Candy Stripe in Unicorn Pink.
I am excited with how this baby quilt turned out and I am curious about making a larger throw quilt with a dark blue background and low-volume fabrics. For now, that idea will rest and percolate in the back of my head and this quilt is off to it's new owner.
- 36 blocks made up of 216 half-square-triangles @ 2" x 2" finished and some solid background squares. The quilt is laid out 6 blocks across and 6 blocks down.
- Blocks are 8" x 8" finished
- Finished quilt size: 48" x 48"
- Yardage: 2 yards of backing fabric and 1 1/2 yards of contrasting color fabric (pink)
One last thought for another Ocean Waves quilt: switch to HST that finish at 3"...keep the number of blocks and squares the same...and this is what you get!! This would finish at 72" square, which to me is a great size for a throw quilt.