Apr 27, 2015

Gabby's Fish Quilt

When my son and daughter-in-law announced they were having a baby the whole family was thrilled! It's their first and that always brings lots of added excitement for the new parents.

I started thinking about a baby quilt, but wanted to wait until we knew if the baby was going to be a girl or a boy before I picked a pattern or fabric. 

They announced a little girl and that her room was going to have a fish theme. This is because they have a GIANT aquarium in that room and it wasn't going anywhere! So, they decided to work with it. What a great idea. They painted cute fish on the wall and found adorable bedding. I have always thought that the sight and sounds of an aquarium are very relaxing and soothing and that it would be wonderful to have one in a baby's room.

I started looking at quilt patterns and found this one on Craftsy. It was a free download and perfect for the nursery. It's called Kissing Fish.

I picked a cute backing fabric that looked like bubbles and 11 fabrics that would coordinate with the nursery and bedding they had picked out. 

I cut lots of little squares to make all of the fish.

And then I broke my arm. And had surgery on it. And was in a cast for seven weeks. And I couldn't sew at all. Even after I got my cast off I couldn't use a rotary cutter. Even scissors were challenging. Then it was Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I made a quick quilt for my sister in law for Christmas and a quilt for another granddaughter for her birthday in January. I needed to get Gabby's made.

So, I started sewing fish. But this was a little more complicated than I thought it would be. I have only made one other quilt on point and it was hard for me too. I guess my brain prefers my squares to be in a traditional setting! But this one has the blocks turned going in two different directions. I was trying to keep my prints and colors spread out evenly. Then, to make matters worse, I decided to add one more fish all the way around the outside to make the quilt just a little bigger! So now I needed to figure out how to finish the outside edges of the quilt so they weren't on the bias! What had I gotten myself into? This is supposed to be a simple baby quilt!!!!

This "puzzle" sat on my design wall for over a month while I contemplated how to finish it. I cut triangles, but that was going to end up cutting the noses off my outside fish, and that just would not do! And what to do with the corners? 

I finally consulted with my local quilting partner-in-crime, Judy, and we came up with a solution to sew large rectangles onto the outside edges, trim them, leaving about 1" of white fabric beyond the noses and then sew a white border on. Once it is quilted the seams will not be noticeable. (I hope.)

Still this quilt occupied my design wall. I just couldn't get myself to finish it. I had hit a wall. And I haven't been quilting because I know that this is WAY OVERDUE!!! (Like my granddaughter was born in October and turned 6 months old this month!!!!!) If I was going to be working on anything at all, it was going to be this quilt. And this wasn't something I could work on for 10 minutes or even 30 minutes a day. I needed to get in there with several days in a row devoted to this quilt and this quilt alone.

Last week I spent a day with Gabby and her mommy and I was so embarrassed that Gabby was playing on the floor, sitting on the quilt I made for her mom. Shame on me for not finishing her quilt! 

So, I cleared my calendar for this week and have decided that this is THE WEEK Gabby's quilt will be finished!! Today I worked for hours on it. I now have all the the rows sewn together. That is a HUGE major accomplishment. Tomorrow I will be trimming the outside edges, sewing triangles on the four corners and adding the borders. I hope to get that all done in the morning so that I can make the backing tomorrow afternoon. I'm so optimistic that I have already taken my batting out of the package so it can relax before I start to sandwich it. 

This little sweetheart is getting her quilt very soon. I sure hope it will be worth the wait!

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