Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eli's 2D Zoo

As a child, I was part of a big brother/big sister program.  Every Sunday after Hebrew school, my PAL, Marcia, and I would go toiling around the suburbs of Atlanta.  We kept in touch even when I "graduated" from the program, moved away for college, and never returned.  She has always been an important part of my life (and I can't imagine that I was an easy kid to get along with - very moody and non-communicative), so when I learned she and her husband were expecting their first child, I couldn't have been more excited.  Naturally, I immediately started planning something special.  I was unable to go to their wedding a few years ago, so I felt that this had to make up for that absence as well.

After harassing Marcia about the color scheme for the baby's room and scouring the internet for ideas, I settled upon a minimalist approach using this quilt as inspiration. I wanted something subdued and classy that didn't scream BABY, but also had a bit of fun and whimsy.  The Alexander Henry fabric was perfect. The colors were just right and, based on the registry, the nursery has some nods to jungle animals. I paired the focus print with a few shades of brown, as well as some blue and green for accents. I didn't want bright white for the background, so I used Kona bone, which compliments the different shades in the quilt really well.

When it was time to piece the back, I had just watched Elizabeth Hartman's Creative Quilt Backs class on Craftsy, so I was feeling inspired to try something festive.

For the quilting, I kept with the square theme and practiced my FMQ, inspired by Angela Walter's book.  It's not perfect, but it improved over the course of the quilt.  Though I definitely had a sore back and arms by the time I was finished, especially trying to wrangle this quilt through my machine's 5 inch (if I'm being generous) throat space .

To really make this quilt special and personalized, I tried my hand at embroidery for the first time. I used #5 DMC perle cotton, which I really liked, though in retrospect I probably should have used stranded floss instead just so I could have made the lettering a bit thinner.  Next time...  Anyway, I think this simple label with the baby's name and birthday, plus my initials, is the perfect touch.

Finish with some Madrona Road to pull in all the colors for the binding, and that's it. My fifth completed quilt! Marcia and Eric, I hope you love it and Eli gets some good use out of it!

Quilt Stats:

Quilt Name:  Eli's 2D Zoo (I'm bad with quilt names...)
Quilt Size:  43" x 43"
Pattern:  Improvised by me, inspired by this quilt
Fabrics used:  Riley Blake Small Chevron; Robert Kaufman Spot On Tiny Dot and Small Dot; Oliver + S Roundabout Dots; Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Herringbone; Violet Craft Madrona Road Haystack;  Kona Bone and Navy; Bella Platinum
Binding:  Violet Craft Madrona Road Broken Herringbone in blue
Backing:  Design by me, same fabrics as above
Quilting:  All over meandering square FMQ done by me on my home machine

Mr. T got a little impatient during the photo shoot.
Check out the awesome backdrop (you might need a magnifying glass)!

This is my first finish for FAL 2013 Q2! Much better start than last quarter!


  1. I love the meandering square quilting!!! And no I don't stalk your posts by the minute - just apparently when I am procrastinating writing you update your blog :-)

  2. This is really special. I have just picked up knitting again but want to someday try quilting. You inspire me!

  3. Great quilt, front and back. Love the photo shoot as well.