This summer has been a wild one, seeming so slow, then crazy busy, always going by too fast. (Summer is like that. I think it’s fleeting nature makes me love it more. It’s hard to love crazy heat and humidity when it hangs around too long.) Importantly, some dear friends of mine were expecting a baby midsummer. I had a grand plan for something highly complicated, and each time I simplified the plan the project got easier, but more importantly, better. My whole time working on it I’ve had this quote from the opening of Pride and Prejudice stuck in my head:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Of course my mangled mind deemed that in the same vein that a fresh baby, in acquaintance of a good quilter, must be in need of a quilt. This baby has a big sister whose baby quilt features Kermit the Frog and as such needed something in the Muppet family to stay on theme.
Now, I had planned this quilt far in advance to give myself lots of time. Unfortunately, all I had were plans, and all she had was hurry because she arrived three weeks early and I had only just purchased the fabric. In the end, this worked out well, as I was able to incorporate her name into the quilt. I used a paper piecing patter that was free from Fandom in Stitches, printed at 200% for a 20” block rather than the drafted 10”. This pattern looks great when done but it is decidedly not for the faint of heart. It had 135 pieces and even doubled in size there was a not insubstantial number of pieces that were so small I couldn’t read the labelling and had to fiddle around figuring out which piece was which. (The smallest was a piece of the eyelid so small that it was barely 1/8” tall.) I did do a dumb thing and print, tape and cut out the entire thing on regular printer paper before I remembered I much prefer my newsprint for paper piecing. It worked out well, since I cut out each individual piece from the thicker paper and was able to use them as cutting templates.
The lettering is a personal favorite. The pattern is drafted so well, it always comes out looking so impressive. It’s My First Alphabet by From Blank Pages. Framing the text in a cartoon speech bubble was a stroke of a genius (if I may toot my own horn) as I was beginning to plan out the quilting. Beyond that I outlined Fozzie’s head, eyes and mouth and stitched vertical lines 3” apart, going around the main motifs. I’ll be honest, the quilting is my least favorite part (besides basting, but no one likes basting). I also really like fluff and drape in a quilt so sparse quilting works for me and is my go to. I think it works well here.
I made a label using a Dear Stella fabric that has a bunch of printed labels you can fill in. I played with the monogramming feature on my machine to embroider the label. It did go a little sideways but I still think it looks nice. You can see that I am quite the novice at needle turn appliqué but hey, you know it’s handmade.
I had the pleasure of gifting it to said lovely baby upon meeting her tonight and it was just a delight. My friend told me she had forgotten to buy a quilt in the lead up to baby’s arrival and was planning to do so ASAP but I beat her to the punch! Perfect. Then she said the thing everyone wants to hear about a thing you’ve made with your hands and your heart and given freely:
This is the best present we’ve gotten.
There is a truly nothing better. I am the cat that caught the canary.