Friday, January 13, 2017

Quilt #73: Zeke's First Year Milestone Quilt

A few months ago, I made a baby quilt for my friend Erin's baby. I was typically slow so Immy was a few months old by the time I got started on her quilt. In the mean time I was stalking her page for inspiration. 

She posted monthly photos of her baby on a muslin swaddling blanket like this one from Batzkids
Please don't pin this image from here. Pin (and buy!) from the source
I thought the idea was so clever. I knew I had to make a milestone quilt, but wanted to change up the look a little bit. One quilt that keep popping up in my searches is this one from the talented Kitty at the Night Quilter. She made a quilt block for each month of her son's first year, then took pictures with the blocks each month. Such a cute idea. I wish I had known how to quilt when my son was a baby. And now I want to make a turquoise and black log cabin quilt!

Please don't pin this image from here. Pin from the source.
As I browsed Pinterest, I saw lots of alphabet quilts, but numbers seemed to be left out of the fun. All the more reason to make a number quilt! 

I have a few baby quilts in my queue for littles who may be one by the time I finish their quilts. That's part of the reason I don't tell anyone I'm planning to make them a quilt because it may take years for me to get around to it. (Just ask my brother!) Plus, I just don't have the time to make quilts for everyone I think deserves a quilt! For this quilt to work as a milestone quilt, I had to finish it before a baby turned two months. (I figured if I gifted the quilt a little after the first month, mama could still get the picture taken). All I needed was a new baby!

When I learned that our son's dance teacher at school adopted a newborn, I knew just who would get this quilt. The fact that it was for a dance teacher's son was absolutely perfect. As I started playing around with a design I think I was subconsciously inspired by the playing platform of Dance Dance Revolution!

My initial design looked like this, with alternating blocks using royal blue for the numbers and frames.

I thought the frames might be mistaken for zeroes, so I played with a few other options. 

After deciding on the navy outline, I second-guessed my fabric choice for the inner square.

I love, love, love the heart print and think it's perfect for a boy quilt, but I realized it's too busy to go with main print.

All vacillating complete, I was able to quickly make the blocks. My housekeeper, who is also a quilter, made me this 12" x 12" mini-design table that is just right for moving pieces from my cutting area to my sewing table.

In no time, I had all 12 number blocks up on my board. 

Once I saw the numbers on my design wall, I had another idea. If I placed the numbers like a clock, then baby could be placed under the appropriate number to indicate her age in months.

I superimposed a photo of my now-eight year old on my design to see how it could work. I may have gotten something in my eye at this point.

Once the blocks were pieced, I opted not to put a border on it because it was already 45" x 45".

My backing fabric was not quite wide enough on its own so I added a few stripes. 

I quilted a giant spiral starting in the center block. Quilting is still the part that I need to improve most when I don't use straight lines, but practice makes perfect. (Seems there's a dancing analogy there, too)

I made my binding while I was finalizing my fabric choices and layout. I've been using my second spool holder for a while now to hold my binding as I attach it. This time, I had the idea to wrap it around an empty spool. Not only does it work great on the spool holder, but it didn't unravel or get tangled before I used it.

For the label, I added the adoption symbol. The points of the triangle represent the birth mom, child, and adoptive family, all connected by love. (I love the way Jane from They Call Me Jane explains what the symbol means to her).

If I'm able, it usually make a taggie blanket to go along with my baby quilt. In this case, it was the perfect way to provide a frame for this milestone quilt. 

When I trimmed the backing, I had the perfect design for a little pillow. 

While we were taking photos, D, who always wraps his love in each of my quilts as we pray a blessing over the recipient, wanted to make sure I point out that the quilt works as a milestone quilt for big kids, too. 

All the self-doubt aside, this was a fun quilt to make. I've already started thinking of how I can make another one. I made a quick template with fabric from Falling for Alex

Updated: I did made a second milestone quilt. Check it out here

To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, look for  #ZekesFirstYearQuilt  on Instagram. If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me at de Jong Dream House.

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  1. This is so very clever! Thank you for sharing your process on this! As I am about to be a grandmother for the first time, I love these ideas!!

  2. Wow, these are lovely. Well done! Pen x #AnythingGoes

  3. Wow, these are gorgeous! I love these! This is a great idea. Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes


  4. Amazingly beautiful and so cool that Bigs can mark their birthdays too. Your son looks like a wonderful kid. The pillow rocks and the taggie inspires !~!

  5. Thank you so much for the shout out, and what a wonderful milestone quilt you made!! I love that your son discovered that with numbers it can be used for big kids, too!! So perfect, and I'm sure Zeke and his mama will love it!!!


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