Today I have three little quilts to share with you. They were all made specifically for a charity called Jack's Basket, which provides support for families with new Downs Syndrome babies. Every baby deserves to be celebrated! In that spirit of celebration, I decided to make happy little quilts to put in the baskets. Jack's Basket asks that the quilts be approximately 30"x36".
The first quilt is called Joyful Jack, because the fabrics are so upbeat and happy! I made it using six little panel squares that feature smiling animals with encouraging words like "Never forget how much you are loved" and "Have courage, dream big."
The other blocks are scrappy crumb-y blocks in bright novelty fabrics.
Joyful is sashed in a pale green and yellow geometric with scrappy cornerstones. I had a mini charm pack that was the right colors so I grabbed 20 of the squares. The parrot block above has a pale yellow background that mushed into the sashing, so I put a thin purple border around it and centered it to make it look deliberate. Big stipple for quilting makes a soft, snuggly quilt. The binding is the same as the sashing, the first time I've tried that. It gives a nice, clean finish, not that you can tell on this busy, happy little quilt.
Jungle Jack is a very simple quilt made from a panel of jungle critters. While none of these animals are smiling, they have cute, whimsical looks on their faces and I find them quite appealing. The colors are earth tones: brown, gray, green, orange and a touch of blue. I found some FQs that coordinated and pieced together piano key borders to bring the size up to 30"x36". I quilted around the panel to frame it, then did a big, loose wavy crosshatch over the animals with my walking foot. In the borders I did FMQ hearts and arches.
No need for a pieced backing with quilts this small. Less than a yard covers the whole back lickety split. On Joyful Jack I used this fun print called Animal Tails, which shows the backsides of circus animals wearing brightly colored formal jackets. For Jungle Jack, I used a brown and orange print with oak leaves and acorns. OK, oaks aren't really jungle plants, but the colors are right. I used the same print as the binding. The bindings on both quilts are machine sewn to be sturdy.
These tiny quilts go together so fast! Because I already had the cut panels and crumb blocks in my Block Orphanage, each one was completed from piecing to quilting in a single day. When I folded them up to put them into a medium flat rate box for shipping, there was room left over. Well heck, I thought, I'll just make a third quilt to fill that box!
This one is Monterey Jack, named after the pieces of cheese in this mouse print. Yes, I know that's Swiss cheese, but c'mon, I had to keep with the "Jack" themed names, right? This design uses four FQs, and I saw it on Nancy's blog. You can buy the pattern from Modern Quilt Studio as part of a booklet of several patterns. However, I have Chronic Math Brain and often fall asleep thinking about numbers. It's a sickness, I know. Knowing that the pattern finished at 30"x36" and that a FQ is typically 18"x21", the dimensions to cut each piece floated gently out of the void and into my head. Yesterday I woke up, picked four fun fabrics, and started cutting. By the end of the day, the third quilt was finished.
The focal fabric that set the color palette is this happy kitty piece. I love their smiling faces and the little bird that perches on the ears and tails! The mouse and cheese fabric coordinated nicely and gives good contrast. A soft purple and a bit of leftover butterfly fabric and we're done. There's a vertical strip of yellow blender between the two sections, and I used that fabric again in the flange of the binding to give a nice frame.
I tried different cutting dimensions on the flanged binding this time. Usually I cut the main fabric 1.5" wide and the flange 1.75". This time I upped the flange to 2" which makes the whole binding a bit wider and the flange is more obvious. I like a wide binding, so I'm happy with this. I wouldn't go much bigger, though, because the fold of the flange would get too floppy, I think.
The backing is a single piece of this medium, muted blue. It picks up the blue in the yarn balls and butterflies on the front, and nicely matches the outside of the binding. I quilted Monterey Jack in floppy feathers, which is becoming a new favorite motif! I love how fast they stitch, and soooo forgiving. No one is more shocked than I am that I like feathers. The front thread is a bright yellow 40 weight and the bobbin is light blue 50 weight. Yellow is such a great neutral for quilting that even though the yellows in the quilt are very soft and muted, bright yellow thread looks great on top.
Today the three pieces took a tumble through the washer and dryer and they are now snuggled together in their shipping box, ready to take a Priority flight to Jack's Baskets in Minnesota.