Project Baby Quilts - Part 1

This last weekend, I used the snowy weather and my unwelcome sickness to dedicate a little time to quilting as Michael and I have a couple of different friends who are pregnant.

I began by tracking down a quilt pattern that that would be within the realm of possibility for my skill level. I found
this pattern, which was designed for the Sweet Stuff line of fabrics by Robert Kaufman fabrics. Not only is this line of fabrics discontinued, I also wasn't crazy about them. As I did with my previous quilt, I used this pattern as a base, substituting in other fabrics.

I probably make this substitution process a little more complicated than it needs to be, but basically, I assign each of the fabrics in the pattern a code--for example, Plain 1 (PL1) and Print 1 (P1) and so on. Once I determined how many of each--plains and prints--that I needed, I tracked down some fabrics. Once again, I turned to
etsy seller fabricworm for a beautiful collection of fabrics by Heather Bailey, and my trusty Joann for complimentary plain fabrics. I usually also copy and paste pictures of the fabrics from online into a Word document and play around with the positioning of them to determine which fabrics to use where.

In the end these are the the fabrics I ended up with:

Because the pattern refers to each fabric based on its manufacturer's code, it can get confusing translating it to my substituted fabrics. To solve this problem, I go through the pattern and write in each of my new substituted codes (P1, PL1, etc.) for the codes in the pattern. Then I make myself a little key:

After washing and ironing all of the fabrics (which is probably one of my least favorite--but necessary--parts of quilting), I cut each of my fabrics into the appropriate pieces based on my key and the pattern:

After stacking my fabrics up according to the pattern, I am all ready to begin piecing, blocking, etc., which will come in a later post.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share what kind of workspace I'm working with...where the magic happens, if you will. It takes some spacial creativity to undertake and complete a project like a quilt. Basically, this just means that I literally commandeer most of the condo. As Michael says, "You would be pissed if I had a hobby that took up this much of the apartment." He might be right, but mostly he's just annoyed that my workspace often puts me directly in the path between the remote control and the cable receiver. Regardless, I feel justified.
So, this is the space (directly in front of the TV/cable receiver) where I cut, iron, and generally prep my fabrics.

And over here is where I do all of my sewing. This is literally a pain because I sit so much higher than my machine that I have to stoop over to actually sew. When I'm working on something like a quilt, I might stay stooped over this for hours on end. Combine this with the additional stooping I must do to cut and iron my fabrics, and what you end up with is hump-backed old lady. Oh no! But I dream of a larger work space that the square footage of Tennessee properties may someday afford me.

I will be back soon to share my next steps on this quilting adventure.

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