Katie's most loved blankets have names, "Pink" and "White." You'll have to forgive her lack of creativity in naming them as they developed when she was just about 2 years old and didn't know all that many words. They both started out as pink, but "white" was pretty pale. (Incidentally, the precious blanket that was lost was named "blue," but it was also mostly pink.)
"Pink" and "White" are in such bad shape that she's not allowed to take them out of her bed, so save them wear and tear. Pink had been made for Katie by my sister Kendra, so when my sister said she still had a bunch of left-over fabric from the project after all these years, I was happy to take it off her hands.
Kendra had already cut the fabric into strips. (In fact, you can see the giraffe heads on the Suzy Zoo print sticking out the same way on both quilts.) I debated about whether to keep the pattern the same or change it up a bit. In the end, we decided to stick with the same pattern, and just extend it to make a larger blanket, better designed to fit her 9-year-old body.
It's an understatement to say that she was thrilled when she opened the box. She was super, super excited.
And it really is a wonder looking at "New Pink" and "Old Pink" that they really came from the very same fabric. I knew Old Pink was worn out, but seeing it side-by-side with a new version of itself was pretty surprising.
Anyway, watching my kids with their blankets over the years as taught me a few things about quilts and blankets that I thought I would share.
7 Lessons Learned from a Very Loved Blankie
1. Fabric Matters!
If you look at Old Pink, you can see that there is batting showing in quite a few places. All of those places where the batting is missing used to have a pink-blender-store-brand fabric in them. An that pink fabric is missing from everywhere on the quilt, except for one spot.
|This is the only piece of the pink-blender fabric that is left in the quilt.|
2. Don't Scrimp on the Bindings
I used to use my cheapest, thinnest fabric on my bindings. I figured it was a good way to get rid of it, since it shows so little on the quilt. BIG MISTAKE! As I've watched my kids blankets get used, the bindings are always the first place they start to show wear. Even if you decide to use cheaper fabric for most of the quilt, it's worth it to buy the good stuff for the bindings. You're probably only going to need 1/3 or 1/2 a yard of fabric for the bindings and it's only a couple extra dollars. If I'm not using one of the prints from the quilt design, I like to use Kona solids for my bindings, although there are several fabric designers that have their own lines of high quality solids.
3. It doesn't need complicated piecing.
You don't need complicated piecing to make a treasured quilt. Simple quilt designs that let the fabrics speak for themselves are often the best. "Pink" is really just one big log cabin block. "White" isn't even a pieced quilt...it's just two pieces of fabric.
4. It doesn't need to be perfect.
Of course you always want to do your best work...but if some of the corners don't match up...or you've got a few puckers...or your quilting lines aren't as straight as you'd like, it will still be loved. Chances are, whoever you're making it for doesn't know enough about quilting to notice your mistakes and no one looks at a quilt as carefully as the person who made it.
5. Kids LOVE bright and loud.
I steered clear of I-Spy blankets for a long time because I just felt they were too busy with so many different prints and too much going on. Guess what...kids LOVE them, for exactly all those reasons. If you're making a quilt for a child, play to their preferences and they will love the quilt forever.
|I-Spy Unicorns Quilt|
6. Your choices may end up influencing their long term tastes.
This maybe doesn't happen in every case, but if you're lucky enough to end up giving a truly treasured quilt, it may end up influencing their tastes. I made burp clothes for my niece that ended up becoming her comfort item, and she has loved polka dots her whole life because of them.
7. Choose your basting spray wisely.
I've been having real problems with my machine doing free-motion quilting. I thought it was just a problem with having an older machine and I recently making this quilt that it's a problem with my basting spray gumming up the needle and causing it to skip stitches. See those swirls? I had to stop after each one and clean off my needle with rubbing alcohol. When I find my new favorite basting spray, I'll let you know...cause I'm not giving up basting spray.
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|Smitten Scattered Hearts in Pink - Quilt Sandwich Fabrics||Garden Tomb - Art Print from Prints of Peace||Anatomical Heart Pendant from Boutique Academia|
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