Quilters Lead Pieceful Lives.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Best Friends

Time for another baby quilt.  Since this one was a complete surprise to the recipient, I had no guidelines (or restrictions) as to color, theme, etc.  So I searched the web for something cute and girlie (knew it was going to be a girl).  I found a picture of one on Pinterest that really fit the bill. It was of a little girl and her best friend, a (toy?, stuffed? real?) panda, lying side by side in their bed.  Unfortunately, there was no pattern for it.  So I decided to just wing it and design it myself.

Here is the result:

The construction: Each of the 6 columns in the "blanket" portion contains 20 rectangles of varying sizes, all made from scraps in my stash (with some repetition). In fact, except for the ruffle, this entire quilt came from the stash!
Then I needed a fabric that looked like a typical little girl's bed sheet.  Checked in the "multi-colored" stash box and amazingly found 2 yards of the perfect fabric (wonder when I had bought it? Wonder why I didn't use it before??).  So this was enough for the bed sheet and the back fabric!  Wow! Perfect.
For the pillows, I first put together the yellow fabric, 2 layers of batting, and then a piece of (hidden) muslin on the back. I sewed these together with a decorative zig-zag stitch. Then I quilted each pillow assembly; did this so that they would look "fluffy" and not be quilted through to the back. Then I attached each one on 3 sides to the sheet fabric using an invisible line of stitching close to the edge.
Then, after many design iterations, I drew, cut, layered and fused the fabrics for the girl and the panda.   
Next, I attached the blanket section to the sheet / pillow section, catching the 4th sides of the pillows and sandwiching the ruffle in between as I sewed.
I wanted to keep the blanket looking fluffy too, so I did minimal quilting: a shadow line 1/4" on each side of the vertical seams, and a similar horizontal shadow at 4 or 5 random places in each column.
Finally, to continue the illusion of a bed (blanket and sheet), I created a split binding. The lower half uses one of the striped fabs contained in the blanket section; the top is the same fabric I used for the sheet.
So it looks like the two friends are tucked in for a night of peaceful dreams........... 


Donna said...

There are so many aspects of this quilt I love - the evolution, the bed quilt, the faces, the pillow. But most of all? The binding! What a terrific idea. You pulled out all the creative stops for this one!

Ashley Bates said...

My daughter, Dalia, was the recipient of this beautiful quilt! It's on the wall in her bedroom, and she's been mesmerized by it since she was only weeks old. Now, at age 11 months, she has developed an adorable attachment to the stuffed panda bear that Wayne gave her along with the quilt, as well as to all pandas and panda-like things. When she sees the panda bear in her book of zoo animals, she jumps up and down and squeals with excitement. The poor giraffes, hyenas, and elephants get no such reaction from her. In short, this colorful quilt seems to have inspired a genuine "best friendship" with panda bears. Thank you so much, Wayne, for this very special gift! XOXO -Ashley