Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

This is my first time joining the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I know I've posted about it before, but I really enjoyed the Bug Quilt I made for a co-worker and think it's my best completed work this year.

Bug Crib Quilt
Quilt Measurements: 38x48 inches
Special Techniques used: Applique, hand embroidery
Quilted by: Me
Best category: Baby Quilt, Applique Quilt, Home Machine Quilted Quilt
Entry #597
The first supervisor I had at a full-time job in my field of study was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, she's no longer my supervisor, but I do still have the pleasure of working with her and when she announced she was pregnant last year, I decided to do something special for her. So after discussing plans for her nursery (first time mother at 35), she said she had no clue. This lack of planning ahead categorized most of her pregnancy, since she still wasn't quite ready to believe that she might actually be pregnant. So, remembering something she had told me about being glad it was a boy because she loves bugs and other tom-boy things, which was completely surprising to me since she's about the most put-together person I know, I did a "drive-by questioning." I popped my head in her door, asked her "bugs or underwater," waited just long enough for her to give me a quizzical look and say, "bugs," and walked back out.
Images are not mine
I had a base pattern I wanted to use, but knew I would be setting out on uncharted territory since I'd never created my own patterns for applique. So I went online, and found the most colorful beetles and other bugs I could find. I also decided on two butterflies and two dragonflies as the corner pieces.

Next stop, G Street Fabrics, a place that blew Joann's Fabrics out of the water, and where I got most of the fabrics I wanted to use for the quilt. I also bought some satin ribbon to use for the shinier bugs.

Next I used Publisher to size the bugs so they would fit on a 4x4 inch square (corner bugs on a 5x5 inch square) and cut out the main body from the fabric and ribbons. I also used fusible web interfacing, but quickly realized this was pointless since I was going to have to hand-turn the bugs as I sewed them down. Then I went in and embroidered the details like legs and antennae.
Next, I used the 4x4 bugs as the center medallions for courthouse step blocks. Then I added a plain border with the 5x5 bugs as the corner medallions.

Pieced the backing fabric with some scrap fabric from the front to give it a little bit of a focal point.

I outline quilted the center blocks and straight line quilted the border strips on my little Singer, and finished the whole thing off with a scrappy binding with yet more left-over fabric from the front. Wish I had a better picture of the binding, but it has gone to its rightful owner. An adorable little boy, called Thomas.


  1. Great bug quilt and the story about why and how you made it.

  2. This is so fun! Love that you designed your own appliqu├ęs.