Name: Toucan Baby Quilt
Dimensions: 40x50 inches
Category: Baby Quilt
Technique: Patchwork with fused, rough-edge, machine applique
Materials: Assorted quilting cottons for the patchwork, Kona Solids for the toucan, and flannel for the backing
Quilting: Machine quilting done on my little Euro-Pro
Story: I really wanted to share this quilt because it represents my first time doing large applique using a pattern I created myself. I am really proud of how the toucan turned out, but I definitely learned a few lessons.
My high school boyfriend (of two weeks, but my first kiss, so it kind of sticks in your mind), now just friend, announced via Facebook (as you do) that his wife was pregnant. I immediately sent him a message asking him for details about the future nursery theme as soon as they knew more. And then proceeded not to hear from him until after the baby was born. So after his son, Malcom, was born, I sent him another message basically asking for the same information. This time he told me they had done the nursery in yellow, green, and tan and that they were going with a jungle theme.
I'd already made an applique jungle quilt for another friend, so I wanted to do something slightly different for this one. I started with the patchwork background, because that seemed easiest. I was right, it came together super fast. Then I debated adding an elephant, but that seemed overdone (i.e. I'd done it once already). Finally I settled on a toucan and spent considerable time finding the perfect picture to base my pattern on. I needed something that was vaguely cartoonish, but still fairly realistic. I used Publisher to blow the image up to the size I wanted and printed it out.
I machine appliqued by sewing around the edges of the fused sections with a straight stitch and then stitch in the ditch quilted the whole thing. I outlined every single individual piece of the toucan as well as the squares.
My one regret is that I didn't wash the background patchwork before adding the toucan or alternatively, quilting more densely in the toucan, because after washing and shrinkage, the toucan puckers more than I would have liked everywhere where it is not fused.