Name: Mini Diabolical Jane
Dimensions: About 40" x 40" (I think)
Pieces: Front - 201, Back - 2
Pattern: Diabolical Jane by Jessie Aller
Materials: 100% quilting cottons
Quilting: Machine quilted on my Juki
This story begins as many of my stories do, with an expectant mother of a little boy. I asked my usual question: theme and/or color of the nursery and she told me they were planning to decorate the nursery in blue and orange, with a Finding Nemo theme. I went back and forth with design ideas, including ones with fish and anything else nautical I could find. But after making my mother-in-law's sea life quilt years ago, I really didn't want to do anything like that again. And then I remembered that I'd been meaning to try out the Diabolical Jane pattern that a former guild mate of mine had posted on her blog. And the blue and orange would be great for that.
Plus with the layout of the colors fading to white on the edges it looked like a bubble to me. But first I had to adjust the king sized quilt pattern down to a baby quilt size, and I decide to cut my strips 2.5" wide and my diamonds 2.5" square. As you almost have to do with this quilt, I played with the layout of the strips quite a bit, before I was truly satisfied. I was not happy with those too dark blues at the outer edges, for example, so they got replaced or rearranged. A lot of the fabrics also brought in the nautical/fish theme, though I used anything and everything blue and orange I had in my stash, despite what was on them. Next I started sewing together the sections. The more I sewed, the smaller the quilt got. Which I know is kind of to be expected, but because of the number of pieces, it rather surprised me on this one more than on most.
For the back I had bought a fish print fabric and added a strip of a seashell fabric to one side to make it larger and that was it. Nothing fancy since the front is already quite busy. After basting it, it sat and sat and sat some more. The problem: my two commission quilts that I was bound and determined to finish before going back to any gift or personal quilts. And so it sat some more, basted, ready to be quilted, for almost a year. When I finally did get around to it, after quilting the African Commission #1 quilt, I chose to play up the bubble idea and did an all-over free-motion pebble design. I love quilting those, it's almost soothing, and on such a small quilt it takes hardly any time at all, nor is it very hard to manipulate through the machine. I quilted them fairly large as well and tried to stay fairly round with them, though I didn't succeed with that completely. I'd say it still turned out really nice.
When I trimmed the quilt square, I was surprised by how much it shrank, but at that point it was way too late to add borders or anything else. The binding was a dark blue with a faint linear bubble pattern that I found while shopping for some of the other fabrics. It does a good job of framing the quilt so the edges don't fade out completely and still maintains the theme, which I liked. A quick embroidery to add my initials and the date onto the quilt, and I had another quilt ready to send back to Washington, DC. By then that baby was almost or maybe even over a year old. Whoops!