Beautiful B(ack)log #5: Grace's quilt

I have a soft spot for babies—and it seemed that 2009 was the year of the baby for many in my circle. Between work and friends and cousin's on Chris' side, there were too many to keep track of. And, having found my new love for all things handmade, I wanted to create something special for each of them. My ambitions, though, were much greater than my time would allow and several projects had to fall by the wayside only to be substituted by store-bought gifts. This one, however, was one I am so glad that I was able to finish. This variation on Joelle Hoverson's  follow the lines baby quilt  was made for a coworker's newborn, Grace. And, from what I understand now, it's Grace's favorite blanket. How can that not make your heart melt? Knowing that makes handmade gifts even more precious—not only to the receiver . . . but also to this giver.

This was my second attempt at this type of quilt and also my second attempt at using chenille—which, while it looks and feels fantastic (I love the texture that the top gets from not having any batting between the layers, too), is a bit of a mess to work with if you don't have a large table to use when cutting. Once you get past this and get the layers basted together, the follow-the-lines quilting is a relaxing (albeit time consuming) project. On this one, I doubled up a soft pink hand quilting thread for my stitching. The stitching blends in on the chenille underside and gently follows the lines of this Amy Butler pattern on the front.

My first attempt at a similar version of this quilt was more like the original Joelle Hoverson pattern and I used a binding rather than wrapping the front fabric to the back as an edge like on this pink one. The binding definitely gives a more polished appearance—but there's something about the wrapped/folded binding that I like a little better. And, if I do this again . . . I'll probably go that route.

But, for now . . . I can rest assured that this soft pink fabric is resting sweetly against the cheek of baby Grace. And, I get to enjoy the daily reminder of that sweetness when I wake up each day and see the blue version (the first one) of it laying quietly on the chair that we hope to one day rock our own babies to sleep in.

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