Friday, October 5, 2012

The Argyle Baby Quilt, Finished!

If you've been around a while, you've seen my posts over the past several months (since about March-ish) about the Argyle Baby Quilt I've been working on. Well, today I am very proud to announce --- it's done!!

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, 2012
Original Design by The Reader

Just to catch you up, in case you've missed any of this along the way, it all started with a baby quilt contest and a pair of socks. I have a pair of socks that has three large argyle diamonds with faint criss-cross lines over it, in pink, gray and black. The quilt I originally designed was to be in those colors --- pale pink background, hot pink diamonds on the outside, black in the center and silver trim for the criss-cross. But the recipient of the quilt registered for baby girl gear in lavenders, purples, and soft pastels, not brights. So I changed it up, after much angst at finding just the right fabric for that center diamond.

I thought long and hard about how to do this quilt and eventually settled on piecing together lots and lots and lots of triangles (480, to be exact). I found a tutorial on-line (thanks to Pinterest!), although I changed the size of the triangles, and then pieced mine sideways from how the one in the tutorial is pieced. Plus doing it in all one color with the three accent diamonds, which is uniquely my own design. Still, I did follow her directions on how to not line up the triangles (they have to overlap a bit so that they are right when you open them). 

And then I pieced and I pieced and I pieced, 80 triangle pairs per section x 3 sections. I was frantically trying to get this done before our US trip in August, but hand sewing takes time, which I simply ran out of before we arrived in the US. With The Chemist's blessing, and that of the recipient as well, I brought the not-quite-finished quilt back home with me to Brazil and finished it by machine. Which is, perhaps not surprisingly, much faster!

Wow. Done. The top finished up in found moments here and there through one weekend. Then I sandwiched it with batting and the backing fabric and hand basted it. And then....then, I quilted. I used masking tape to mark the quilting lines, and I did diagonal quilting in two colors (lavender and peach), in both directions. The peach lines are centered in between the lavender lines (more or less) so that there is diagonal quilting over the entire quilt no more than 2.5" apart.

I used the edges of the diamond, and the lines of criss-cross,
as the starting point for where to put the diagonal lines.
Then I kept that spacing throughout the quilt. 

For one final touch, I did decorative quilting inside each of the small triangles that make up the large purple diamonds. Scrolly hearts, facing each other so that they echo the shape of the diamond. This was only a little more ambitious an idea than my current skill level matches, but it turned out okay in the end, thank goodness.
close-up of one of the scrolly hearts.
"with character" because it's the first time I've ever free motion quilted on a machine.

As I hate (despise, detest, abhor) making bias binding, I bought satin ribbon that is already finished on the edges so that I could just fold it over and sew it down. So much easier! My friend Jules gave me some amazing binding clips, too, so that I didn't have to pin and instead could just clip the binding in place. Worked beautifully!! I watched a tutorial on mitering corners, and off I went. It did take a certain level of concentration.....

me, sewing on binding
isn't my sewing nook in the living room fantastic?? LOL!

hey, it was hard work!

.....okay, maybe a huge amount of keep the edge of the ribbon lined up *just right* as I fed it through the machine.

I was using a zig-zag stitch so that it would be a little more secure than a straight stitch, and also I folded the ribbon just a little "off" from half, so that the back side was a smidge wider than the front side, this way I was sure to catch the back in the stitching from the front. Then because I had my "smidge" just a little too big, I flipped it over and followed that edge in a 2nd zig-zag stitch so that the binding doesn't have any loose edges.

I added the custom label, ordered from Embroidery by Shawna, and now it's washing and drying to get all nice and puckery, and with that -- it's done!

names removed, with a bad "Paint" job, for privacy
and let's pretend it doesn't say "hand-quilted", okay?
I was a bit over-confident when I ordered the label.....

The quilt has been officially christened "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" and will be sent to the lucky recipient soon. The very first quilt I've ever completed, start to finish, all by myself. I am so very proud of this quilt, imperfections (character) and all!


  1. Congrats at conquering the triangle! So glad you made the idea work for you.

  2. I love it! Way to go, friend!

    The recipient is so blessed.

  3. Love seeing your sewing nook and the concentration photos too. Yep, agreeing with the others the recipient is so blessed.