Skip to main content

"High Flyers" Baby Quilt

Do you find that certain milestone events seem to happen to you and all of your acquaintances at the same time in life? When you're younger, everyone seems to be getting married and having children at the same time, then the kids grow up, get married and have their own kids.  Well, now seems to be that time in life when my generation is experiencing "grandparent hood" for the first time.

That, by way of explanation, is why there is another baby quilt in the works. This one, for a sweet newborn baby boy, is all about kites and rainbows and lots of sunshine. It's another machine applique quilt, but this time, the pieces are simpler and more manageable then the stars in the Star Quilt and came together quite quickly and without too many unexpected difficulties.

The 3 design motifs: rainbow, kites, sunshine.

For this type of applique, freezer paper is my go to method. First I trace and cut out all of the templates, to actual size, onto the freezer paper, iron the templates to the right side of the fabric and then cut them out with a scant 1/4" seam allowance. I then remove the freezer paper from the right side of the fabric and lay it onto the wrong side, waxed side up. Using the little Clover pressing tool and a stiletto, I fold over a 1/4" seam and press it down right onto the freezer paper, (see the light blue arch below). It holds beautifully.

Before I stitch the shape onto the quilt, I remove the freezer paper. The pressed down seam allowance holds very well until I get the stitching done.

The same was done for the sun rays. To attach the applique, I used a narrow zigzag, thinking that it will hold up better in the wash then something like an applique stitch.

For sharp, tight corners, like on the kite and the points of the sun rays, I added a little dab of a non- toxic glue to secure the points better. This is a method that I found in Sharon Schamber and Cristy Fincher's book "Piece by Piece: Machine Applique". The only problem with using the glue is that the quilt top will now have to be washed before it can be sandwiched, but I think that it's worth it.

For the kite tails, I resorted to my trusty old "Celtic Bias Bars", which I got quite good at using many, many years ago when I was working on my "Little Brown Bird" applique quilt. (Currently in the "Will I ever finish it?" pile.)

Cut bias strips. Stitch. Press. It's quick, painless work.

Kites and tails set to fly.

Hopefully by the end of next week, the FMQ will be well under way, and these little "High Flyers" will be flying to their new home soon after.


  1. Looks really like a happy baby quilt.
    Looking forward to see more.
    Greetings Grit

  2. This is beyond adorable! I love it!!!

    1. Thanks Michelle. I miss you on the blogisphere, but I'm sure that your creativity is just as active as always. Have fun.

  3. What a happy, bright design! It's going to be beautiful.

    I have not seen this exact freezer paper variation before -- it looks like a good idea! Have you used it for hand applique too?

    I have that Little Brown Bird book, but I never considered making it!

    1. I have never seen anyone else use that freezer paper method either, but it works very well for me, and doesn't usually involve glue or additional templates. When I hand applique, I trace the outline of the freezer paper template onto the right side and use the needle turn method, but this iron on method could work for hand applique as well.

      As for the LBB, one of these days, I'll dig it up from deep in the archives and write a little blog about it. There are just the borders left to do, but I don't like my colour choices anymore, and so, .... it just sits!

  4. This is a fantastic baby quilt...but then all of your work is fantastic! Thanks for all the info you always provide about creating your project. You make a super teacher! I adore the kites and so will the baby!

    1. Your comments are very generous. Thank you so much. I think that I have discovered that I really like making baby "things" (quilts included). Generally faster then other projects, and using fun fabrics. It's very easy to get lost in the fun.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blocking and Squaring Boutis

The door of her cage has been opened. She is free to fly off and find her destiny.

After many months of hand stitching and then many more months of cording, my little "calibri" is ready to set off on her own. As this was my first attempt at designing so large a boutis piece, it has been a bit of a learning curve. All of the tight swirls, curls and circles are a great deal more difficult and time consuming to cord then are the longer more gentle channels. Maintaining an even tension is absolutely necessary throughout the process, so patience comes in very handy when doing the cording.

Once all of the stitching and cording is complete, the boutis must be washed and squared up. After it is soaked overnight in a basin of water with a mild detergent, it gets rinsed gently in several clear washes, then rolled in a towel to remove the excess water. 

The final step is the blocking process. There are a number of ways to block a boutis piece, but I have found that the easiest metho…

Amish Hand Quilting in France with Esther Miller

Esther Miller, was born into an Amish family in the U.S., and now lives in Germany where she has for many years taught the techniques and methods of Amish hand quilting to anyone interested in learning these skills. As a child, she would closely watch as the women of her community worked together on a quilt, and eventually she was rewarded with a needle of her own and encouraged to join the group. Through the years, she has mastered these skills and techniques and now generously shares them with anyone who has a genuine desire to learn.

Last week, at the "European Meeting of Patchwork" in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, in Alsace France,, I had the privilege of taking a 2 day workshop with Esther. The Amish quilting method requires a free-standing simple wooden frame upon which the 3 layers of the quilt have been stretched. To accomodate the 18 women in the class, Esther set up 3 quilt frames, with 6 students at each frame. Because the quilt is on a large, unm…

Amazing Applique by Yoko Saito

The quilt exposition in Nantes "Pour L'amour du Fil" was filled with a number of highlights. Certainly one of the more memorable experiences was seeing the works of Yoko Saito in person.
"Elegant" is the word that best describes Yoko Saito's quilts. Although her palette is neutral, the lights and darks play very well together to create a perfect balance to the quilt. To say that the applique is amazing is an understatement. The perfectly formed 1/4" circles and the tiny leaves and stems are inspirational. And of course, the hand quilting is perfect. For the final touch, she uses embroidery as adornment in much the same way that the perfect pair of earrings complete the look of the little black dress. The opportunity to see her quilts in person has been truly inspirational.

The photos in order:
- Yoko Saito in her booth on the floor of the show
- "Pointsettia" - by Yoko Saito
- "Spring of Sweden" close -up - by Yoko Saito