28 March 2019

A Quilt for Jake

My little neighbor's birthday is this weekend. His older sister made a quilt for him when he was born.

I didn't make a quilt for him back then because I was overwhelmed trying to finish 15 quilts for my grandkids for Christmas.

But that doesn't mean I didn't fall head over heals for this little guy!

This little guy LOVES rocks. Every Christmas and birthday, he gets dump trucks and pickups. First thing he does is fill them with rocks, then dump them, then fill them again. He can play this game non-stop. He's completely happy with just rocks and no trucks. Of course, he loves the crocheted snowflake rocks in my garden..

I asked him if he's having a birthday this week, and he shyly nodded. I asked him how old he will be, and he answered, "Free."

When Wilmington's Detour Ahead layer cake went on sale, I knew what I had to do. I started the quilt Saturday afternoon (after checking out the local quilting/sewing/crafting expo and NOT breaking the bank) and finished it Sunday night. It's another quickie, but I got a little fancier on the quilting this time, inspired by Myra's Sunrise Over the Horizon quilt at Busy Hands Quilts.

The quilt back is made up of a half-yard cut of fabric I bought at the expo specifically to include on the back of this quilt, plus all the transportation prints I could find from previous little boy quilts. I didn't have enough prints, so I started including solid red scraps that coordinated and solid black scraps because I didn't know what else I could do without buying more fabric.

When the back was done, I decided it was a pretty smart choice to use the black because it pulled all the assorted fabrics together in a more unified theme. It also would be great for the binding, which literally saved me a trip to a fabric store. I thought I might have enough royal blue to bind the quilt, thanks to my Moda Blockheads project, but there was not one single piece big enough to cut into strips for binding.

The back, incidentally, took about two hours longer to piece than the front.

Even the batting was pieced. Not a single leftover in my collection was big enough for this preschooler quilt. I used up some pieces others might have discarded.

I've been safety pin-basting my quilts for about a year now. I wasn't too wild about safety pins when I first started building my layer sandwiches this way, but the technique grew on me, and it's kind of nice now not having to buy another can of 505 basting spray every two or three months.

I also follow Amanda Nyberg's Crazy Mom Quilts method of NOT starting quilting in the center and working my way out. I started at one corner and worked around the corner block in right-angle rows. Anybody else having Crazy Mom Quilts withdrawals? I didn't realize what a big part of my week Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Fridays were until they ended. Sigh...

I mostly roll up my quilts to go through my itty, bitty Brother Project Runway machine, but sometimes I'll try Leah Day's "squish-squish-flatten" method. The first time I watched her video, I almost rolled on the floor laughing. Her Janome has about twice the throat space my tiny little machine has! What I would give to have that kind of space on my machine!

I did not free-motion quilt this one. I used the lift-and-rotate method. Free-motion quilting would have required chalk lines in order for me to drive straight. I'm a wee bit wobbly, especially when trying to maneuver a quilt in my tiny machine. Quilting took approximately five hours, and I actually enjoyed the process, even though the machine is small. Although I hope to get a mid-arm soon, I decided at the quilt expo that I've done a lot of really cool stuff on my little machine, and I'm not going to let the shortage of quilting space affect my will to quilt anymore.

From now on, I'm going to try to enjoy the journey, no matter how tight the quilts are rolled. Finishing is more fun than waiting eons for a larger machine that keeps getting put on the back burner due to bigger priorities.

I tried to match or coordinate the top thread to each block as closely as I could, which meant changing top thread almost every block, although the royal blue got alternated in a lot. I used black thread on the back.

I wasn't sure I would have enough of the royal blue thread, once again, thanks to the Blockheads project. I was tickled blue when Jake's quilt was done to still have enough thread for maybe one more Blockhead block!

Finishing this quilt means I won't get another official finish this quarter for the Ravelry Winter 2019 UFO Challenge, but I think seeing Jake's reaction when he sees his new quilt will be far better than notches in my WIP list!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts.


  1. Sure he will appreciate it indeed. haha so funny what amuses them. Just need some rocks, screw toys. Nephews play with dog food. All the toys about and they'd rather move dog food from one bowl to another.

    1. That's pretty funny, Pat! I thought rocks were the thing... dog food... now that's different!

  2. Wow, I think any kid into 'machinery' is going to LOVE this quilt. So many things to look for and talk about. Nice job.

    1. Thank you, Helen! I think he probably will really love it, but I bet all the new trucks will have his complete and undivided attention until bedtime! :)

  3. Wow!! It's just perfect for him!! what a cutie!

    1. Thank you, Alycia! He is truly an awesome kid! It’s so fun watching both of them grow!

  4. Jake's going to love this quilt! My grandson that age always had to tell me the machines on his pillowcase before napping. I miss Amanda Jean too. I can understand why she quit but do wish she'd decided to post at least once a month.

    1. Thank you, Gretchen! What a cool story about your grandson! Memories to cherish as he gets older, too!

      Perhaps Amanda Jean will miss her blog and the community after a really nice break...

  5. The UFO Club will still be there NEXT quarter. Jake only turns "free" ONCE!!! You did a marvelous job on a quilt that he will LOVE!!!

    1. Thank you! I think it's going to take me about 13 years, Joy, to finish up all my WIPs! So thank you for keeping the group going!

  6. Love all those fabrics! A great variety! Nice job! I miss Amanda Jean also, but try to keep up with her on Instagram. It's not as good as her blog, but better than No Amanda Jean at all!! **smile**

    1. Thank you, GrammaJudyB! I hadn't thought to look up Amanda on Instagram! That would sure feed the hunger for a while! I suppose at some point she'll start doing a bit of the blog thing on Instagram, and that would be fun to keep up with!


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