SIZE: ~ 33″ x 33″ (each small square was 6″ unfinished)
FABRIC: fussy cut Munki Munki and a couple of Heather Ross West Hill fabrics + Robert Kaufman Kona roll-ups in Bright and Dusty + Moda Bella Solids in White (bleached)
DESIGN: off-center fussy cut square in square with a pieced in strip of coordinating color
QUILTING: by machine; grid in the white sashing then outlined each fussy cut
BINDING: Kona Ash with two small Kona scraps pieced in; machine sewn to front and back
INSPIRED BY: all of the pretty Munki quilts on flickr (like Ashley’s (1, 2, 3, 4), me? a mom?’s and oh-cherry-sew’s)
FOR: one of my daughters
I have been collecting Munki Munki and other Heather Ross fabrics to one day turn into a larger quilt (full size, perhaps). Before embarking on that size of a quilt using coveted fabrics, I decided to make a small quilt with the fabrics.
I also wanted to try my hand at making a quilt with a good bit of white. I have a bolt of Moda Bella Solids in white, so I had plenty to work with. Bella Solids are so much softer than Kona. Does Moda make multi-colored jelly rolls of their Bella Solids (other than whites and neutrals)? I did a quick search and didn’t see any. ETA: I do see now that they sell jelly rolls in warm pastels, 1930s colors and darks; that’s not nearly enough selection though! They need some other groupings, like the RK Kona roll-ups.
The way these Munki quilts come together, using little snippets from many different fabrics with a variety of themes, they end up being a contemporary i-spy quilt. And since I am talking about an i-spy quilt in today’s world, I will call it an iSpy quilt.
This quilt was initially intended for my oldest daughter (4) because she requested her own “blanket” (doll quilt) after seeing the one I made for her cousin.
The finished size of the quilt is a bit big for a doll quilt because once I started making the little colorful squares for the quilt (6″ unfinished), I had a hard time stopping! And I didn’t want to leave out some of the whimsical illustrations. This quilt’s size is perfect for a baby playmat, something my youngest daughter (just shy of 3 months) would certainly use. Now to try and convince my oldest that she doesn’t want this quilt (I can make her another) and to let her baby sister use it…
I am (mostly) not happy with how the quilting turned out. At least the laundering process washes away so many of the issues that I saw in it when it was just finished. I like it more now that it is washed compared to what it looked like unwashed.
I did straight line quilting in the middle of the thin white sashing and then along the outer edge of the 5×5 group of squares. I also outlined the fussy cut fabrics in the middle of the blocks about a quarter of an inch away from the seam. In theory, I think quilting it like this highlights the design of the quilt. However, in practice with my machine, I think my quilting messed the quilt up a little bit. I’m having a problem with my machine and I don’t know if it is user error, a maintenance issue or an old-machine problem (my machine is 30 years old).
I used my walking foot to quilt and even so, my fabric doesn’t feed through my machine right. It pulls the fabric unevenly (it does this even with my quarter inch foot piecing two fabrics together). If you look at the front closely (don’t!) each row of blocks is skewed to the left or right, depending on which direction I fed the quilt through the machine. My blocks take on a somewhat wonky look even though they were cut as squares. But I’ll get my “nose out of my quilt” and appreciate it from afar. I do know that until I figure out what’s up with my machine, I’m not going to straight-line quilt anymore; I’ll stick to some sort of meandering design.
On the back, I used smaller squares (5″ unfinished) with smaller fussy cuts and placed them in a sea of white. On the back you can really see the skewing of the fabric from the quilting. And on top of my bad quilting, I must have done a bad job during the basting process because it looks like I might have pulled the back too tight in some places.
I tried to line up the squares on the back to those on the front and I kinda came close, given all of my *issues*. I will say that they matched up before I basted and quilted (that’s the last time I try to do something on the back to match up with the front!)
I painstakingly pinned and very carefully machine sewed (turning the wheel by hand sometimes) the binding with a Kona solid (Ash, I think) and added in two little bits of other solids. Because I took my time to make sure everything lined up just right, I am a little more than disappointed with how the binding turned out. I cut my binding strips to 2.25″ (instead of 2.5″) to reduce some of the excess and to make the binding tighter around the edge. Given all of that, I still ended up with some wavy edges on the back. Wassupwitdat? I know the easy but slow solution to my binding problems is to hand sew the back, but seriously, I have a 4 year old, a 2 year old and an almost 3 month old. I don’t have hours of just sitting around with idle hands. Or maybe I need to learn a quick way to hand sew the binding to the back (is there one?), because the way I do it takes for-ever.
In addition to my normal quilt label, I also included the tag from the Munki Munki PJs. I love how it looks on the quilt; it’s the perfect finishing touch.
After finishing this small quilt, I do know that the future big version’s blocks won’t look like this. I think I’ll add in a little pattern with all of those solids and make the blocks bigger.
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