Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"N" is for Names

Let's start off the second half of the A to Z Challenge with a bang! N is for Names...more specifically, name quilts.

I made these quilts for the girls a few years ago (when there was one less girl). At the time, I had a lot of fat quarters sitting around waiting to be put to good use. That's when I decided to move ahead with this project. It was my first foray into large scale applique. I think it turned out alright.

Each quilt is a complete hodgepodge. I cut out 4x4" squares of my fat quarters and then sequenced them randomly. I did make a few adjustments as I sewed so that there wouldn't be too many of one pattern on each quilt and so that no two squares of the same pattern wound up too close to one another.

The back sides of the quilts are just the fat quarter squares. The fronts got a little fancier. I did six 8x12" rectangles on the front of each quilt. I tried to make these in a sort of rainbow pattern to get a little bit of several colors. The whole plan was to make the quilts as random as possible.

The name section is simply an 8" tall strip of white fabric with appliqued letters. Those letters were the tricky part. In order to make them, I printed the letters out on plain paper and then cut these out to use as stencils. I cut the centers using an X-Acto knife. I then placed each letter onto the back of the fabric with the printed side against the back of the fabric and traced to create a mirrored outline. I cut each tracing using scissors and the handy dandy X-Acto knife. It was time consuming, but in the end not as awful as I had originally expected.

** Along the way, I have learned one other handy tip. The edges of some fabrics do tend to fray slightly even after being sturdily sewn down. Using a material like Fray Check will help keep your applique edges from unraveling. **

Each letter was pinned onto the white strip and then attached with a zig zag stitch. This also took a little time and patience. But like I've said a thousand times, my sewing machine is awesome. I seriously love it. I could hug it. I was able to learn this step pretty quickly and with minor amounts of cursing. That's always the sign of a successful project.

With the letters firmly attached, I started assembling the quilts. I sewed the squares in strips and then sewed the strips together. Once I had the top half and the bottom half, I attached those individually to the white strip. Then I pinned the right sides of the front and back together (with batting) and sewed around the edges, leaving about 1/3 of an edge open for flipping. The quilts were then flipped right side out, the open edge was stitched shut, and a finishing stitch was sewn around the edges 1/4" away from the outside seam.

As with most of my quilting projects, these took me a little while to complete. But nothing is more satisfying than having your finished quilt staring back at you when you're done. Okay...maybe having three of them staring back at you is minorly better.

Thanks to all of you stopping by from A-to-Z Challenge! I love new readers. Make sure to leave me a comment below (including your blog address) so that I can return the favor by visiting you. 


  1. They look awesome. They take a while but they are worth the effort. I am still working on my first quilt and hope to have it done soon.


    1. Good luck on the first quilt! I'm still a quilt novice, but I learn something new with each one I complete. And I agree with you, they are definitely worth the effort.

  2. Lovely. I can imagine the effort and patience. I bet it was quite satisfying looking at the finished project.
    Silvia @

    1. Absolutely! The love I have for the finished product is what always leads me to start another crazy project. It's a vicious cycle. :)

  3. wow. they're soooo cute! :) i know I can't make one so I hope I can grab one. haha. ;)

    1. Well...I suppose that's one more project that I need to make for the upcoming Etsy shop then. :) Thanks!

  4. those are so pretty! I wish I had your talent.

  5. Hi Elle - great idea for the kids .. .they love their own things - and Mum will be special for these! Cheers Hilary

  6. So cute! You did a great job! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! :)


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