Recently, I was asked to assist with projects created at a young friend’s baby shower (more on that in another post) – and that got me to thinking about baby quilts and projects. So when I was asked to create a project for Olfa’s website, I decided to make it a baby quilt. I didn’t want to make a quilt that was just for a girl, or just for a boy – so I decided on a simple color scheme of soft blue and green, with some brown for the tree. The tree is made with large rounded leafy sections, rather than individual leaves – which makes it simpler for baby’s eyes.
Olfa Circle Cutter
This project is made easy when you use the Olfa Circle Cutter – which makes perfect circles of whatever diameter you want (within the limits of the cutter of course). The current model of the cutter will make circles ranging from 1 7/8″ to 8 1/2″, quite versatile. The circles I used for this project ranged from 1 7/8″ to 5 1/2″.
Finished quilt size: Approximately 45″ x 60″
Difficulty level: Intermediate
- 2 yards fusible web for appliqués
- 3/4 yard blue background fabric (Cut 25 1/2″ X 41 1/2″)
- 1/4 yard each of 4 different green fabrics for round leaves
- 1 yd brown (tree, 1st border, and binding)
- 1⅓ yard of 2nd border fabric (blue fabric with dot pattern used in my example)
- Scraps of gold and black fabric for birds
- Enlarge the following pattern 300%. Tree Pattern
- Iron 9″ strips of fusible web onto each of the green fabrics for leaves. This is done before you cut the circles for the leaves.
- Using the pattern as a guide, use your Olfa Circle Cutter to cut circles in different sizes. (Find out how easily and accurately you can cut circles with this tool!) My circles ranged in sizes from 1 7/8″ to 5 1/2″ in diameter.
- Cut binding from brown fabric: 5 strips 2.5” x the WOF (width of fabric), or if you are not comfortable with this method, purchase a binding that will complement the fabrics in the pattern.
- Cut 2nd border fabric: 2 strips 43.5” x 9”, 2 strips 44.5” x 9”
- Cut blue background fabric 25.5” x 41.5”
- Cut brown border fabric: 2 strips 41.5” x 1.5”, 2 strips 27.5” x 1.5”
- Draw tree and bird appliqué designs onto the fusible web. Iron web on to back of the appropriate fabrics (brown for tree, gold for birds). Cut on drawn line. Peel paper off of web and fuse to quilt top.
- Applique the design using your favorite method.
You can see from this closeup, I used a zig-zag stitch to stitch down the appliques, with threads that matched the fabrics. If you want your applique to stand out more, you could use a blanket stitch as we did in the recent Easter Placemat project.
Just remember, any time you are making a project to give to someone else – like a baby’s quilt, you don’t know how they will use it. This quilt may become a wall-hanging, or it may be used in the crib. So make sure that you construct it in a safe manner.
For those of you that may have never used a circle cutter, don’t let it scare you off. The cutter itself is easy to use – with a guide to set the size of the circles, a rotary head to do the cutting, and a handle to use when spining the tool to make the circle. If you ever used a compass in math class – you can use a circle cutter.
And if you want to personalize this quilt even further, considering turning the tree into a family tree – embroider the names of the baby’s family onto the leaves of the tree!
Just a quick reminder on the pictures in this post – all pictures are clickable, and in most cases have been sized down for inserting into the blog. If you want to see a larger view of any of the pictures, just click!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing