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Thread: Help with first quilt

  1. #1
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    Help with first quilt

    So, I'm currently 5 months pregnant with our first baby, and as are most crafty mamas got it into my head that, "I WILL MAKE EVERYTHING!" Of course, this includes a quilt. Specifically, an applique character quilt. The nursery theme is My Neighbor Totoro which is an adorable child's movie. I have the top done, but I'm at a lost as to how I should actually quilt it. I was thinking I could just echo the appliques. But the appliques are so large, that I think those need to be quilted too but I know nothing about quilting. I am a learn-as-I-go person. This is really how I prefer to go about learning new things, so please humor me.

    So this the top of the quilt (the green is where it will end). Will echo stitching (I think thats the right term) be enough? Or do I need to quilt inside the appliques as well? If I do need to quilt the inside the applique, what kind of pattern would you recommend? I don't want the stitching to clash with the character forms or the fabric. Totoro (the grey beast) and the soot sprites (self explanatory) are microfleece. The rest is flannel. Thanks in advanced for the clarifications and suggestions!

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  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I think Totoro's belly needs a bit of quilting. If you use white thread and just quilt little swirls, squiggles, or a simple meander, I think that would look fine and not intrusive or distracting.

    I'm intrigued by the soot sprites. I might have to check out that movie, my youngest is 12 so I don't really get to watch those kinds of movies anymore. I LOVED The Iron Giant, I think that was my favorite.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i would start by quilting around all of the characters and tree. depending on your comfort level... perhaps cross hatch on the big belly and then quilt straight lines like rays of sunshine coming from behind him and going to the border. just make more bark lines on the tree. you have to do enough quilting to fulfill the batting's requirements as stated on the package. it's darling so far. be sure to show us when you finish.
    Nancy in western NY
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  4. #4
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    You can echo quilt inside the larger appliques. Maybe a zig zag stitching near the chest of the large applique. Just one set of stitching around the round things in the lower right corner should do for those.
    Sue Wilson

  5. #5
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    it's adorable! The suggestions from the other members of the board sound good! Photos when it's completed, Please?! Best wishes for you and your baby!

  6. #6
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    What a cute quilt! The suggestions you have received so far are good. I am going to repeat the one about "Read the instructions on your batting. It will tell you how close you have to stitch so that things don't shift when you wash the quilt. It could be about anything, that is why you need to read. Some require 2 inches, some say up to ten.

    Your little one will be lucky to have you as a mother!!

    Dina

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't bought the batting yet, so I'll be sure to remember to read it. We'll probably be shopping this weekend since we find out the baby's gender tomorrow! I'll be sure to post when its done. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    I liked QuiltnNans suggestions except I'd do the echo on the belly on the larger one to look like the premarked ones. It will be cute whatever you do.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
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  9. #9
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I echo what everyone said about quilting the belly. I would do pointy looking things that will make it look like hair clumps. the tree in a random rectangularish type of pattern up and down the tree. maybe quilt clouds into the sky area. to help make it secure. but deffinatly "stitch in the ditch" around the appliques
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  10. #10
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    You need more quilting than the batting requires as I believed the quilt will be lovingly used and will need a lot of care in washing etc. batting suggestions are minimal use not necessarily used as a kid will use it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    First, major congratulations on your baby!!! And good for you, for just jumping right in with your first quilt. What's the worst that could happen? It's just fabric, batting, and thread. If something happens to it, you'll make another.

    Your quilt is adorable! Stitch-in-the-ditch and echo quilting will look really nice and will make the characters stand out. Yes, I do think you want to quilt in the character's belly. That's a lot of negative space, and if you leave it unquilted, I don't think you'll be happy with the way the fabric looks. I suggest doing barrel-shaped quilting that will add to the illusion that his belly is round. I loved Nan's suggestion of the rays extending outward from the characters.
    Jenel Looney
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    New York Times bestselling author

  12. #12
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I don't have an idea for you on how to quilt it, but your quilt top is absolutely precious!

  13. #13
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    WOW! First quilt?? You've done an amazing job. Now on to the quilting. My suggestion is that you mimic lines that you might see in real life. .... a knot hole in the tree, fur (pointy lines) on the belly.... clam shells in the sky (kinda looks like clouds). I did a quilt once that looks like the cross-section of our lake with loons on the top and fish swimming in the lake. There's even rock on the bottom to resemble the bottom of the lake.... oh, a log across the bottom that the fish like for hiding. Anyway, I quilted wavy lines for the water, with circles around the loons.... that's what you see in real life, a knot hole on the log and clam shells in the sky. And it turned out great. Everybody that sees that quilt loves it and says it's so realistic.

    Do check the instructions so you quilt closely enough but I do agree that you need your quilting to be close enough to be durable for that new baby. It will get used and washed so often and close quilting will hold everything right where it needs to be.

    So, have fun..... make it come to life with your quilting. That's what makes this hobby such fun. .... doing what feels right.
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    I'd rather spend money on my quilting hobby than the therapist.... I'm probably $$$ ahead.... and I'm happy!!

  14. #14
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    Everyone has given you good advice. I would also quilt the white belly. Even when the batting says 10 inches, I quilt much closer. You don't want the batting to shift. Your quilt is beautiful, and congratulations on the new baby. Let us know how you finish the quilt and if you are expecting a boy or girl. So exciting.
    Sue

  15. #15
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    All the quilting suggestions sound great, just wanted to add that your quilt is sew cute!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
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    Your quilt top is totally adorable, and you are to be commended for doing such a great job on your first quilt! My first quilt never even got finished...I agree with everyone else on the quilting suggestions. I would outline quilt around all the applique pieces (very close to them). On the owl's belly, you will definitely need some quilting. I would do half circles (like clamshells) across the belly, to repeat the applique'd feathers which are there. I once quilted a child's quilt with owls in each block, and that's exactly what I did. It looked great.

  17. #17
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have gotten some great advice and ideas - cute quilt and congrats on the baby and first quilt!

  18. #18
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    What a great quilt! Congratulations!

  19. #19
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    Your quilt is just too cute. Good luck with the quilting and the new baby.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  20. #20
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Just want to say, "Very impressive for a first quilt." Good luck and congrats on the new lucky baby.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  21. #21
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    Great job. You could use fleece as your backing and skip the batting.

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