Thursday, June 4, 2015

across the pond | a quilt for Henry

As I write this post I'm actually wrapped up in this quilt. It's my favorite! I know, I say that every time, but I'm really digging this one for some reason. I've always wanted to make a Union Jack quilt and had the perfect opportunity recently when my friend Keri found out she was expecting a second baby boy. I started collecting blue and red fabrics, and when I say collecting I really mean rummaging through my mom's stash. I have a pretty strong dislike for red (though I'm trying to change that!) so I don't have any red fabric at all, and when I was pulling reds off my mom's shelves I came across a bundle of quilter's quarters from Joann by Denyse Schmidt - score! Keri loves Denyse's designs and they were the prettiest shades of blue which were perfect for the quilt I had in mind. They're out of print and impossible to find now, but my mom is generous like that. Thanks, Mom!

I used this tutorial from Lily's Quilts to make four of the block she calls a "double fat jack" and sashed them with white. I was pairing prints as I sewed, and now I wish I had put more thought into the fabric combinations ahead of time because the value pairings could be better (both of the dark reds are on the bottom), but I still like how it came out. I just hope it's not too feminine for Henry! There are a quite a few florals there, but I figure Henry will sort of be a proper British chap so he'll be familiar with tea parties and cricket and fancy hats and the Queen Mum so a few florals in his baby quilt won't hurt.

I ordered a fun London novelty print by Kokka for the back and added another Denyse Schmidt print and some domino dot by Violet Craft to make it big enough. I thought the London print would be just about the right size but my original plans for the quilt (one large Union Jack) changed and the size grew quite a bit! Lucky baby :) I quilted down the middle of all the white fabric, echoing the lines of the Union Jack flags and the sashing which I think is just enough. I made a scrappy binding out of some leftover red strips from the flags and a long length of polka dot binding I had made a while ago for my Deep Waters quilt that I didn't end up using. I added my label and another cute little tag that says 'P.S. I love you' just because it matched :) And dare I say my machine binding is getting pretty good! After a wash and some thread trimming I finally have it ready to gift, and little Henry isn't even two weeks old. One last thing - thanks to my friend Karissa for snapping the top two pictures with my phone when I was at her house last week! The boys and I had plans to visit so Ezra could go fishing with her older son (they're 4 1/2 and 3 - fishing was funny and scary!) and the night before we went I had a stroke of genius - I would call the quilt "across the pond" as a reference to the location of the United Kingdom being on the other side of the Atlantic, and I would photograph the quilt at a pond, Johnson's Pond, where Karissa lives. Brilliant, am I right? That's how I felt, anyway, because I can never come up with clever names for my quilts, but this was perfect.


I'll be sad to see this quilt go, but I know it's going to a home where it will be used and loved! And I can visit it occasionally if I need to ;)


  1. this is so perfect!! i love it.

  2. Beautiful quilt! I can see how you will be sad to gift it. That last photo I thought for a second was the night sky in the background - so cool!


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