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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

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Filtering by Category: baby quilts

Another baby quilt!

Linda Beth

I sometimes feel like I am the only quilter out there who has trouble motivating myself to do projects that I'm actually excited about doing - like baby quilts for dear friends. Does anyone have a theory on why it can be so difficult to get inspired to start on something that you're happy to do??

Another couple of good friends of mine are expecting their first child - sex TBD at birth. I've been working on sketches, playing with possibilities, but nothing really lit that flame for me...

UNTIL...

Becky {MyFabricObsession} posted this block to our Bliss Circle for do.Good Stitches this past month. She found her inspiration from this photo on Rita's {red pepper quilts} flickr photostream.

I initially did my blocks for the do.Good Stitches bee and discovered that not only are they easy-peasy, but are a great way of using an assortment of fun prints without it looking too busy.


So, I decided to work with this and pull some fabrics to put together my own quilt. I don't generally like using a lot of white in quilts, especially for babies, so I switched my "background" color to a dark blue - a great contrast for the fun colors in the blocks, and can work for either a boy or a girl.

Since the basic construction is a 9-patch, I chose 9 prints each in 6 different color ways, varying the number of squares I cut of each to get the desired number of blocks. I also tried to select a decent mixture of values within each color family to get some variation in the blocks. Once the fabrics were chosen and cut out, the chain-piecing was smooth sailing. Only took me a couple of hours to sew the blocks, and then a little bit more to put them all together.

Ta-da!!


and shown with the backing beside it...


Now I just need to restock my batting supply and I'll be ready to finish this one up - hopefully JUST in time for baby's arrival!!

A short list of upcoming goals

Linda Beth

As I was saying to Heather of joy of all crafts just a little while ago at the quilt shop (Cool Cottons), I've been too long out of my routine and feel like today was my day to push the "RESET" button and get back on track.

This leaves me with a big ol' ZERO on accomplishments this past week, but a list of things I've put aside recently and am eager to get back to.

1. BABY QUILTS!!
I have 2 friends who are each expecting their second child in the next month or so, and a couple of friends who are expecting their first later this fall! Inspiration has been slim, but I am sure that will change when these little guys (or rather, girls) start arriving!

2. BEE BLOCKS
Thankfully Chris deemed July as a "catch-up" month for the Bliss Circle of do.Good Stitches, which means I'm off the hook on that one.

F+F=AMSB
Nicole asked us to have fun with some polaroid blocks. I've begun gathering some possible focus fabrics for the centers, but definitely have a few more to go, then getting the borders and settings down.

Design Camp [totb]
Leanne sent out some brilliant pinks and greens for July's block, using the Mod Mosaic tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson. Of course, being on the off-schedule I've been on, that packet hasn't even made its way to my studio yet :-(

And it also occurred to me that next month is MY month to host Camp 2 of this improv bee. I've been gathering inspiration photos for the style of "blocks" I am aiming for in a Pinterest board, and just this week started pulling fabrics to play with.
August will be my first time hosting a bee where the host sends out fabric to the others, so this will be interesting!

There are definitely some other things I will be working on in the next couple of months, but don't know how much I'll be moving ahead until these items are ticked off the list.

Wish me luck!

WIP Wednesday

Linda Beth

Well, this past week had a very different rhythm to it than the previous week or two, but I still managed to check a few things off the list (some expected, and some completely not!)

Completed
The Hopman baby quilt:

I got the binding finished up on a very slow and slightly snowy day at the quilt shop.

FMQ pot holders:


Throw quilt from YEARS ago:

Silly little table topper:
A few of these were simply a matter of bindings, but that counts as completed, right??

Some Progress
Summertime Stars quilt top:
Quilt top is pieced and on the shelf of tops awaiting quilting... it may be there a while;-)

Test block for Friends + Fabric bee:
I still have a fair amount of work on this one before it's ready for the next stage.

No Progress
Encapsulated
Trip Around the World
November Bliss top
Nubees quilt top
Warm/Cool QAL
place mats already cut out

This week's tally:
New - 2
Completed - 4
In Progress - 8

Go check out all the other activity in blogland through the links on Lee's blog, Freshly Pieced
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Here's to a great week ahead, kids!!

a match made in... THE STASH??

Linda Beth

Lists are effective. I'm not a list person, but I tried this past week and let me tell you – it's done what I had hoped. It's kept me on track. Is it silly that this is such a revelation to me?

I started the week with 3 big projects on my plate, plus a couple of smaller items to break up the days. I managed to finish 2 quilt tops (one of which was simply a matter of piecing 25 bee blocks together) in 2 days, and got quite a bit of footing on one other.

So, first on the priority list was getting together a baby quilt for friends of mine who recently had their first baby! The item on this list for Jan. week 1 literally reads, "work on Hopman quilt" with a continuation in Jan. week 2 reading "Hopman quilt top finish." I ended my day yesterday with this:

This not only allowed me to cross off week 1's list item, but to amend week 2 by crossing out "top finish" and replacing it with "quilting" (to read "Hopman quilt quilting")! Woo hoo! Ahead of the game, right?

Next on the list was to work on putting together the top for the Bliss circle of do.Good stitches November quilt as much as possible. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this was a first time stint for me in the role of "quilter" for the group, and I did give myself some challenges with this one, not having regular or uniformly sized blocks. I'm also still expecting a couple of more blocks to come in, but figured I should get moving on putting together what I do have.
There are still some gaps to fill in, but progress is progress, no?

This morning when I went to the studio I had both of those projects up on the design wall from the previous day. The plan was to pin baste the baby quilt, but first comes the issue of choosing the backing. As often happens when I am not working from a pattern, I didn't quite know the finished width of the quilt (I knew the length to be 52" only because of border strips), and wouldn't luck have it that it turned out to be just 40 1/2"!! My color inspiration for the background for this quilt was a piece of Valori Wells' "Fleurish" which I've had for a few years now
The fabric piece is approximately 43"x58". But then I looked over at the shelf where I had gotten this older piece and saw another possibility left over from my early days of quilting when I was WAY into Stack 'n' Whack quilts - a fabric piece that I have used here and there, but still have close to 3 yards untouched. I was holding it up to the design wall to see if it would be suitable as backing for the baby quilt (which it TOTALLY would have been!!!)
and something magical happened... I saw it up against the charity quilt. And what better to use for the backing of a charity quilt than a fun, beautiful fabric that's been on one's shelf for years simply because one might have changed course and moved away from that style over time?
And really, who can argue with kismet? That Valori Wells piece turned out to be the perfect size for my quilt, and honestly, I was choosing the sashing and background for the front with it in hand, so that should tell me something right?

That quilt is now basted, awaiting quilting, to be completed during January week 2. And here's real testimony to my blogging world - I forgot to photograph the other quilt top I completed this week! It's the green and brown spider web quilt I talked about last month here. it really looks very much like the photo of all of the blocks up on the design wall!

Okay, I notice I'm rambling, which means it is past my bedtime.

Limited Palette I-Spy

Linda Beth

It's been several years since I have made an I-Spy quilt. The fact that my stash of novelty fabrics doesn't seem to have diminished at all recently confirms this. Over the years I've enjoyed putting these guys together, keeping the parents of the recipients in mind as best I can. Here's a little evolution of some of the I-Spys I've done:
(original design by Ami Simms, in her book Picture Play Quilts)

(please excuse the picture quality.... these were done long before I took much care in documenting)

and then a couple of years after that one:


and most recently (for a little tike who is about to turn 2 in just a couple of weeks!):
(another design from the Ami Simms Picture Play Quilts book)

Now, I'm about to start a new quilt, and I've decided I really want to do another log-cabin style I-Spy, but instead of using the whole spectrum of brights out there, I am leaning toward a limited (and rather subdued) palette for this family. I started pulling some focus patches the other day and decided to just get started on a few of the blocks to see if I like where it's going. This is all I have so far, but I think it will work...

I'll be posting more as it develops. Happy Saturday!