Friday, September 5, 2014

Baby E's Zoo Quilt

Okay so this isn't a finish from this week, but I did finish 5 quilts during August and I didn't have a chance to document this one yet. When my niece's family told us they were expecting their third little boy, I decided he needed a zoo quilt. (They live not too far from the National Zoo.) I really enjoy paper piecing and found the perfect patterns for zoo animals in A Quilter's Ark by Margaret Rolfe. I made 29 animal blocks and then designed one of my own based on the ZOO sign at the entrance to the zoological park.



I bought material for the sashing and for the quilt back, but used my stash for all of the blocks except three. For the leopard, zebra and tiger, I bought animal prints and then fussy cut and pieced them so they would fit into my paper patterns. I also used at least 12 of my stash fabrics with the back side up to get the right contrast between the animals and the sashes. Every block had some embroidery for facial features, tails, feet and/or ears. I hadn't done embroidery for years, but it got me to sort through my tangled threads and use some of them up. 

I used a setting from Bonnie K. Hunter's Dancing Nine-Patch. My blocks are 6 inches and the sashes are 2 inches. I added a  border that was about 1 1/2 inches wide (I think). So the whole quilt was about 43 by 51 inches before washing. This is all guessing because I plan on the fly and don't keep good track. I used Quilter's Dream Cotton Select batting, and meander quilted with my Singer treadle and King Tut Cotton in White Linen. After quilting the backgrounds and sashing, I decided the animals needed a little quilting to keep them from puckering too much after washing, so I just did some random squiggles in them. If I did this again, I'd do that differently, but I had to be careful because some of the seams were pretty thick and I didn't want to distort the design too much. The back is just a simple beige with off white dots--I didn't want too many seams, so no fun random piecing. 


Here are close-ups of some of the blocks:







Baby E was born on August 11, about a week early, but I got the quilt done just in time. I'm hoping that when he's a little older, he will have fun walking his little toy people around on the "zoo paths" to see the animals. 

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts Finish it up Friday today. 




12 comments:

  1. This quilt is great. I have a little guy that loves animals. Thanks for the reference to the pattern.

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    1. Thanks! It was really fun with all the variety of animals. The book has a lot more, including farm animals.

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  2. Wow, what a cool baby quilt! I can paper piece, but don't really enjoy it. I can't imagine doing this many small blocks, although they do look awesome together.

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  3. Thank you! I love the precision of paper piecing--but tearing all those papers out afterwards does get a little tedious.

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  4. Aww, not only was this a really great gift, but you hit it out of the park with your fabric choices and the setting! That's not always so easy with PP. Really great gift, I'm sure it will well loved!

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  5. This is such fun, and the animals are so well formed I love it. I can imagine the little fellow taking his cuddly animals to visit their family too!

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  6. So cute... especially love the little tiger - and his tail going over the edge.

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  7. This quilt is great and very inspiring. Years ago I bought a book with a CD and animal paper piecing patterns to print. I think I might have to find it and get working.

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  8. Oh my such patience for all that paper piecing! Wonderful quilt that I'm sure is cherished. Thanks for sharing at Val's Quilting Studio.
    Patrica @ Dogwood Lane Rambles

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  9. Yes...thanks for rejuvinating this one under our WILD theme this week!! It's the perfect addition to our collection this week! I love it!

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  10. What an adorable animal quilt.

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