Pinwheels! Pinwheels and Ponies!

The kids and I spent 5 weeks in the Midwest this summer visiting family. (Mark was there for 2 weeks – that darn job of his interfering with our family fun again!) During our vacation my lovely sister-in-law Michelle and I took a day and toured some of the fabric shops in our area of Northern Iowa.

Those shops were amazing! Some were neatly ordered with the fabrics pristinely folded and some just crammed to the rafters with jumbles of fabric bolts. It was in one of those jammed packed houses of chaos that I found some Moda Charm Packs on sale. They were 20% off and so I decided to jump into the “bakery” craze of pre-cut fabrics.

Charm Packs are pre-cut 5-inch squares of every fabric within a design line. You can do a lot with 5-inch squares. Pinwheels, blocks, stack-n-whacks, and wonky quilts to name a few. I love to do pinwheel blocks and since I had the opportunity to do it with minimal cutting I decided why not.

There are a lot of squares in each charm pack so I decided to divide them up and buy some additional yardage in the same fabric to make 2 baby quilts instead of just one big quilt.  I love baby and lap quilts. Maybe because there are a lot of babies in my life right now.

Here is the small one that I’m calling Pinwheel Field.

And here is the larger one that I’m calling Pinwheels and Ponies.

I did some stippling on the small one to make the arms of the pinwheels stand out. I did very simple stitch-in-the-ditch for the big one. I wanted to showcase the pony applique my MIL had done for me and so I did a hand-stitched border around the neat yellow ponies. (For those of you keeping score, this was my project while my sewing machine was AWOL.) And, frankly, I am loving the pony applique.  I need to learn how to do it myself.  The hand stitching border wasn’t nearly the horrid pain in the backside that I had feared. Those little guys will be appearing on quite a few more quilts.

Some little boy or girl is going to have a great time with these quilts.  The smaller one will actually fit over an infant carseat, which is convenient if you are taking the baby and carseat out of the car and it’s 20 degrees outside.  And it’s a great size for playing on when you’re inside.

A Cute Fat Quarter Quilt

Fabric shops are like fairy land – beautiful and dangerous. They have acres of fabrics arranged by colors around the shelves making the room look like a rainbow exploded inside. As you wander around the aisles you can see lovely little rolls and triangles of coordinated fabrics bundles tied with pretty ribbon. The fabric stores have arrange them like fruit ripe for the picking on the tops of the fabric shelves.

I always look at these little bundles and when I see one that looks particularly nice I think, “I could make a really beautiful quilt with that one.” And more often than not I buy it.

I bought once such roll – a roll filled with deep ocean blues, seaweed and new grass greens, and a sunny yellow – about *3 Years Ago* thinking, “I’ll sit right down and make a really nice log cabin quilt out of that.”

When I got it home and spread out the fabric across my work table I realized that this fabric was not meant for a log cabin quilt. It was meant for something a little more fun, but I wasn’t sure what. So, I put it away on my fabric shelf and looked at it from time to time to see if inspiration would hit. I cruised the quilting pattern websites to see if a pattern would speak to me. But nothing.

Until I was in yet another cute fabric store in Stillwater, Minnesota and I found a fabric by Crazy 8. It had a lot of different sized pieces and I could freehand quilt a neat design into it. Finally, after 3 years of living with this fabric and its unrealized potential I had a direction.

And here it is.

It was fun and quick to put together. The quilting took a little bit longer, but I just love it. It’s a very cheerful and quirky quilt. I will be selling it with some mixed feelings, but I think that someone is going to very happy with this lap quilt.