Monday, March 4, 2013

London - Minus the Red

A friend/Co-Worker is expecting her first child, a baby boy. I knew I wanted to make a quilt for the baby, so I asked what the nursery theme was to try and get an idea about what I should do. She said she was going for a "London" themed nursery, BUT she didn't want any red, only gray, black, blue/navy, and cream... I was honestly at a loss! I almost just made her a typical baby quilt, but when I put that much love into something I want it to be well loved and really speak to the recipient... So I determined NOT to give up. I browsed hundreds of fabrics, patterns, and quilts online.

There are some lovely lines of fabric available that really scream LONDON. I really liked "London" by Makower UK, but there was a ton of red it in.  Then I stumbled across Dear Stella's Mayfair Town and 
Country and I knew that was it.

I still wasn't sure how I was going to use the fabric to piece the quilt. I saw quite a few examples of Union Jacks, and wondered if I could do that. I found a marvelous tutorial by Lynne at Lily's Quilts for A Double Fat Jack. I grabbed some leftover fat quarters and whipped out one within a couple of hours, I was excited and ready to go.

I thought if I make four of these Double Fat Jacks and then sash them together, that will be a decent size baby quilt. As each Double Fat Jack finished is 22" X 29" so I estimated that the finished quilt would be 50" X 64" which is a bit bigger than a crib quilt.

I went to and began the selection process. I was tempted to choose some of the fabrics that have red, but I didn't.

I selected the "Trees" to be the main portion of the Union Jack, I would use the Navy Tiny Diamonds for the crosses on two of the flags, and the Gray Tiny Diamonds on the other two flags. The Cream Tiny Diamonds would be the "neutral" and the London would be the sashing.

I ordered yardage instead of fat quarters -
1 yd Cream
3/4 yd Navy
3/4 yd Gray
1-1/4 yd Trees
1 yd London

I planned to use Gray Minky Dot backing, I am partial to Minky Dot as backing, especially for baby quilts.

The fabric arrived quickly! And I got to work following the tutorial on Lily's Quilts.

First completed Double Fat Jack

I was able to complete the two Navy Double Fat Jacks and then my project was put on hold. My Uncle passed away and I went to Texas for a week.

I returned from Texas the night of February 20th and I had a lot of catching up to do and not just on this quilt. The quilt needed to be in the mail by Tuesday February 26th to make it to the Baby Shower! I finished the top by Friday February 23rd.

The top was finished, but I ran into a little problem. The piece of Gray Minky Dot I had thought I would use, was not large enough! Saturday morning I was desperate so I went to Joann Fabrics. Honestly I haven't found a LQS nearby since moving to Missouri (I am 20 minutes south of St. Louis), so if any readers know of a great LQS anywhere in the St. Louis area please let me know. They didn't have the Minky Dot I wanted so I went outside the box a bit... I got flannel. I have never backed with flannel, but there was this cute gray flannel with black bicycles printed on it, and the Baby's Dad is cyclist! I was nervous to say the least.
I didn't have time to work on the quilt on Saturday, but Sunday afternoon I quilted it, a simple stitch in the ditch, and at 12 am I finished binding it!

I think stitch in the ditch quilting for this one was great because the 4 Union Jacks came through on the back of the quilt. 

I mailed the quilt Monday February 25th. Whew! That was a bit hectic, but I was pleased with the finish... And my friend/co-worker, as well as her British spouse were very surprised and excited.

Creating a quilt from start to finish for someone specific is very special to me; selecting the fabric, selecting a pattern/design, and then making something specific for a particular person is wonderful. The whole time I am making a quilt for someone I am thinking about them and praying for them. It is a very intimate experience for me, I know that sounds strange, but it really is the only way I can describe it.

Linking up with Plum and June


  1. Hi from the small blog meet! What a lovely 'monotone' quilt! I am always tempted by bright colours, but those grey tones are so effective. There is so much inspiration in the blogging community..

    1. Thank you! Yes there is so much inspiration in the blogging community. There are so many wonderfully creative people out there.