I found my inspiration for this quilt from baby Cecilia's nursery decor -- vintage ballet. I fell in love with this white & light blue ballerina fabric and decided to build the quilt off of it. I ultimately used 4 additional prints -- pink paisley, green herringbone, blue polka dot, and green stripes. My goal was to take the vintage ballerina motif and make it fun and modern while still keeping it feminine.
I used a multi-colored stripe for the back of the quilt to help tie in the purple of the borders and binding. It took a lot of fabric store browsing before I found a stripe that had all the colors I needed in it, but the one I found works perfectly!
After piecing the quilt top, I added an appliqué. There may be a better method out there, but here is how I generally do my appliqué:
- Determine what size you want the appliqué to be. I will usually lay out my piece and then use a ruler to determine the scale that the appliqué should be. Sometimes I will print out multiple sizes of my appliqué pattern to see which looks best on the piece.
- Find a font you like. I like to use a simple script font or a chunky block font. Script fonts are good because you can attach multiple letters at once (like the "ec," "il," and "ia" in the photo). You don't want to try to attach an entire word all at once because the letters may start to peel before you finish sewing them all.
- Print out your word in your font in black! Use a light box or a window to trace your appliqué pattern onto some Wonder Under. You will trace it backwards onto the paper side of your interfacing. This way, when you iron it onto your appliqué fabric, the appliqué will end up facing the right direction.
- Fuse your Wonder Under to your appliqué fabric. For this appliqué, I used some of my pink paisley fabric. The font was narrow enough that the pattern on the fabric is not very visible, so I could've just as easily used a solid color. The wider your letters, the more of the fabric will show.
- Cut out your pattern on your appliqué fabric. At this point, you should have your fabric fused to your Wonder Under with the pattern drawn on the paper. Cut carefully, especially if you're using narrow or small pieces. The fabric can still unravel around the edges even when it's fused.
- Place one section of appliqué on your piece at a time, ironing it in place. Then stitch around it. I like to use a tiny zigzag stitch to make sure I'm catching all the edges.
Once your appliqué is finished, add the borders onto your quilt. Then you can make your quilt sandwich, quilt it as you like, and bind it. Since I am self-taught and not terribly experienced and have a hard time sewing straight, I have found that the less quilting I do, the better it turns out. I simply use straight line quilting and follow the lines on my quilt top, so in this case, the quilting followed the lattice pattern.