Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rocket Ship Playmat!

I've been consumed with getting ready for our new baby. As of today I am considered "full term" so the baby is now welcome to come whenever he wants to! I don't expect him to show up for another 3 or more weeks, but to celebrate this milestone, I managed to finish the playmat I've been working on for him. Yay!

I stared off knowing I wanted to do a space theme and it just kind of grew from there.

The fabric I used for the front...well, it's actually a plain Aden & Anais muslin swaddling blanket. I loved how it felt and since I had 3 that had fun prints on them, I decided to do something with the white one. To stabilize it, I put plain muslin behind it, adhered the two layers with a fabric adhesive and then added batting to the back of all of that. Then I appliquéd through all three layers. It seems to have worked really well. I did add some extra stitching around the edge of the mat to help keep the loose-weave of the top layer from unraveling, but with the binding, I'm pretty sure it's very secure. I probably should have done more research on using this kind of fabric, but... *shrug*

 I love how the fire turned out!
 Watery world! This one was a challenge to appliqué.
 A ringed world!
 And a couple stars....
 ...I put 19 of them on the mat and they were such a pain to appliqué! So many corners and turning of the quilt!! I nearly despaired of ever getting them done. :)
 The quilt back ended up being the biggest experiment. I had originally planned to use a simple blue patterned fabric and quilt the whole thing together with stars (yellow thread). I thought that that would look great. But I couldn't find a fabric that 1) was wide enough and 2) that had a nice pattern. I even looked at plain broadcloths, but couldn't find the right color blue.

So I changed my plan and pieced together a huge star. I have never done any piecing before, much less something as complex as a star, so it was a challenge. The star didn't turn out perfectly, you can see that it's puckered here and there, but overall I'm pleased with it. Some of the other puckers you see in the blue fabric are actually star outlines--I stitched around some of the stars on the front to help quilt the back, but I couldn't do many because I didn't want to run over the big star on the back.
 I love the brilliant colors on the back, but my favorite fabric is the binding. It's a nice red, swirly pattern (from Robert Kauffman, if anyone cares) that is perfect for my space theme.

So the playmat is far from perfect but I am very, very proud of it. I hope it will be used for many years. :)


(If I disappear for a while again, don't assume I've had the baby. I do plan to post when he decides to show up...I am, however, managing to stay busy or exhausted.)