A few reasons why this quilt was so fun to make:
- Super quick and easy,
- Tried out a new applique technique,
- Super soft minkee on the back, and
- It is my own design!
I think the main hang-up was that I kept looking to other sources for inspiration, when really, what I needed was to just do my own thing. In the end, I found myself drawing my own little applique sea creatures. Once I managed that, the design just fell into place. I think it turned out pretty cute!
It was fun trying out Natalia's starch method for applique, and I definitely learned a couple of things. One is that I really like this technique-- it makes stitching a breeze, no fusibile products are used, and the resulting applique is truly nice and soft and pliable. The starch also came out just fine after washing, leaving the blocks nice and soft. But it was kind of a pain to quilt through-- I had to use a bigger needle than I wanted because the 70/10 sharp kept skipping stitches. The 80/12 quilting needle worked okay, but the holes it left in the super-stiff starch areas were big enough that I had some bearding from the minkee on the back. After washing, the bearding wasn't evident at all and the holes all shrunk-up, but next time I'll try and rinse some of the starch out before quilting and see how that works.
Also, should I use this technique again in the future, I'll definitely make sure to quilt over the applique. After I washed the quilt, there were a couple of spots where the edge of the applique shape frayed a little more than I would have liked (as pointed out in the picture above). Not dangerously so, I don't think, but I would definitely feel better if the shapes had the extra security of some quilting. I've also determined I'm not a huge fan of machine blanket stitch. In addition to just preferring the look of the buttonhole satin stitch, I think that stitch would also make me feel better about the security of the applique.
I was really happy with the results of my quilting plan for this quilt. I love how soft the minkee is, and I like that the back is stabilized without being too heavily stitched. It worked out really well.
And here's the label.
Hopefully, baby Kenji will enjoy his new quilt!
Edited to add:
Here is the back of the quilt, so you can see the stabilizing stitches. I quilted around the applique shapes and the path.