With Spring just around the corner, Connie Keller of APQS Texas has created a pattern that cleverly celebrates more than one kind of “new life.” Cute daisy flowers and hearts can herald the arrival of spring OR the arrival of a sweet baby girl! And if by chance the bundle of joy is a boy, her adorable trucks and stars will be just perfect for the little guy.
Connie’s pattern arrived just in time to help me celebrate two births – although one was almost a year ago and the other came seven weeks early! I had good intentions of making a quilt for my neighbor’s new granddaughter, but as it sometimes happens with quilters, I fell a bit behind. Connie’s easy pattern gave me a chance to make a quilt to celebrate her first birthday with hearts and flowers instead!
I thought the trucks and stars version would be a great gift for APQS National Sales Manager Tony O’Tool and his wife, whose baby boy was due in early April (and this time I promised myself I’d be on time the gift). But little Finley had other ideas and arrived seven weeks early!
So off to my stash I went, selecting some pastel pinks for baby Catherine and some bright shades for baby Finn. I made one change to Connie’s pattern, substituting an embroidered block with each baby’s birth info for the center block.
The quilts go together very quickly! Connie’s pattern is simple to follow and allows you to choose your favorite form of applique to make the shapes filling the blocks. I used Heat n’ Bond Lite fusible adhesive to secure the applique patches since it leaves fabric feeling softer after application. I also stitched around all the applique edges with a blanket stitch to make the patches stable for washing.
To keep the quilts cuddly and soft I added just enough quilting to make sure the layers were secure and safe for washing as well, following the quilting density guidelines for the batting. I used the “Record” feature on the APQS Quilt Path automated quilting system to trace around the flowers in Connie’s design, which translates the drawing into a digitized quilting pattern that can be saved and repeated over and over. I then used Quilt Path to stitch the flowers in the outer border. Another Quilt Path spiral pattern reminded me of big truck wheels so it went in the outer border of Finley’s quilt.
Other Quilt Path designs were used in the inner borders of each quilt, along with outline stitching around the appliques and stitching in the ditch to keep the border lines straight.
Finally, I chose to machine finish the binding with a blanket stitch to complement the stitching around the applique patches (but also because it was much faster and I didn’t want Finn to have to wait until his first birthday like Catherine did!)
Visit the APQS Texas website to see more of Connie Keller’s terrific patterns. You can also learn about how to rent time on an APQS machine to quilt your own quilts if you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, or discover how easy it is to own an APQS machine of your very own!
Pattern Design by Connie Keller
Quilts by Dawn Cavanaugh