Friday, April 29, 2022

Baby-Size Pretty in Pluses / Beauties Pageant 172


So I did something I’ve never done before with a quilt project: I tried to track how much time I spent on each step of the quilt-making process.

I never had a reason to keep tabs on my quilting time. I know that some people who sell their quilts like to know the time they’ve devoted to a particular project, but I’ve never sold a quilt. Plus, I thought the exercise might take the fun out of quilting. I don’t really care how long this pattern or that takes, because I like what I like and I’ll make what I want to make—and I prefer to work on multiple projects at a time, which makes keeping track of the time I’ve spent on each difficult. My latest finish, however, is my Pretty in Pluses design, and I’ve specifically promoted that pattern as a quick-to-sew project. It was time to put some hard numbers behind my claims.

Of course, after conscientiously writing down how much time it took to cut out this particular project and piece the top, I cleaned up my sewing space and, in the process, misplaced my recorded times. Figures! This is what I do remember, though: A baby-size Pretty in Pluses is doable in a weekend. I recall that it took me an hour and 15 minutes to cut out the fabric, and I spent about 4 hours piecing the top. I call that a day’s work. The quilting and binding require another day.


This quilt is going to a baby boy who was born in December. I fell in love with the sweet animal prints in Acorn Wood, a collection by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio. I paired these fabrics with a Bella Solid called Dusty Jade and quilted the top with a simple 3-inch grid. The binding is the sweetest stripe from Paper + Cloth’s Little Ducklings line (Moda). The stripes are broken intermittently by little gold stars, which I love, and I have more yardage of it on hand for future bindings!

As I make more and more quilts, I’ve come to realize that I prefer faster, easier projects, and I like designing projects of that same vein. I’m more than capable of working on fiddly, more complicated quilts, and I usually have one of those going at any given time. But fast and easy is my sweet spot, so Pretty in Pluses checks all the right boxes—especially for a baby gift that, I hope, will be used much. Does that resonate with you?

To read more blog posts about Pretty in Pluses, click here. To purchase your copy of the pattern, visit my Etsy shop!

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  1. That all resonates with me in so many ways. I usually do not like to track my time spend working on something, either, but when I take on a rare commission quilt then I do. It's funny, when I left engineering and told people I was going to be "a quilter" I envisioned spending a lot more time quilting. The reality is that I spend most of my time technical editing (it's where I make the most money), then writing my own patterns and maintaining an online presence, and then in scraps of time, I get to sew. So tallying up those hours isn't fun. But it is fun to get the time to sew and quilt!

  2. I am pretty much the same as you. While I do sell most everything I make, it's the process I enjoy so much and don't worry about the time it takes. Those little woodland critters make your quilt so adorable.

  3. Love your baby animals version!!! Pretty in Pluses is such a fun and fast quilt to make!!! I'm just like you--I enjoy making quick patterns that pack a punch!

  4. I too agree with making more simple quilts. Often times I let the fabric do the heavy lifting, especially for baby and toddler quilts. That is really sweet fabric. Love those hedge hogs! brsinstitches at gmail . com. My computer won't let me comment as me. Bummer.

  5. Dashwood always has the sweetest fabrics. This line is adorable. Great pattern Michelle!!

  6. Hi Michelle, I had to laugh at your record keeping - it's just like mine. I'm always looking for that scrap of paper that I used! That's a very cute quilt and easy is what I prefer too!

  7. Haha, I am sure you will find the paper when you least expect it ;) Great baby quilt for baby boy and hope he is well and likes his new quilt. xo


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