The top is made of vintage textiles I've collected at thrift stores and estate sales (poppies + stripes), stuff from my stash (including a pair of Heather Ross prints and some cute owls), and a couple of my own prints from Spoonflower (the measuring tape and cupcake prints are both mine). The kicker is that I also used a crib sheet from the recipient's registry for some of the blocks as well as the quilt backing, which ties it in nicely to the nursery bedding.
The subway tile pattern is a pretty simple one to replicate. Just cut 48 rectangular blocks (mine are 4 inches x 10 inches) and stitch into rows of four, pressing seams flat when done.
Every other row, cut a 5-inch section off of one end, and attach it to another end. Then sew the rows together to make your quilt top twelve rows high. Press all seams down.
Instead of quilt batting, I used some organic cotton + organic bamboo sweatshirt fleece in between the layers. I had it on hand and it gives the quilt a nice weight and a sturdiness that will help it last a nice long time.
I stacked and pinned the layers just like I did for my sister's wedding quilt, only on a smaller (and quicker) scale. When quilting the layers together, I stitched along both sides of each horizontal seam and called it good, except for the corners. There, I stitched some simple designs: a fish, a bird, a leaf.
I used the quilt binding technique introduced to me by the Smile and Wave blog; it's taken all the mystery out of quilt binding for me, and lets me coordinate binding to my project, which I love. I'll link to it once her site's back up. Updated 6/7/13: Here's the link.
Basically, cut 3-inch strips, sew together at an angle to avoid bulky seams, then press flat. Fold almost in half along the length (favoring one side by about 1/4 inch), press, then fold edges to the center and press again. The wider side goes on the back of your quilt, so that when you run the quilt through your sewing machine the top and bottom are certain to both get caught in the stitches.
After that, the hand finishing is a cinch.
It was a big hit with the mama-to-be, and I was pretty happy with it, too! A couple of people asked if I sell my quilts; I don't at present, but I really like to give them as gifts.
Thanks for reading! If you make your own subway tile quilt, I'd love to see!
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My Repurposed Life