WIP - Hand Quilted Baby Blanket

I recently sprained my ankle and have been logging a lot of couch time while it heals, so I decided to take the opportunity to try a little hand quilting. I'm using just one piece of fabric for the front:

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It's a very soft flannel, and since it already had really nice little squares, I decided to keep it easy on myself and quilt those. I'm alternating pink and yellow on the squares, using cotton thread, resulting in a back that's looking like this:

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Eventually the whole back of the quilt will be filled with these alternating squares! It's moving at a faster clip now that I've been doing it for a couple of days - I've only hand quilted things in very small amounts before, usually as embellishment to a machine quilt, so it took a little practice to get the hang of it.

As for the process details, I broke a rule and didn't baste. I don't love the pinning method of basting, and since I knew I'd need to squeeze in between layers to hide knots, I was hesitant to spray baste (my usual go to). So, I laid out my "sandwich", and then laid my quilting hoop in the very middle.

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I pulled and smoothed until the wrinkles were out, and then quilted the middle nine squares. I've moved out in a starburst fashion from there, repeating the process of getting the wrinkles out so I don't end up with any unpleasant (and time consuming) surprises.

I know that I'm terrible at getting lines straight if I eyeball things, so I with my square template and a grease pencil I marked myself a 1/4 inch allowance on the inside of each square:ImageImage

Then I just quilted along the lines. Saves me a lot of thread pulling later on when I realize my stitches are moving all over the place, and the grease pencil will just wash out when I'm done.

I haven't decided on binding yet (I know, another rule broken, but I feel like a lot of quilters are like me and jump in without planning EVERYTHING). I'm thinking of a chocolate brown to match some of the letters, or perhaps a yellow/orange to match some of the giraffe squares. I'll tackle that once the actual quilty parts are done.

This quilt will be for sale once it's finished - stay tuned for details!