One of my most cherished childhood keepsakes is the quilt my grandmother and mom made for me before I was born. My mom, Carole, continued the tradition for my sister and family friends, but hadn’t quilted in years. This year, now that her kids and the kids of family friends have begun to have families of their own, Carole decided to take up the tradition again.
Above left: A quilt my mom made in the 80s for my sister; Above right: The quilt she just finished for the daughter of a family friend
When we found out that our family friend Lindsay was pregnant with her second child, it was time to make another quilt. Lindsay’s first born cuddles up with one of the first quilts Carole ever made. In the past, my mom and grandma painstakingly hand-stitched every little detail, which looks lovely but 21st century schedules call for 21st century solutions. For the new baby blanket, mom had the help of the Laura Ashley Limited Edition NX-2000, a new, very-high-tech quilting machine that was lent to her by Brother Sewing Machines.
But she didn’t go totally futuristic. Carole hand-stitched and embroidered each cute little sheep onto the white background fabric. She then machine-stitched the green border together with the sheep squares. This is when the Brother quilting sewing machine really came in handy. With 430 built-in accent stitches and the option to custom-design stitches, there were almost too many finishing touches to choose from.
In the end, she used three pretty, but not too intricate stitches to accent the borders. And just a week after the last stitch was finished, Lindsay’s second son arrived. See the inspiration, the steps and finished product below.
Carole’s thoughts on Brother’s Laura Ashley Limited Edition NX-2000
- "At first, I was intimidated by the display on the front and detailed instruction book. It took me a week to take the time to sit down, go through the instructions and actually start practicing."
- "I really liked the compartment in the base to keep the feet, bobbins and other supplies organized."
- "I like that the machine won’t let you proceed to the next step unless everything is ready."
- "I didn’t custom design any stitches, found that there were lots to choose from and it was easy to program different lengths, widths and tensions."
- "I am happy with the results and am sure that I would get more proficient and daring given the opportunity."