Irish Lass Baby Quilt

Ok, I told you this one was going to be epic, and I hope you agree. After poring over Judi Madsen’s wonderful book Quilting Wide Open Spaces and getting some encouragement from my longarm mentor Sue Fox, I recently decided to attempt something with much more detailed quilting than I have ever done, and the result is this baby quilt version of the “Irish Lass” quilt in Judi’s book.

There's A Thread: Irish Lass Baby Quilt

I simplified some of Judi’s suggested quilting designs to make them more manageable for myself, but the quilting is still pretty crazy!

There's A Thread: Irish Lass Baby Quilt

Here’s a close-up of what I’m calling the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” motif. I’m really proud of my micro-pebbling here. I followed Judi’s advice and slowed the machine way down, to the point where I could see each individual stitch as it was being made. I ached the day after, and I’m not sure this super-dense quilting is something I’ll want to do regularly, but I really love the way it looks and feels. Each of these took about 40 minutes of quilting. The whole quilt took me about eight hours total, as well as some initial practice time.

There's A Thread: Irish Lass Baby Quilt

The binding on this quilt is one of my favorite parts. Crisp but pretty, no? I’m hoarding this fabric now for binding future projects.

There's A Thread: Irish Lass Baby Quilt

Overall, this project is definitely a lot more “traditional” than my usual style. I don’t know that I’ll continue to move in this direction, but working on this project has given me a lot more confidence in my quilting, and I think that will influence how I think about projects in the future. I’m noticing other people’s quilting choices more now, and feeling drawn to projects that make the quilting a more prominent part of the design.

Oh, and a bonus random tip for you: Hobbs wool batting is fantastic. This was the first time I tried it, and it quilts SO smoothly. It’s lighter and airier than cotton (a surprise for me), and it doesn’t crease like cotton, although it does still give you a crinkly texture if you wash it. In short, it is dreamy and you should try it if you haven’t yet.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. So pretty. So, so pretty. Initially I didn’t see the quilting in the first photo – I thought it was just a cute quilt – then I saw the quilting and my jaw nearly dropped. Did I mention how pretty it is? :)

  2. this quilting is amazing! Good for you for pushing yourself to try new things. Epic indeed!

  3. wow, it looks incredible! great job.

  4. Beautiful! Sorry if you said this and I missed it, but did you do the quilting on a regular sewing machine or do you have a long arm? You did a fantastic job.

  5. Your quilting is amazing! The binding is perfect. My LQS went out of business in July and had a bolt of that fabric 50% off. I didn’t buy any either!!! Love it as binding!

  6. Your quilting is really beautiful!

  7. Wow! Just Wow! I love the simplicity of the piecing. It’s the perfect back drop for all of that fantastic quilting! Oh my goodness, this is wonderful!!!

  8. Beautiful! I have that book too but I haven’t tried anything in it yet. Your quilting is lovely.

  9. Oh wow that is super wonderful!! I too have the book, I just love her work.

  10. Wow. That quilting is impressive. I can see why you ached the following day!

  11. Wow, Gorgeous quilting! You’ve got skills!

  12. I am so impressed! I love Judi’s work and you have done a fantastic job here! Well done!

  13. Wow! Your quilting is fantastic, I also love that binding-looks like a good fabric to hoard!

  14. Hello Cari,

    Such a pretty quilt! Your quilting is totally fab, such a shame the effort made you ache.

    Would you like to link up with Free Motion Mavericks on my blog? It would be great to see you there.

    Love from England, Muv