Baby quilts are really fun to make. A quilter gets to use super cutesy fabrics, simpler blocks are ideal and the quilts don’t need to be very big so they don’t take very long. Plus you get to give it to an adorable little baby to welcome them into the world. And if you’re lucky you get to look at a bunch of photos of the baby being cute on the quilt you made. Win for everyone!
When my sister-in-law announced she was expecting, I started thinking about the quilt I was going to make right away. Years ago, my husband (her brother) had gifted me a set of fat quarters printed with a bunch of fun zoo animals. I liked them a lot but wasn’t sure of the best way to use them. With her announcement, I knew that they would be perfect to use in the quilt, as a sort of collaborative gift from the both of us to our very first niece.
I came up with a simple(ish) design of basic blocks separated by pieced sashing and little nine-patch blocks in the sashing intersections. For the blocks, I simply cut 6 1/2″ squares, sliced them diagonally, then inserted 1″ strips between 2 different half-square triangles for blocks that finish at 6″. I love this technique for adding a bit of punch to plain blocks, and since it doesn’t change the proportions of the original patch (as long as your seam allowance is consistent!) you can try it in basically any pattern.
I pieced a back with the purple kitten print and other leftovers from the front.
I didn’t really plan out the quilting, and that’s where I made my mistake. I just sort of started in the center with a star motif and worked my way out. I like the center, but I would plan the quilting out more specifically and efficiently if I were to do it over. I don’t feel like the quilting complements the piecing too well. It may detract from the piecing design a bit. It’s not so bad that I felt a need to take it out (it would have to be terrible for me to want to do that) but if I got a do-over I’d want to emphasize the orange diagonals more with the quilting, rather than quilt over them in all directions. Overall, the quilting looks more chaotic and busy than I care for, but I tend to judge my work pretty harshly which I’m sure other quilters can relate to.
Quilting disappointments aside, I got it bound, washed it and sent it off, hoping it would get there in time for the baby shower. My sister-in-law had posted several photos on Facebook showing the painting and decorating of the nursery, and the colors she used were basically identical to the colors in the quilt – purple, green and bright accents. I didn’t get it there in time for the shower but a few days after the quilt arrived at it’s destination, so did the eagerly anticipated baby! Last week, in fact.
It’s funny how all my aesthetic nit-picking seems so silly when I see this photo.
Isn’t she sweet?! The quilting doesn’t matter at all; no one’s looking at it anyway. As long as she can sleep in and on it, crawl around on it when she gets bigger and have it throughout her childhood as a reminder that she’s loved, the direction of some quilting lines is trivial. Besides, I am already thinking about what I should make for her next quilt.
Tell me all about your baby quilts – I need ideas for my next one! Tell us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ if you like! Conversely, if you’re looking for baby quilt ideas, we’ve got plenty of inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and our website. Have a wonderful weekend!