Sunday, September 13, 2015

Another Bundle of Baby Quilts

So many important people in my life had little ones this past year, it was hard to keep up with baby gifts! I've made three baby quilts so far, with another one slated to be finished by November.

It's important to me to make each quilt a little bit different, and I try to choose fabrics that I think both the parents and munchkins with enjoy. Whenever possible, I try to find out about the nursery colors or investigate the general design scheme the parents are going for. The quilt doesn't have to match, especially since the quilts are intended to be used for play or while out and about, but it's a nice way to get an idea of what the parents will like, design-wise. I also consider, "Will the baby enjoy looking at this fabric? Is it fun and colorful? Is it something the kid can use a few years from now?"

In each of the following quilts, I fell in love with one main fabric or fabric set and designed the quilt to showcase that fabric. I selected blenders to complement the main fabric(s). Fabric selection is probably my favorite part of the quilting process, which I think comes through here!

Baby Caroline's Quilt
My good college pal Michelle and her husband Steve welcomed a daughter the day after the baby shower in March. Talk about timing! Michelle and Steve were keeping the gender a surprise, but Michelle gave me a heads up that the nursery would be decorated in soft greens and browns. I knew the Critter Patch line from Penguin & Fish would be perfect as soon as I saw it! (Alyssa Thomas, the designer, also has some adorable embroidery patterns, FYI.)

I decided to feature the main fabric in a big block in the middle, with smaller blocks and borders around it. (I found some inspiration for this design on Pinterest, but I did all of the sizing and cutting math on my own.)

How precious are those animals?

I did my favorite diagonal grid quilting here.

One of the reasons I went with this fabric line is that it features owls. To say that Michelle is obsessed with owls would be an understatement. :)

The quilt makes its baby shower debut, just a day before Caroline made her debut!
Caroline is that "I'm-going-to-eat-you-up" brand of cute, and it warms my heart that Michelle has taken so many pictures of Caroline enjoying playtime on her quilt. Here she is at 6 months old!

Baby Michael's Quilt
My cousin Mike and his lovely wife Stacy were expecting their first child just in time for summer. They were also keeping the gender a surprise, so I thought a brightly colored quilt with lots of animals would be just the thing. I've used Ann Kelle's prints before (I am such a fan!), but for this quilt, I decided to feature her animal panels and coordinates in the bright (Bermuda) colorway. Those tossed lions, monkeys, songbirds, and owls will give the little one lots to look at. I had to use big blocks of coordinating fabric to accommodate the panels, but I really like the effect of the bold pops of color! It was ready just in time for Stacy's baby shower in April.

This monkey is my favorite!

The aqua circles are from a 108" wide backing fabric that I could have used on its own, but I couldn't resist adding more animals to the back.

Mike Jr. arrived on May 21st. He's one of the happiest, sweetest babies I've met, and Mike Sr. and Stacy have made a smooth transition to parenthood. This kid is so, so loved! And who wouldn't find this face irresistible?

Baby Rozsa's Quilt
One of my college roommates, Jodie, and her husband, Mike, are expecting a little guy in November. He still has a little bit of cooking to do, but we celebrated her baby shower yesterday. I knew that the nursery was bright blue, and while I had been eyeing a few fabrics, nothing really jumped out at me until I was on vacation in Alaska and saw this amazing Riley Blake line in a local quilt shop (The Rushin' Tailor in Skagway). It has bright blues to match the nursery, as well as the moose and bears Alaska is known for. It also has bits of brown and white in it, representing our alma mater. It seemed like fate! I bought the panel set and several fat quarters at the shop, and then I ordered a few coordinating fabrics when I got home.

Again, the panels needed to be the focus of the quilt, so I had to plan my blocks around them. I used a block-and-brick structure and grid quilting to showcase the prints. (That's the thing about adorable prints -- you don't want to cut into them or quilt through them too much, so it's best to keep them in large pieces!)

You may recognize the orange chevrons, blue houndstooth, and yellow plus-signs from Baby Mike's quilt! I ended up using these scraps instead of some fabrics I bought specifically for this quilt. Even after doing this for a few years, it still amazes me that what you have on hand sometimes ends up working better than what you've purchased new.

We saw lots of bears on our Alaska trip, so I put this block front and center!

The trees on top are from the Riley Blake line, and the smaller animal blocks were part of the panel sheet. The blue circles are the other half of the backing I had originally intended for Baby Mike's quilt, and I had the brown chevrons on hand from Baby Anthony's quilt two years ago to accentuate the Lehigh love. (I told you my fabric stash is getting crazy!) 

Jodie seemed to love the finished quilt, and I actually had a tough time saying goodbye to this one. (After all, those fabrics did go on a cross-country adventure with me!) I'm eager for Baby Rozsa's arrival in a few months so I can ask him what he thinks of the quilt. I will report back.

Now, for the first time since I started this blog, I am up to date on my quilting endeavors! I have a busy fall coming up, so I am not sure how much craftiness will be achieved, but I'm hoping to do some more embroidery and applique at the very least.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't have picked a more perfect quilt for Caroline, Kym. She absolutely loves playing on it and observing the various patterns/fabrics you've picked. Thank you for making her such a beautiful gift. I know she's going to cherish it for years to come! <3