At the end of last summer, I made a pair of baby quilts for two cousins who’d recently had babies. I used similar color palettes for both, and the main fabric, an aqua poly cotton, is the same for both quilts. I don’t normally like to use polyester blends in quilts, but this one was soft, pretty, and already in my stash. I’m hoping that it will also have some of the stain resistance and hard-wearingness that polyester is known for, both of which I think are appropriate for baby quilts.
The first quilt, for Baby A, is aqua, gray, and yellow. One side is solid aqua. The other has a pieced-in strip made of squares of lemon gingham and gray linen. I quilted these two sides together, sandwiching Warm and Natural cotton batting in between them. I quilted along either side of the yellow and gray strip and then at approximately two-inch intervals from then on, working towards the edges of the quilt. I made 3/4 inch bias binding from the same aqua fabric and machine bound it.
The second quilt, for Baby E, is quite different. First, strictly speaking, it is a tied comforter, not a quilt. Second, instead of making a whole-quilt design, I designed this one in blocks, with sashing. This makes it a little more complicated to explain, and there are many more fabrics, so I have more to say about this quilt.
I’m sure many other people have made the main block, which is a four-patch variation. However, as I found it in my brain rather than in a book, I don’t know what it’s called. I made six blocks, each consisting of two squares of gray linen and two squares made up of rectangular stripes in yellow, blue, green, and red/pink.
To make the smaller multi-colored squares, I made strips from several yellow, blue, green, red, and pink fabrics. I wasn’t very picky about width — just squared them up once the squares were pieced. For yellow, I made four strips each from yellow gingham, yellow floral, and solid yellow. For blue, I made four strips each from blue homespun plaid, blue geometric print, and blue chambray shirting. For green, I made four strips each from green dot, light green print, and medium green print. With pink/red, I ran into a problem. I could only get one strip of the appropriate size out of the red fruit print, and two out of the pink floral. I would have liked four of each of those, but I substituted extra strips of the red abstract leaf print.
When stitching together these multi-colored strips, I varied the order in which the colors were assembled, but I made two of each kind (same four fabrics, same order). (The exception here is the square with the only strip of the fruit fabric.) Then, I made four-patch squares using gray linen squares and the matching pairs of pieced squares. I pieced the squares together with aqua fabric for sashing, with an equal amount of sashing on the edges and between the squares. Finally, I layered it with batting and a coral-colored Kona cotton backing, tied it with gray pearl cotton, and machine bound it with a homemade bias binding in a dark blue print.
I labeled both quilts in a rather slapdash fashion — wrote on a piece of the gray linen with a Sharpie, ironed it in hopes of heat-setting the ink a bit, and appliqued it to the quilt. I included my own initials, the recipient’s initials, and the date on each label. When I did my customary pre-gifting test wash, these labels faded quite a bit, but they were still entirely legible. I’m hoping that most of the fading happened with that wash. If they fade that much every time they’re washed, they’re likely to change from labels into plain gray squares.
I’m trying to get better about labeling, but I still make far more things than I label. Case in point is the baby quilt I made this winter and posted about a few weeks back.