Friday, February 22, 2013

Baby Quilts

Me with Jude at 3 weeks.

The finished quilt!

It's been a LONG time since I've posted. Much has happened in my life since the time of that post in early August, including a home sale and purchase, a move, and a new baby. There wasn't much time for quilting in those months, and now that I'm back to work full-time, I'm so exhausted most evenings that I doubt there will be a whole lot of quilting getting done in the coming months either. I'm sure that things will change with time and I'll once again find myself being a more productive quilter.

Quilt hanging above changing station.

I did complete a number of projects in anticipation of Jude's arrival! Who doesn't love making quilts for babies? I started with a quilt to hang over his changing station. After thumbing through mountains of ideas, I settled on the Pink Lemonade pattern that appeared in American Patchwork and Quilting in April 2009. I opted to mix up the blues and greens throughout the quilt rather than isolating them by color along the diagonal lines. I also made the quilt about 50% larger than the pattern, as I hadn't realized that the blocks were rather small and the original only finished at about 34x42. Had I realized that before beginning my cutting, I might have sized the blocks larger, but instead I just made more of them.

I love the colors and the strong sense of line that the quilt exhibits. Jude seems to like it too. He spends a lot of time smiling at it when he is on the changing station and he stared at it from the floor when I had one of his activity mats in the room. Jonah had loved to look at the quilt I made him and I hope that Jude likes his too. It will be a learning tool of sorts in the future, as we will be able to talk about colors, shapes, and more.

Square quilt hanging above the crib.
I also wanted to have a quilt for Jude to play on. (After making all of those stars in the first quilt, I wasn't going to have him spitting up on it!) I stuck with something quite simple as an antidote to the more complicated first quilt. I had plenty of fabrics remaining, so I cut some of them into charms and then framed them with strips. I'd planned to frame the charms with 2.5" strips, but ended up feeling it was a bit too chunky, so cut down the first group and then cut the remaining strips at 2" or 2.25" wide (I can't remember and I'm not at home right now to measure). This quilt actually uses the Alexander Henry fabric called 2D zoo that inspired the color palette for both projects. While my initial plan had been to let Jude play on the quilt, I opted to hang it above his crib, at least for the time being. I do want my kids to snuggle up with and live with their quilts, but I also wanted to have something to brighten up that side of his room and to give him something to look at while he is awake in the crib (I don't think that really is all that much).

One corner of Jude's room, with giraffe prints, a book rack, and
his quilt above his crib.

We ended up settling on a giraffe theme for the room, but the "theme" is very loosely interpreted, as we weren't going to go out and purchase new bedding, blankets, and the like just to fit the theme. So we kept it mostly simple, with some giraffes showing in the quilt above, two giraffe-themed prints from Etsy (see photo at right, where they hang above the book rack), and a third, much smaller project that I designed with some able assistance from Ben.

Giraffe quilt, self-designed.
In our old house, Jonah had a small quilt on the door to his room and I had liked the idea of making one for Jude as well. So I aimed to make a simple quilt that would fit nicely on an interior door of a house. By this point, I knew I didn't have a lot of time for sewing and, as the project would need to be small for the door, I should keep it simple. So Ben helped me draw a giraffe, which I then appliqued (yes, I did actually applique!!!) and framed with small squares of the fabrics I used in the other projects. I LOVE the finished project, especially seeing all of the blue and greens dancing around the center. In the end, we aren't hanging this quilt on the door, as we couldn't bring ourselves to put a nail in the door at the new house. So it's hanging next to Jude's closet, where we can admire it just as much.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to my dad, who made Jude a lovely wall plaque after his birth. Kudos to him for noticing the giraffes and making this precious art for Jude's wall. What a wonderful keepsake!