A few months ago, I started a baby quilt for my friend Kristin. Kristin and I met and bonded on a Ravelry forum; I then became a fellow moderator on that forum and we bonded even more. When Kristin announced she was pregnant, I was delighted and decided that given all my knitting deadlines, I would opt for making a baby quilt instead of something knitted.
Kristen told us that her nursery colors were chocolate and lime. It's a really modern-feeling combination, so I looked for a pattern in my modern quilting books. I opted for the "Blockheads" quilt, from the very cool Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis (I read about her in the New York Times a while back and she sounds really fun; she describes her style as "I make modern heirloom quilts just like your metal-loving half-blind Grandma would."). The pattern consists of a number of squares within squares, done in all solids -- except I decided to leave off the faces. (This is a version of the pattern done with the faces in case you're curious.)
I rummaged through my solids and found several limes and some chocolate brown. I had thought about making the quilt in all solids but couldn't resist the chance to use some cute prints, especially since it was for a baby. So I went to Spool, where Laura and Craig helped me find some prints that were very cute and also which read like solids, including a bird print and some fake wood (that reminds me of the side of the station wagon our family had when I was a kid). Having heard Kristin say that she didn't understand why all boy-related baby stuff has to feature transportation, I was very careful to avoid anything with wheels, but I figured fake wood was not too transportation-y (my personal synapses notwithstanding). When I looked at the solids and the prints together, I was pleased.
It didn't take long to cut the pieces, and I fiddled around with block placement
before sewing the blocks together. Once the top was finished, I realized that I had subconsciously made it very brown, so I decided to find a lime-colored fabric for the backing (dots!).
I quilted it by hand, mainly because I already knew how to do it and I was afraid to practice my machine-quilting on a gift. It didn't take that long, though, and I found it relaxing to hand-stitch it. I am not sure my technique is perfect, but it seemed to work just fine. I quilted about a quarter-inch inside each square, and I used green thread on the green squares, and brown thread on the brown.
I had originally planned to use the Woody-Wagon print for binding, but the fact that the front was reading so brown deterred me. So I changed my mind, and used pieces of the leftover lime green solids, and added some strips of colors that were a little lighter and darker than lime, but close enough.
I was very happy when I realized that I had already improved my binding skills since my previous quilt....much more consistent and professional-looking.
I was pleased with the finished quilt, shown here being held by one of my helpful assistants:
I think the greens are a little deeper and less yellow-y in real life, but the photo gives you a sense for the overall look. Right now, the quilt is winging its way to Chicago to (I hope) be snuggled by its intended recipient.
And I know that I am very sarcastic and ironical most of the time, but it must be said that when working on a project like this, for a cute little baby of a dear friend, I put a great deal of love and hope into every stitch.