Last spring, when my brother and sister-in-law announced they were expecting a baby, I knew immediately that I would be making little him or her a baby quilt. Even before they had announced the sex, I decided I wanted to make a simple patchwork blanket that would be sturdy enough and big enough for the child to grow into as they got older.
So as soon as they announced it was a girl, I got to digging through my bins of fabric to see what I had on hand. I’m happy to say that every square I used for this quilt was from fabric that I already owned!
I was heavily influenced by some of the patchwork quilts that Rita from Red Pepper Quilts has made (like here and here). I am so in love with the mix of floral and gingham!! It’s fresh and modern, but the combination is one I think will last the test of time.
It looks like the pattern I used for the quilt is no longer available to purchase (though I did find a pin to the pattern here). However, there are tons of basic patchwork patterns out there if you Google search, and it wouldn’t be that difficult to come up with your own pattern for such a simple quilt like this. I used the pattern as a reference, but really, after determining the size of each square and final dimensions, I didn’t really have to follow the directions that closely. Just for reference, I cut out 4″x4″ squares, and the final dimensions of the quilt were roughly 55″x55″ (perfect for a throw-size quilt).
I had several fat quarters of vintage bedsheets that I had ordered a while back from Etsy that were perfect – a little retro and cutesy, and all in bright colors. I then added some basic stripes and gingham in different sizes and scales. I particularly love how the large scale gingham pops out from the design. For the binding, I knew I wanted to use either black and white stripe or gingham, and luckily, I had just enough black gingham leftover for the bias binding.
Mixing the fabrics together was so fun. Although it took me a while to place the layout, it was a good creative challenge and I’m really happy with the result. Picking out the backing was probably the most difficult, because I knew I wanted to use a solid – something that would complement the colors on front, but not be too “matchy-matchy”. I ended up using this fuschia color – I believe the exact color is Kona Cotton Hibiscus. I love how it’s a perfect mix between pink and purple, in case either one ends up being baby Kelsey’s favorite color someday. :)
Like my last quilt, I sent the quilt top off to a long-arm quilter to take care of the quilting and binding. I wanted to keep the quilting lines very simple, and asked for her to shadow the seam lines on either side by about 1/2″. I love the grid work lines that show up on the back, and also how it highlights the pattern of each square on the top.
And lastly, I added a label to the back of the quilt. I kept it simple and stiched out Kelsey’s initals, her birth date, and my initials. My embroidery is not the best, but I think it’s important to label quilts so that later generations in our family can trace back who the quilt belonged to and when it was made.
And finally – here are some pictures of my gorgeous niece at Thanksgiving, modeling the quilt as a playmat. Kelsey’s already grown up so much since these photos were taken! Doesn’t she make the cutest faces? And those pajamas… adorable!! Her sleepwear is more fashionable than some of my fanciest clothes!! ;)
I miss those little cheeks so much!
Until our next FaceTime date, Miss Kelsey – xoxo