What are your go-to-gifts for new babies? I'm partial to quilts (not surprisingly!), and thanks to the sudden influx of friends having babies, I've made quite a few baby quilts recently.
This whole-cloth quilt was made for Felix, who was born in October to my friend Katie, the gal behind Fancy Free Finery. Knowing that Katie is a fan of minimal and graphic design, I used a yard of digitally-printed windowpane fabric for the top of her son's quilt, which meant zero piecing was required on my part.
For the back, I paired a long out-of-print Lizzy House ribbon print with a coordinating strip of solid blue fabric. I loved adding a bit of color and pattern to the back to contrast with the simple black-and-white quilt top. I stuck with my signature cross-hatch quilting, and bound this baby quilt with minty scraps.
If you have a new baby in your life in need of a gift, and like this particular design, then be sure to check out this similar unisex baby quilt I have in the shop. It's back features an awesome retro paint-by-number print, which is a customer favorite.
While getting ready to write this post, I looked back at my email to try and figure out when I first started making this quilt. It turns out I won a copy of this pattern---Retro Flowers by Sometimes Crafter---back in 2012 (!), and I believe I started working on it not long after that.
I worked on it here and there over the years, practicing my curves, assembling the blocks, and then piecing the quilt top, which is how it sat until a dear college friend gave birth to a baby girl this summer. I thought it would be the perfect gift for her new daughter, so I finally set to work finishing it.
I opted not to add the additional borders that the pattern called for, since it was already plenty large for a baby quilt.
I put together a backing using coordinating teal and pink fabrics from my stash, including a super soft Nani Iro double gauze---one of my fabric types of fabrics for quilt backings!---and finally quilted and bound this long-outstanding work-in-progress.
For the finishing touch, I added a cross-stitch label with the baby's name and birth date on it. Baby quilts are my favorite things to gift, and receiving a photo of Ms. Emilia on her quilt not long after I sent it her way, completely made my day.
When creating new quilts, one of my favorite things to do is to choose a traditional block design and experiment with its scale, color placement, and layout. For the spring quilt collection, I played around with the log cabin quilt block and created two distinct quilts.
For the first, this baby quilt, I decided to go big and enlarged the block so that it featured only one quilt block. The log cabin's center (a Denyse Schmidt print from her Hope Valley line), is surrounded by wide eggplant and cream "logs."
I really love how this particular layout creates such a bold and graphic design, while also highlighting the grid quilting.
For the second design, this larger throw-size quilt, I created 12 log cabin blocks in a restricted, all-solids, palette. By arranging the blocks as I did, a secondary pattern of floating shapes emerged.
I also chose to vary the fabrics I used in the logs, so there is a mix of cream and white, and various shades of purple, red, and plum, within each of the blocks, which I really love. I always love to opt for a bit of variation over uniformity!
What's your favorite log cabin quilt layout? Here are a few others from the archives, in case you'd like to see:
For many years, I was a member of do. Good Stitches, an online charity quilting bee. I made a number of quilts with the help of my bee mates, all of which were donated to my locals chapters of Project Linus in both North Carolina and New Hampshire. Earlier this year, I realized my schedule no longer had room for the monthly commitment, so I made the tough decision to step down from the group. Before I did, however, I had one last quilt to finish.
This Squash Blossom baby quilt was created with blocks from members of the Bliss Circle, using this tutorial by Tales of Cloth. I asked for blocks which featured olive green with peach centers, inspired by the colors in this photo.
I really love both the color combo and the block pattern, and would love to use both again in future quilts.
A long-stashed Aneela Hoey print from the Little Apples collection was the perfect backing for the quilt, as it had pops of both light pink and olive green.
Though I'm no longer a member of do. Good Stitches, my charity sewing will definitely continue. Do you have any favorite organizations you like to donate quilts to?
I'm reaching the point in my life where many of my friends are now becoming parents (where did the time go?!). So when I found out a few months ago that a dear high school friend was expecting a little girl, it was a foregone conclusion that I would be making her a quilt.
I decided to revisit my yellow-and-white half-square triangle design, which I first created a quilt from about a year ago. It's a simple digital design, which I created in Photoshop, uploaded onto Spoonflower's website, and had printed onto Kona cotton. For this second version, I opted to use a gray elephant print on the back, since I knew that was the theme and chosen color for the baby's nursery, and bound it with a purple gingham binding for a pop of color.
Whole-cloth quilts are so nice to make since they're such quick and satisfying finishes, and I love this design in particular because the quilting lines make the quilt appear as if it were traditionally pieced.
If you'd like to try your hand at making your own version of this quilt, the top's design is now available in my Spoonflower shop; simply order a yard of it on your favorite cotton substrate, and you have a ready-made quilt top. It makes an excellent baby gift and is a perfect project for first-time quilters.