Back to basics: a primary baby quilt

September 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Baby Colin is going to be here in October, and we got him all ready with this sweet, transportation-inspired quilt in primary colors.  The nursery is going to be done in primary colors using this super cute bedding from Land of Nod.

I wanted to make a nice quilt to go with everything using some of my vintage stash, and then I lucked into this great fabric at City Craft.  It’s Minny Muu: A Little French Town, and it has these darling little geometric images on it of houses, castles, and transportation themed images along with sweet little sayings in French.  Since Momma & Daddy-to-be went to Paris on their honeymoon and his room is in primary colors and transportation, this felt like the perfect fabric to inspire the quilt!

I searched high and low on trusty Moda for a pattern, but I couldn’t come up with anything, and I was running out of time.  I started cutting 10 x 10 squares of my fabrics and laying them out in a grid, thinking I could do something with them.  Grandma Amy came over, and I showed her how far I had gone, and she gave very clear instructions that it needed some dressing up.  After some bouts of denial, I finally gave in and decided that maybe I could create some appliques out of the fabric scraps to match the simple designs in the Minny Muu fabric.

After tackling the train, I was inspired to take on a few more, and I added in the tug boat, the sailboat, the car, and a hot air balloon.  I limited it to one per row so that it wouldn’t get too crazy, and so that I wouldn’t get carried away and end up messing up a good thing.  These appliques are dead simple–I just cut out basic geometric shapes in various colors to match the designs on A Little French Town, and stitched them down with a zig-zag stitch.  This will allow for some fraying to give it a cozy, warn look in the end.  I washed the quilt to get the fraying started, and the appliques all held up pretty well.

I stitched my squares into rows and then my rows came together for the quilt top.  I happened upon a super soft throw last Christmas at Target in a basic cream color and picked it up to add to my stash.  I ended up using this ribbed throw as my quilt backing instead of doing a traditional sandwich so that it would be more user-friendly.

Right sides together, I stitched along the outer edges with a 1/2 inch allowance, and left an opening about 1/2 a square wide to turn the quilt inside-out.  After turning it, I pinned it together, and then ran a stitch around the outside about 1/4″ in to tack down the outer edge.  For this quilt, I rounded the corners before I stitched the two sides together to give it a more finished look and so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the edges.  Also, Grandma Amy tells me this is her preferred finish on baby blankets and quilts, and I don’t argue with experts!

After I finished the outer stitch, I went back through and stitched in the ditch along the seams to give it a finished quilted feel.  I just ran a stitch down each row and column to get all my squares tacked down so that it won’t give the new parents fits in the washer or dryer.  After a washing here, it held up beautifully, so I packaged it up with a few matching burp clothes and toted it over to the shower.

I’m proud of this one!  I didn’t have a pattern, and I let the fabrics inspire some fun elements.  I think the finished product turned out way better than I expected, and I think it will make a fun quilt for Baby C to enjoy through the years. I envision lots of wrestling matches on it with Baby Mac.

Hugs and kissies to Momma & Baby–King Baby is super excited for his playmate to get here!

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