Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Quilt Files, Episode 13

... or, Theme and Variations in Primary Colors.

I think I've mentioned before how much I like to make baby quilts. They're small enough to assemble quickly, and machine quilting is a breeze (unlike the queen-sized quilt with which I'm currently wrestling). There are a couple of patterns I've used more than once, just because I like them so much. There is the "Stars and Moon" pattern, which I've used in both boy and girl versions, using cotton fabrics. And then there's this "Busy Baby" pattern for a play quilt, which I like to make using flannels. I've made this pattern at least five times; three with a maize 'n' blue theme (and each time I forgot to take a picture, so maybe that will be a future entry), and most recently with primary colors. It also features black and white fabrics, since high contrasts are supposed to be appealing to babies' undeveloped eyesight.

When I started the first of these two primary variations, I was running out of the blue and yellow fabrics I had bought for the Michigan variations. I had plenty of the black and white puppy dog print, which included blue, yellow, and red highlights, so I thought I would include some red flannels as well. After all, the original pattern called for black, white, yellow, and red. I had just switched out the red for a color I thought went more naturally with blue. It made for a balanced pattern: the center square had a black and white frame, and then I had two squares each with red, yellow, black, and white frames. I changed up a couple of the decorations, and put an "A" in the middle for baby Aaron.

When it came to the next quilt, you can see I swapped out the red frames for blue ones. It's a lot harder to find red flannels rather than blue ones, especially ones appropriate for babies. So this time I made the red a prominent accent color. I ran out of solid black flannel and didn't feel like running out to the fabric store in the middle of piecing, so I used a mix of small primaries for the border. I think this variation is a little brighter, a little more "Superman," which is great since it was intended for a family who are big movie fans. I added an "L" for Logan (I couldn't find the X-Men font, so I went with Blade Runner), which you might also see quilted in the center of the top left square. I picked up enough black flannel for the binding, and I had a quilt which was the same pattern, but looks a bit different.

I still have quite a few yellow, blue, black, and white scraps left, so I might make another variation on this pattern in the future. It's a fun mix of applique and patchwork, and I love hiding squeaky toys in the squishy square attachments. (Square 9 on the top quilt, square 6 on the bottom.) Hopefully it's just as fun for the babies as well.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon BlankenshipAugust 26, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    Damn! I REALLY want one of those, Diane. What would I have to do to get one?
    Never mind. Don't answer.