Ah! I remember the days ten years ago when I was a hobby quilter. I made intricate baby quilts for every pregnant woman that I knew. But as is the case with the cobbler’s children who have no shoes, now that I’m a professional quiltmaker and have 15 labor-intensive quilts on my dance card at the moment, 200-piece baby quilts are a thing of the past. The other issue is that when people know that you design and make quilts for a living, you can’t show up with a Diaper Genie at a baby shower. There’s an unspoken expectation that there’s going to be a quilt. No pressure, right?
So Bill and I decided to design a quilt that could be made in a few hours but would still be fun and modern. We tend to make baby quilts that are not in baby colors because we want the quilt to be appealing to the child when they’re a toddler and preschooler too. We had some yarn-dyed fabrics in the studio and had fun pairing them with contemporary prints and solids. Baby quilts are so small that I think you can really be adventurous with mixing fabrics.
I think that the thing that really makes this simple design fun is the contrasting thread used in the quilting. A lot of people “stitch in the ditch” because either they lack confidence in their quilting and don’t want it to show or they don’t know how to quilt their quilt. I think about the quilting as another design layer, so with a simple design like this, I knew that I would want contrasting stitching. The only thing to be careful about when doing contrasting stitching is that the value will be exaggerated after it’s quilted. Dark threads with look darker and light threads will look lighter so look at the individual thread on the fabric not just the spool.
No quilt is likely to be washed and dried as frequently as a baby quilt so I’m a fan of dense quilting and sturdy bindings on baby quilts in particular. If the quilt is tied or looks too delicate it’s not going to get much use. You want it to be sturdy enough to be wadded up in the diaper bag going through airport security and still look great.
This simple pattern works well with large-scale prints as long as you have a tone on tone or a solid for the tiny vertical stripe.