make me a baby quilt as fast as you can!

simple-gifts-styled-web

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?

simple-gifts-flatSo 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.

simple-gifts-detail

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.

Click here to download the free pattern as a PDF

13 Comments

  1. Posted May 1, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    You inspire me to be brave and inventive with my quilting because you’re right — it’s another design layer. Lovely lovely.

  2. Posted May 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Cute quilt. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us.

  3. Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the pattern. Lovely and simple. I’m sure I’ll use it!

  4. dot
    Posted May 2, 2009 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this pattern, and for all the sharing you do. It is nice when something beautiful doesn’t have to be too challenging.

  5. Alma
    Posted May 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the pattern and the thoughts about making baby quilts. This will come in handy–once had to make four baby quilts in one year.I’m always afraid they’re going to fall apart in the wash.

  6. Posted May 4, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for such a great pattern. I love the simplicity of it and that it is not too cutsie.

  7. Evelyn
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this pattern! I was just about to start on my next Project Linus quilt, and was trying to find a simple but nice pattern. This is fantastic! Thanks again!

  8. Posted May 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    You are so right about expectations placed on you, verbalized or not, when people know what you do. Your easy baby quilt project is a brilliant idea and makes a truly lovely and caring gift. Thank you so very much for sharing the tutorial with us.

  9. Judy Chaffee
    Posted May 9, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Weeks,
    Thank you so much for your generosity in providing for all of us another quality, contemporary statement of your art.
    Judy

  10. Mary Ann/Ca
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Just in time! I am not nearly as daring or adventuresome in making design choices without some guidance. This inspires me to do something out of the box…with your help. Thank you.

  11. Megan
    Posted May 15, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    You are the best. THANK YOU! Your previous baby quilt pattern (with the offset blocks) has been made at LEAST 10 times for babies. EVERYONE will enjoy a different pattern. I used to try new blocks/techniques when someone was having a baby but no time now. This is lovely. I am ALSO working on your ‘guy’ quilt from APQ for my brother. Thanx again.

  12. LindaKay
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Love, your fun patterns!

    LindaKay

  13. Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Make Me a Baby Quilt as Fast as You Can! on Craft Nectar. I love Weeks’ quote: “… 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?” And Lizzy House announced her new free quilt pattern, Marble Champ. Love the inspiration behind it! [...]

  2. [...] for a baby quilt on Craft Nectar, the blog of Weeks Ringle from FunQuilts. It’s called make me a baby quilt as fast as you can! The bolts of Anna Marie Horner’s Innocent Crush were speaking to me, and this little quilt [...]

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