Let’s talk about baby quilts! As you know from my posts on my creative plans for 2021 baby quilts will be a big topic for my sewing plans this year. They are one of my sewing priorities and I am very much looking forward to making them during the next weeks and months.
But before I get into my baby quilt plans for this coming year, let’s have a look together at my past baby quilt projects.
Babies don’t judge!
In my opinion, baby quilts are great projects to learn different patchwork techniques and to try out new patterns. They are quickly done and easy to quilt because they are small. And another important aspect: babies won’t judge your patchwork or quilting capabilities! 🙂
Quilts for babies are usually between 36 and 52 inches (91 and 132 cm). But I do not really follow standard sizes. One reason for this is that I really love squared quilts, especially for babies. I simply love their symmetry. And it simply looks super cute to have a baby crawling over a squared quilt as baby Louisa demonstrates beautifully in the picture above. 🙂
Nevertheless, the very first baby quilt I made, had a rectangular size. Unfortunately, it was before I started taking good photos of my quilts. So the only photo I have is the one above. The pattern was my simple invention of doing something that was not based on Half Square Triangles but close enough to it to know I would manage. I had done so many Half Square Triangle projects before making this quilt by then that I really needed a change. So these stars are formed by so-called ‘House Blocks’ combined with bigger squares.
Too much Baby Fabric
Another interesting aspect about baby quilts is that you actually do not need a lot of fabrics. This is something I learned from this baby quilt in particular.
It was my very first visit to the ‘kingdom of fabrics‘ when I bought this selection of little pink, grey, and mint green prints. I went specifically with the aim to buy fabric for my great cousin’s daughter Margarete. The baby’s great-grandmother, my aunt, came with me, and together we choose something that we thought would find the liking of the mother. And fortunately, it did! 🙂
Today I would not do this anymore. Baby quilts are a very personal thing and I believe the mother should be always consulted when choosing the fabrics. Mums-to-be (me included) usually have a specific color in mind for their baby’s first outfits and nursery. And a good baby quilt has to fit this conceptually. 🙂
Anyway, I bought a lot of this fabric line! It ended up being used for a total of four baby quilts. One of the quilts was for my other cousin’s twins and a super long bed snake became present for my other cousin’s twins. Another project I did not take a proper photo of, I am afraid. It was more than 4 meters long and I considered it my ‘free motion quilting practice’ project. I tried all kinds of free-motion quilting patterns on this snake and as I could not see these little teddy bears anymore, desperately wanted to finish the fabrics as well!
Learning Foundation Paper Piecing with Baby Quilts
But before this, these extra fabrics became very useful in 2017 when I decided I wanted to try a new patchwork technique. I found Amy Garro’s book ‘Paper Pieced Modern’ in the Qatar National Library and absolutely fell in love with this book. All 13 patterns were simply amazing. I wanted to try them out all!
And some of the quilts were rather small. As there were several babies born around me, I took the liberty to declare some of the patterns into baby quilt patterns.
One example from the book is this star pattern that is called ‘Apple Star’. The approach in the book is slightly different as all the stars are white on a light-colored print as a background. But I found the star pattern ideal to bring in some color. When planning it, I imagined a toddler playing on this quilt, learning the different colors of the stars.
And it worked out fine! Baby Louisa apparently liked to crawl on this quilt a lot. Her mother, a dear friend of mine, was so kind to agree that I use a photo of her on the quilt for this blog post. Thanks for this! 🙂
Making Amir’s Baby Quilt
When my younger sister was pregnant with my nephew, I also took this as an opportunity to make a quilt for a baby boy. My very first boy quilt actually.
I had purchased the fabrics already sometime before for another baby boy. It was meant to be for the quilt for the son of my colleague at the time. She was pregnant when we went to one of my Dubai quilt shops and choose these fabrics together.
Unfortunately, I did not manage to make a quilt for him on time. And in my defense, he was born prematurely. He is a big boy by now and I guess I kind of owe him some sort of quilt project.
His fabrics were still hanging around untouched. So, when my sister was pregnant with Amir, I decided it would become the base for his quilt. Again without consulting the mother on colors…
Amir’s quilt was my very first squared quilt (I finished it before Louisa’s). I found this pattern in Burda‘s Patchwork and Quilting magazine Burda Patchwork in the summer of 2017. In the magazine, it is shown in very bright solids, but my approach was to use a mix of solids and small prints. Malka Dubraswky is the designer of this quilt. She usually uses a lot of hand-dyed, bright-colored fabrics in her work.
More Baby Quilts to Come
And as you can see from the photo below, I still have a lot of leftover fabrics from this project. And also still quite some background fabrics from Louisa’s quilt…
So it happens again! Buying fabrics for one baby quilt leads to having so much left that at least another baby can benefit from it. 🙂
Good that making baby quilts is on my sewing priority list for 2021! I have quite some baby quilts lined up for the next three to four months. 10 in total! And I have a very special idea related to them…
But this I am going to share in my next post on making quilts for the little boys and girls that are joining us in 2021! Stay tuned for updates during the next weeks!