A friend of mine asked if I would make a baby quilt for a friend of hers who was expecting a little boy. I've been quite picky with commissioned projects, as I'm pretty limited in sewing time these days, and only want to spend it working on projects I really love. This friend is always pretty open to whatever design I pick and lets me do most of the choosing, so I rarely have an issue making quilts as gifts for her!
Her only request was that I take a look through the mommy-to-be's baby registry to make something that went with the colors in the nursery. I do this anyways, so it certainly wasn't a problem. When I peeked at her registry, everything was brown and cream and void of just about any color, let alone the bright saturated colors I tend to gravitate towards. Hmm. This certainly made me pause, as brown and cream are not colors I use often or have much of in my stash.
After getting a sense of this mama-to-be's style, she seems to like things very classic, clean, simple and neutral. I took a few days to think the quilt top over, both design and color wise, and decided to just head to Joann's and see what I came up with. I picked out a few brown prints and a 3 Kona shades of cream, and ultimately decided to add in a few prints in a dusty baby blue, as I couldn't bear to make a quilt that consisted of only brown and cream. After much debate, I went with my gut and pieced together a simple strip quilt consisting of strips of various widths.
Even though this strip quilt fits the "classic, clean, simple and neutral" bill, after piecing the top I thought it was just too plain and needed "something". Mom ended up going into labor and delivering the baby just as I was basting the quilt, so we were able to find out the brand new baby's name. I applique'd baby Leon's name to his quilt and think it adds just the "something else" this rather straight forward strip quilt needed.
As for the applique, I found a font I liked and typed out baby Leon's name in an absurdly large size in Word, and printed out each letter, then used light weight fusible web to adhere the text to the quilt. I just used a straight stitch about 1/8" in from the letter edge, and applied fray check to the raw edges to prevent as much fraying as possible when washing. I can happily report after the first washing, there was little to no fraying, so the applique should hold up to all the love and washings a baby quilt is bound to receive.
I backed this quilt in a brown Minky dot I picked up at Joann's and I must say I think I'm a Minky convert. I don't know that I will ever back a baby quilt in anything other than Minky from this point forward. I was a little scared off when I used a "furry" minky on the back on Nora's Raspberry Orange Chevron quilt, I had a really hard time quilting it, which I attributed to just using Minky, but I think it was more because the nap was so thick, not that it was Minky in general, as I had little to no problems quilting this quilt.
As for the quilting, I stuck with my "classic, clean, simple and neutral" mantra and straight line quilted at about a 45 degree angle about 1 1/2" apart from one another. I have to say even though this quilt is a beyond simple design, it really is one of my favorites.
We have a few close friends that are having babies, and I'm thinking they all need a quilt like this for their little ones. Because it comes together so quickly, its an easy one to make once the baby is born and the name is known! I'm even thinking of making of few of these without batting so it feels more just like a blanket, but is extra cuddly with the Minky. Maybe I'll give it a try and make Nora one. Because she definitely needs another quilt/blanket ;-)