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Baby Quilts: When Tastes Diverge

When sisters are different, they are VERY different.

My youngest sister and I could not be more dissimilar. I was always bookish; she’s a sports fanatic. I’m generally easy-going; she is relentless. My style consists of over-the-top gaudy gold frames and hot pink velvet; she’s obsessed with clean lines and Mid-Century Modern.  

So when she told me that she was pregnant, and due in March, it left me with a challenge. What kind of baby quilt to make?

I reasoned that baby quilts aren’t REALLY for the baby, much like weddings aren’t actually about the bride: both are all about the mom.

My sister had sent me photos of the baby’s room-in-progress—a crib painted with antiqued gold, with stylish splashes of green and coral.

Color palette, set!

My next step was to browse through baby quilt patterns.

Nothing too fussy, or elaborate. And that wasn’t just to make it easier for me—my younger sister loves open space and clean lines.

First Heartbeat, by Terri Vanden Bosch, was the perfect pattern. In addition to the name (which I adore), the simplicity of the piecing and the asymmetry seemed perfect for my younger sister.

First Heartbeat by Terri Vanden Bosch

I’d forgotten just how FAST baby quilts go, especially when you pick a simple pattern. I cut all the pieces in one night, and the next morning—I am not joking—sewed the entire top in about 2 hours.

Because they can be such quick quilts to make, baby quilts are often an ideal place to try new things.

In this case, I wanted to try out quilter’s linen. Robert Kaufman’s Essex linens line had several metallic versions, which I thought would work nicely with the gold crib. Luckily, the metallic versions were available in shades of green and coral. 

The gold shimmers softly, which I like.

Baby quilts are smaller, so less fabric to purchase (nice!). I liked the linen; it didn’t ravel as much as I feared, didn’t really have a wrong side, and the wrinkles  and creases disappeared with a shot of steam.

My only concern was how coarse the fabric felt. Fellow quilters assured me that, once washed, the fabric softens up, but I’m not sure I’d use it again in a baby quilt.

I also used this as an opportunity to work on my freemotion meander.

I got the hang of it toward the end, but went back and picked out the section where I started, which was a bit of a mess. Again, smaller quilt, less to un-sew!

So the front of the quilt would appeal to my sister, I knew.

But that left the quilt’s back for me!

Here, I wanted to play with a new fusible product and appliqué. Tracy Mooney recently reviewed some fusing powder from Quilter’s Select, so I tried that out for some raw edge appliqué. (Worked really well!)

Eye-popping coral with appliquéed butterflies swirling out from the center… I love it. The baby will love it. But somehow I doubt my little sister will ever show the quilt back on her Instagram feed.

Quilt Top
Quilt back

If you’re looking for more baby quilt inspiration, make sure to check out our baby quilt lookbook, full of adorable ideas. We also have a popular baby quilts virtual workshop coming up in April! Learn how to create a beautiful nine patch baby quilt in the Quick & Easy Baby Quilts with Simple Simon and Company online quilting course! It’s the perfect opportunity for beginners to learn how to make small quilts and perfect quilting techniques like Half-square Triangle Blocks. 

Happy baby quilting!

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