Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunburst Baby Quilt

Finished quilt!

This quilt is going to a special home. I grew up in close proximity to this baby's father. His little sister and I were born months apart, and we all spent a great deal of time together throughout childhood. I mean, how many people (other than your siblings) can you say you have run naked through the sprinkler with? Now my friend and his lovely wife are going to be parents themselves. They are the first of our tight group to join that exclusive club and I am so happy for them. We have sort of grown apart recently, but I still feel a little like my brother (or close cousin?) is having a baby! Yay!

I based this quilt design off of Denyse Schmidt's, Crazy Star Quilt (in Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration). I am saying based, because I did not so much follow the pattern as look at the picture in my book. Then I decided to make a quilt that looks sort of like it. 

 I ended up paper piecing my strips for the points (instead of using the cloth base that Denyse recommends). Obviously, I scaled it down a bit to be baby sized.

This baby is entering life during a cold, dark, Chicago winter, so I wanted this quilt to be bright and cheerful. I also intentionally did not make the quilt that baby-ish... It is just downsized adult quilt. We do not know the baby's gender yet (well, maybe someone knows, but they aren't telling me), so I wanted this to work for a boy or a girl. I also wanted the mom and dad to have something pretty, bright, and grown up to look at while they are facing the challenges and rewards of this little guy or gal.

I took an un-official survey at my office (sample size = 1 adult male with two daughters) and my respondent told me he enjoyed having things for his girls that were not 100% little kid looking. What do other parents out there think?

That is not to say that I do not want this quilt treated like an adult thing. I would be so happy if it got abused, played on, worn out, and washed a million times. I think I generally speak for all quilters who make baby quilts when I say, I want this sucker to get loved. It is washable. Memories made on handmade things are beautiful. 

I fell in love with Denyse's quilting design and decided to fill up the negative space with the most adorable free motion, sort of organic (read: messy and unplanned), loops. I just made them on my home sewing machine while watching old episodes of TV on Netflix. I think it works.

The back is made up of some Kona strips I had left over from another quilt, some of the Kona Steel (I think?) from the front, and a single strip of Madrona Road (Haystack?) to mimic the bright star on the front. The star is made entirely out of scraps, curated for their brightness and happiness, and sewn together at random. Goodness, I love improvising!

Quilt Stats:
Name: Sunburst Baby Quilt
Size: 45"x43"
Fabrics: Kona Steel (I think?) for the front background, assorted scraps for the star (comment if you are curious about a specific fabric and I will try to find out what it is), the back has some Madrona Road Haystack, and assorted Kona blues from my stash.
Binding: Scraps of binding from my leftover binding (I am the worst at remembering fabric names!)
Pattern: Based on Crazy Star (from Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration)
Quilting: Free motion loops (à la Denyse Schmidt)


  1. Wow, beautiful! Cheerful and colourful and the quilting looks amazing. I'm sure the parents to be will be delighted!

  2. I love the quilting so much! I'll definitely have to put that on my list of designs to try. Also, I love having things for my daughter that are not too girly and not too little kid. It is nice to have things that will grow with her, and that I also enjoy looking at :)

  3. I agree - I like baby quilts that are not overly 'baby' - I really like your colours on this one! And the quilting - oh so pretty. I have to get up the nerve to try these loops. Popping over from Hilltop House Creative Works.

  4. This is so pretty. I don't have kids myself but I like things for babies that aren't too baby-ish so they can grow with them.

  5. I love the clean lines and simple elegance of this quilt. You may be thinking "elegance doesn't go with baby" but you just made a wonderful timeless ageless genderless quilt. So I guess to me that means elegant? Rambling now... but fantastic quilt.


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