Kenzie’s Second Baby Quilt


Ooops! One more thing I learned from Kenzie’s First Baby Quilt…that was a pretty big quilt! According to the design, about 92”x92”. I cut it down some, which was a bit of a challenge, pattern wise, but it still didn’t fit well into strollers or car seats. It didn’t go along well to visit. So, this Grammy needed to make another quilt. Sad. Not!

As it happened, a quilt guild up in Cobb County, GA was holding a special class and the teacher was none other than Gwen Marston, whose first book had convinced me I could be a quilter, too. I was several miles past excited. The class materials list called for bits and pieces of fabric you love. Apparently any color and any print would do, as long as we each really loved what we brought. No problem!

The class was great! Gwen was just as liberated and fun in person as she seemed in her book. We sliced and diced and pieced and swapped fabrics with new friends and by the end of the class most of us had finished quilt tops. I decided mine needed a border and I had a perfect fabric at home. A 2-toned monochrome floral in a bright red orange. Now, I like orange a lot. I use a lot of it, though not always in such big pieces. In this case, I chose it because there are lots of blue prints and blue and white dots in the quilt and Kenzie’s Daddy and Mama are both University of Virginia graduates. (Never mind that Dave’s colorblind in some tones and I’m never sure what he can see. He appreciates the thought!)

A lighter orange and yellow mini print volunteered for the binding. And there’s enough lime green in there to make a very happy quilter. I machine quilted it, following the stripes, with a thin cotton batting and washed in my usual fashion to ensure wrinkles.

This was the one that could be depended on for naps or cool, often rainy days in Scotland. It’s a kid-sized baby quilt. And I just love all the wonky stripes. If the piece is too narrow, sew something else to it. Too big? Slice some off. Make it all a little bigger than you need it and trim the perimeter to a relatively precise rectangle if that works for you. Or, let the border make it all work out. I love Gwen Marston!

I save scraps of everything and I think this would be a perfect design for the girls’ first quilts. It’s quite probable that they will have other ideas! They’re almost there. I’ll keep you posted!

Kenzie’s First Baby Quilt

No matter how many quilts a quilter has made, I suspect the first one for the first grandchild is always special. I was still a new-ish quilter when that occasion came along for me. New-ish, a little idealistic, and, perhaps, slightly overeducated. I ended up choosing Kaffe Fassett’s “Light and Dark Checkerboard Quilt” from the inspiring book, Quilt Road (Rowan Yarns, 2005).

I picked this design for two reasons. The first was that it’s largely black and white in a simple geometric design, which is, to the best of our knowledge, what babies see first. I envisioned long, peaceful hours of a laughing baby lying on the quilt, happily studying my perfectly pieced checkerboard. Secondly, I imagined that a one patch quilt of squares all the same size would be easy to piece.

Oh, there was a third reason, too. This baby was born in Scotland and, across the wee pond, they don’t generally reveal the gender of the baby before birth!

It’s a great quilt if you’re inclined toward pink or blue, which I’m not really, but don’t know which to choose. And I still believe in the whole black and white thing. I put some blacks and whites into almost every baby quilt I make. This might have been a bit more than was strictly necessary, especially when I discovered that a one patch quilt like this, where every piece needs to go in a very specific pattern was not as easy as I imagined. I do think there are some personality issues in this. Suffice it to say, I thought I’d lose my mind!

Eventually it was pieced. I bought a cute print with little wooden blocks all carved with alphabet letters and baby animals for the backing. It wasn’t printed straight. I was not amused! Time was getting short and I finally gave up trying to get the exactly geometric top and the very wonky geometric back to play nicely. Honestly, I don’t remember what’s on the back! Probably the grey and white random dots I used for the binding. Thin, organic, cotton batting. My friend, Beth Ellis, did the long arm quilting.

In the end, I was still putting the binding on when it was time to leave for Scotland. I packed the quilt and all my tools, leaving out useful things like extra sweaters and long sleeved T-shirts! I did get it all done before our sweet girl made her appearance, though I had to go home long before she got to tummy time. Mama Kelly no doubt worked harder than I did, but I was pretty proud, too!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach