My sister and I are pretty close, although we have lived our adult lives always at some distance from each other. Nevertheless, because of shared holidays and annual summer visits, our kids have many childhood memories of fun times together. This photo was taken during one of our visits to their place, the kids freshly bathed and set to watch a movie before bed, all wrapped up in some of the numerous quilts I've made for my nieces, Kate & Liz, over the years. When we heard the news last winter that Kate was going to have a baby ~ the first of the next generation in the family ~ I, of course, started thinking about a quilt.
Over the past 10 years, I've collected some really fun novelty prints and was anxious to use them in this project. For weeks I browsed quilt books and old magazines, on the hunt for a simple block that would showcase them nicely. Then Rita from Red Pepper Quilts showcased her Economy Block quilt, and I knew it was the perfect choice for what I had in mind. Pulling colorful prints from my stacks of fabric, I laughed about how I would need to sew for a small army of babies to use up what I've accumulated. But that's what a stash is for, right? Lots of choices!
After making up these 2-print squares, I laid them all on-point on my flannel wall and started choosing the prints that would make up the next round in each block.
May I insert a cautionary comment at this point? If you decide to make this quilt, don't do it this way!!!!!
I can't tell you how much time I chewed up trying to balance prints and colors. Hours. Days. If I'm honest, maybe even a few weeks of diddling around with it. It drove me crazy!! Next time, I'll choose the outer triangles first, and work inward. (You know me ~ fussy, fussy.) It's a great, simple block for a child's quilt. I know I'll make it again.
Initially, the plan was to take the blocks to the edge, as Rita did. In the end, I decided it might be a bit more stable with a border containing the pieced work and after auditioning several, finished up the top.
The quilt is hand-quilted, in the ditch around the block interiors, with a simple zig-zag on the border.
It was late summer when I told you I had something in progress to share soon. This was it. Sorry, but when we found out that Kate, her husband and baby would be coming from the west coast to join us for Thanksgiving, I decided wait to gift it in person. OMG, I'm so glad I did!
Only 4 months old, she stayed propped up on those little forearms, eyes darting around from one block to another.
Little did I suspect that on this visit, I'd actually get to see her enjoy it!
Happy baby, happy Aunt Jan!