Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A new baby (...quilt) for Laurie!

Our guild president, Laurie, is expecting a baby any minute.  (seriously!  any minute!  today!)

Two months ago, the ladies of the BMQG decided we'd hijack the first part of our February meeting to flash-shower her, as that would be her last guild meeting, pre-maternity leave.   After a bit of back and forth, we decided on a non-quilt, gender neutral, "baby gift" theme.

Of course, by this time I was already about 75% done with a quilt!  (cue the wah-wah music!)  So I bucked the theme and landed here:

Laurie's bear quilt, February 2012

This was inspired primarily by 2 things:

1)  Thomas Knauer's "Growth Chart" quilt, which I received a free pattern for at one of his Quilt Market presentations.  I loved the shape of the block, and the ambitious negative space.

2) a Japanese bear-print fabric I saw somewhere online, and can no longer locate.    The bear had such a sweet face!

I'm sure there are more scientific methods, but ultimately I just Xeroxed the bear image several times to enlarge it by about 400%.   Then, I outlined the image with a Sharpie to highlight the 3 main components (head, nose, body), which were then traced onto template plastic.

I used the templates to cut body parts from my beloved Momo malt dots fabric and some Kona (khaki?  tan?).   Everything was then appliqued to the Essex flax linen I used for the field.   I also used some blue perle cotton to do a simple stitch outline, and filled in the bear's facial and toe detail with embroidery floss chain stitching.

bear applique

I more or less stuck to the Growth Chart formula for the blocks, using green blocks to indicate the ground, a blue to indicate the sky, and a few improv blocks in yellows and whites to stand in for the sun and clouds.

I wanted the quilting to be deliberate, since so much of the quilt is empty space.   I broke the quilting into three sections, and used a different thread color and free motion technique in each:  vertical linear quilting in green for the "grassy" mounded area at the bottom, blue squared stipple for the sky, and a loop/pebble hybrid of silvery white for the clouds.  The colored fabrics were left unquilted for contrast.

this was my favorite!
 I loved how the silvery pebbling looked after it was washed.

For the back, I went with Denyse Schmidt's blue and green dot fabric, from Joann's.  I bound the quilt in Joel Dewberry yellow wood-grain.  I knew Laurie would appreciate this, as she is aware I hoard wood-grain like a jealous lover.

Good luck Laurie!!!

ps - for a full rundown of all the baby swag Laurie received, see her blog post


  1. This is just so adorable!!! I want one... but not enough to have another baby; )

  2. How cute is that?! I love it!! Lucky baby!

  3. It's a really pretty modern baby quilt! Well done! :)