Lullaby

In case you thought I’d been neglecting my sewing machine…

Far from it. I have devoted the past two days to a baby quilt. Now normally, I don’t take commissions to make quilts. There are plenty of people out there who do it for a living, and as I’ve written before, I often find the process painful due to working with colours I don’t enjoy and the changes of mind that happen along the way. But I was asked by my lovely, lovely Tai Chi teacher if I’d consider making one for her forthcoming god-granddaughter in Austria. Oooh, sounds like fun!  She wanted something Australian but not too in-your-face about it, she wanted it to be for a baby, but not too babyish, and she’d leave the colours up to me. Now, I happened to have in my stash two lovely Jocelyn Proust designs, featuring Australian flowers. Both were on dark backgrounds, so I hesitated a little; one was black and one was navy. I pulled complementary colours from my stash, in solids and tone-on-tone prints. Hurrah! She chose the one I preferred!

I’ve eliminated the white, added more coral pinks and a lilac with a small white spot/pattern. I had to. Wouldn’t you know it, I was two inches short of fabric for the design she and I wanted to use. It alternates large squares of the print with hourglass/bowtie blocks of the complementary colours. I couldn’t quite get the solid squares from the fabric I had. So I introduced the lilac, bordered the squares with it and used it for some of the hourglass blocks. It works well, I think. Simple, but striking, and most of all, quick to produce – we’re on a deadline here, folks, as always with a baby on the way. The nice thing about hourglass blocks is that there’s a great quick way to produce them without cutting triangles, stretching bias edges and all that fun. You can find it here, and she’s even done the math and calculated sizes for you. If you want a visual presentation on how to do it, you can’t do better than The Missouri Star Quilt Co’s YouTube video. I love it when people do all the hard work of calculating and seeing how to cut something with minimum waste for me.

The colours aren’t quite right in this photo, it’s not so pink

The back will be the lilac fabric – I have just enough left over. To the inch; it was clearly meant to be! The label will feature the words and music for the first verse of the Brahms Lullaby (hence the quilt’s name), mainly because the translated words talk about ‘slip under your quilt/covers’ :-), and also because my Tai Chi teacher also teaches music and will be able to read the music as well as the words. We don’t know the baby’s name yet, so this is something I can do to personalise the quilt for her. I’ll show a photo when I get there. We’re also considering sewing yoyos onto the front, either at the centre point of the hourglass blocks (not that my points don’t line up!), or at the junction where the blocks meet. We like the idea, for a little texture to entertain the baby when she’s older and using the quilt as a play mat. I still have to work out what colours I’d use – and find my yoyo maker!

So, that’s been my sewing work for the last couple of days. Next is sewing it together, sandwiching and quilting it, sewing on yoyos and binding, and then adding the label. She’ll have it in plenty of time to mail it to Austria before her god-grandbaby is born in November. And the god-grandbaby will have something warm to snuggle under in the cold of an Austrian winter.

Time to get on and trim the hourglass blocks to size….

42 thoughts on “Lullaby

  1. Excellent collaboration on the fabric selection. Another heirloom, I imagine, to be long treasured. It is a wonderful talent to be able to provide someone with the prefect gift.

  2. Utterly gorgeous… I love the colours so much 🥰

  3. I can’t open the HERE link 😢

  4. I opened the YouTube link 😍

  5. anne54 says:

    Beautiful Kate! The gum nut fabric is the star of the show with a stunning support cast 💜 It will be a quilt for the generations.

    • katechiconi says:

      Absolutely what I thought! Jocelyn Proust has designed some really charming and appealing fabrics, including a children’s range with wombats and koalas, etc, and Christmas fabrics too. I do love her botanicals best, though….

  6. Gum nut? Too cool! Love the fabrics and the fact that you felt free to create an heirloom without strings!!!(pun intended!)
    😎

  7. Dayphoto says:

    I LOVE it! It’s perfect and will grow with the baby into parenthood…albeit in a treasured keepsake box.

  8. I LOVE it! The dark makes it all work so well. Those flowers look like those on my albizia tree. Light and airy. The idea of the yoyos for the baby to play with is perfect. Perfect.

  9. knitnkwilt says:

    I love baby quilts that are not 100% babyish. And this one is especially stunning.

  10. tialys says:

    I think the lilac spotted border around the print works really well as it has s softening effect on the darker squares.

  11. claire93 says:

    lovely fabric & layouts. Not sure I like the idea of yoyos but you’ll decide what works for you ^^

  12. nanacathy2 says:

    I absolutely love it- what a gorgeous quilt. Don’t get any breakfast cake on it.

  13. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Really pretty, as usual !

  14. Sharon says:

    I love the way you framed the patterned flower fabric along with the simple hour glass pattern. A beautiful baby quilt. Can you tell me what yoyo’s are? Are you referring to those heavy plastic wind up toys kids play with?

  15. magpiesue says:

    What a lovely, sophisticated, baby quilt. Don’t you love it when you have just the right amount of exactly the right fabric for a project?! I’m getting the impression that the current generation of parents aren’t as interested in what we traditionally think of as baby-appropriate prints and colors. I haven’t shown it on my blog yet because I want it to be a surprise but I’ve just completed a baby quilt featuring some of my lime green and black flying geese around a panel of wizards and dragons (which does have a juvenile look to it, I admit).

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve seen some wonderful baby quilts featuring black, navy and dark grey combined with light and bright colours. So much more interesting to my eye than lots of pastels; there needs to be some contrast, I feel. Love the sound of your lime green and black, I must say!

  16. What a visual feast for a baby. Geometrics that attract even the youngest baby’s attention plus that lively pattern. Perfect.

  17. cedar51 says:

    It’s a good thing, I read all the comments as I thought yo-yo’s were a kind of toy that had an elastic-type-dangle-thing! And I thought why would you have the on a quilt… I do know what a Suffolk puff is though…but right now your Yo-yo doesn’t resemble in my brain a s/puff at all…the finished quilt will reveal all, though…

    Back to the quilt, which is adorable – I note so much that baby gear isn’t all pink, light blue and pastel other. Although you have combined well those colours as a companionable look. I seem to remember that “coral” is the colour that covers all seasons …

    • katechiconi says:

      Maybe the yoyos/Suffolk Puffs will be more obvious once they’re sewn on… They’re the very dark navy circles you see at the centre of the hourglass blocks, and I do see that they look rather flat right now!

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