Friday, October 12, 2012

No pink in this boy's quilt!

A good friend had her second baby last week, a little boy named Brennan. When her daughter was born 2 years ago, I made this quilt:
Pretty safe bet that I was going to use different fabric this time around...
As much as I like this quilt (and I know she does too), I wanted to try something different this time. My style has evolved a bit, and I had an idea.

Have you seen this book?
It's by Amanda Jean Nyberg from Crazy Mom Quilts, and has some fantastic scrappy quilts in it. I decided to make a version of her Up Up and Away quilt. I say "version" because Amanda Jean used the triangles that are created when you saw strips together to make a binding in her quilt, but I was using bigger squares (and triangles), so i just cut them out of my scraps. I also used four different background colors for the squares, though I didn't start that way. 

I used four Kona solids: a denim-y blue, a lavender, an aqua, and a soft green. I wrote their names down on a scrap of paper that is now missing, or I'd share them with you. (btw, both my husband and 3-year-old commented on the "pink" in the quilt.'s lavender. (Right?!?!))

First I tried just using the denim-y blue, but it seemed to dark and not little boy-ish enough.

 Then I tried adding in a few randomly placed greens, lavenders, and aquas. I liked that better.

I sewed a bunch more green, lavender and aqua pieced blocks.

And ultimately went with this. 

I decided to piece the back as well, partly because I didn't want to make another trip to the fabric store (itching to finish this one and get it delivered!), and in part because while I think I like the front, I'm not totally sold. I figured maybe I'd like the pieced back better. 

I wanted to go with simple strips, broken up with a few pieced squares. (The color on some of these photos stinks because I was sewing/photographing at night...the colors are much prettier in person!)
First I tried a repeating pattern, but it looked too regimented, even with the squares.

Just for fun, I tried this, and while it creates a neat illusion, it didn't seem right for a baby quilt.

Here's what I ended up with: randomly ordered strips and randomly added squares.

Did you notice the painter's tape labeling the rows on the left? This is because I learned my lesson (again) piecing the front. I often skip the row labeling method, convinced that if I stack the blocks/squares/rows/whatever it might be carefully, I will sew it all together in the correct order and save time. I think you know where this is going...

While I was piecing the top, I ran into several spots where I had screwed up the order and had to pick out stitches and redo (I didn't want same color squares touching). Yep. Picking out the stitches took more time than labeling the squares would have.

So, suitably chastened, I took the time to label the rows for the back. And have learned my lesson for the time being.

Here' the finished front.
I definitely like it more now that it has been squared up. I think quilting will help even more.

And here's the back:

Hoping to quilt it this weekend!

p.s. Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's "Can I get a whoop whoop?" Friday!


  1. It's awesome!! I love the back, too. I think you might need to do one with that optical illusion someday... it's pretty neat. :)

  2. Oooh, I really like that one!!

  3. I love Amanda Jean's book. It's awesome. I love your interpretation of this pattern. The variation of colors is fun. They sort of look like fishies to me. Maybe you could quilt it that way! I love what you did on the back. Yep. Have totally made that mistake. Or sewed rows on upside down.