Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Bundle of Baby Things: Wholecloth Quilts & Handknitted Toys


Both Jaime and I have friends and family welcoming new babies into their lives. What can a Fancy Tiger do but craft up something by hand to celebrate these precious little folks coming into the world?

I've made my share of pieced quilts, but after visiting Folk Fibers' studio and seeing her amazing handstiched quilts I was inspired to try my hand at making whole-cloth baby quilts quilted by hand. Even with the hand stitching, these two simple, turned quilts were quick to make--faster, I found, than a baby quilt that is pieced and bound.

The first I made for a friend's first baby, with a Nani Iro soft cotton double-gauze on one side and backed with a bright, sunny brushed cotton plaid. I quilted it by stitching circles in bright pink perle cotton around random colorful polka dots à la Purl Bee's quilted play mat.

The second quilt was made for my newest niece, and, Eddie and I together, stitched away on it to finish it. It was made with the fantastic crane print from Rashida Colman-Hale's Tsuru collection for Cloud 9 Organics. I love the pop of the vermillion suns against the turquoise background, and we chose a hot red-orange brushed cotton plaid to back the quilt with. The hand quilting was done in turquoise floss, in straight lines echoing the lines in the plaid.

I love that with these quilts most of the time is spent--not at your sewing machine--but sitting and meditatively hand quilting. Even better, it can be done together with a friend. Each quilt was personalized by embroidering the year onto the corner.

For a dear friend's new baby, Jaime knit Sophie the bunny, a pattern by Ysolda. She used Spud & Chloe's Sweater, a perfect yarn for baby things, made with easy-to-care-for washable wool and organic cotton. A handknit toy is perfect for a summertime Texas baby when garments and blankets can be too heavy. This foot tall bunny will be a constant friend for the new baby and for years to come.

My other little niece just turned two, can you believe it? I know she loves animals so I made her a sweet grey kitten with our Minikitti knitting pattern. When I gave it to her she hugged it and said "I love you!" to her new minikitti. Talk about adorable!

So many cute babies and so many cute things to make for them!

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