Oh Baby! Baby Quilts from Jelly Babies

14 Jun

Hot off the presses! Just released last week, Jelly Babies includes 14 adorable baby quilts all made with 2 1/2″ strips, and I’m excited to share my two quilts that were included in the book: Meadowlark and Spinners. I worked on both of these quilts last spring, so it’s really nice to finally be able to show them off!

“Meadowlark.” Designed and pieced by me. Quilted by Karen Burns.

I’ve always loved Fig Tree & Co.’s soft and dreamy fabric color combinations. They’re just so different from the palettes I would put together on my own. The appliqué motifs in the center of my Meadowlark quilt were inspired by the sweet colors and floral prints of their Fresh Cotton collection. I had all sorts of ideas that had been floating around in my head for a medallion style quilt, but I readily admit that I jumped on the bird motif bandwagon (originally from Portland, I just couldn’t help but “put a bird on it”), then added some flowers to keep the quilt fresh and feminine. Once I figured out the concept for the center appliqué (using both a layer cake and a jelly roll) I knew I wanted to add simple pieced blocks to keep the pattern from becoming overwhelming. One of my favorite little details is the scrappy borders which really were dictated by the numbers of strips of each color in the fabric collection I had chosen. I’m not sure if I would have come up with the same ideas had I had an unlimited amount of yardage to work from. In the end, I’m so happy with the result, though I’d love to make a second quilt with cooler tones to see the contrast. Maybe lime green, aqua, brown and mustard yellow? I’ll just add that to the bottom of the list of “someday quilts”. Sure.

“Spinners.” Designed by me. Pieced and quilted by Judy Smitke.

Spinners was particularly fun because I got to work on it with my mom. Despite that I already had one pattern in mind for the book, and a schedule that was completely overbooked, I was so excited to find a set of jelly roll strips cut from Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden line of fabrics on Etsy and I couldn’t resist. I snapped them up and started working on a fun, summery pattern that would show off the bright colors with simple pieced blocks and a border that would eat up the left-overs. Even though the quilt pattern was inspired by the fabrics I started with, I love that this pattern could work with any color palette, making it gender neutral and easily adaptable.

When both of my 2 quilt designs were accepted to be in the book I realized I was in over my head. So I turned to my original sewing teacher, my mom, for help. I definitely couldn’t have finished everything on time without her, and it was her idea to put together a pieced backing for the quilt with the left over strips!

Don’t waste an inch of fabric! The backside of “Spinners.”

One of the best parts about working on a compilation book like this is seeing what everyone else comes up with. There is such a wide range of styles in the book, definitely as diverse as the women (and men) who designed them. I hope you enjoy the book, and if you make any of the quilts, be sure to add your photos to the Martingale & Company flickr group!


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