Thursday, March 17, 2011
I took the quilt block I embroidered last month and turned it into the center block for a 52"-square baby blanket. Backed with flannel and lined with a piece of white sheeting, it reminds me of two my grandmother made. They had tractors and farm animals and nursery rhyme scenes embroidered in the squares. And they wore out from my brother, my sister and I dragging them around wherever we went.
My embroidery wasn't as ambitious. The fun duckling with balloons in the center block was a full design, the other four embroidered blocks were done to supplement and tie the overall design together. So I chose four simple shapes from Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners -- I found a dragonfly, butterfly and duckling that echoed the printed duck fabric's designs and then added a balloon for the fourth block, lifted from the larger duckling design in the center block.
When I drew out the quilt top on graph paper, I realized I didn't want to simply surround the center block with straight nine-patch blocks. That seemed sort of blah to me and, somehow, seemed to take away from my center block, too. So I used four nine-patch blocks with the plain, yet embroidered center squares and added those other four with the three long blocks of color in each. I know where that idea came from. Just prior to drawing out the overall design, I was reading a thread on Chickens in the Road and saw a photo of a just-completed baby quilt that I couldn't get out of my mind.
This blanket is meant for regular use. To cover a sleeping baby, to spread on a floor to provide a toddler's play space or just to be dragged around by a growing child. It should go through the washer and dryer without a problem. And I hope it wears out just like the ones my grandmother made. I think that's what happens to all well-loved baby blankets and so it's what I wish for this one.