Bright Baby Rag Quilt
Last week’s quilting project: making this rag quilt (about 60″ x 40″) for a brand-new baby boy. The pattern for the quilt is just about the easiest pattern in the whole world, (you can get it here, in my rag quilting book for beginners), but making this quilt was a challenge for me because of the colors the baby’s mother chose for the quilt. They are bright. Bright, bright, BRIGHT! So bright that when I cut the fabric strips for the quilt and laid them out on my cutting table, I really hesitated to sew them together. I had to find a way to tame these intense colors, or this quilt would not look good at all.
Luckily, rag quilts offer an easy way to soften colors that don’t play well together — the backing fabric. The backing on a rag quilt also forms the fringed seam allowances you see on the front side of the quilt. I decided to back this quilt with white polyester fleece so the white fringe would create visual resting places between the strips of bright color on the front of the quilt. I wouldn’t ordinarily choose white for a child’s quilt, but polyester fleece doesn’t stain easily, and it is very tough and washable. Find out more about using fleece as a quilt backing.
You can see how the white strips of fringe make it possible to put a bold multicolored stripe next to a flaming orange-on-orange zebra pattern on one side and a crowd of cartwheeling robots on the other. It’s a kind of visual miracle the way white can soothe powerful colors, even when used in small amounts as it was in this quilt.
Here are a few more views of the quilt. This one shows how simple the pattern is:
Here’s a detail showing one of the decorative stitches I used to quilt the sections:
I quilted every section with a different stitch. That’s a great, low-risk way to try out stitches and free-motion quilting motifs you haven’t used before.
I like the robot fabric a lot, but I think my favorite is the orange zebra fabric.