28 April 2015

Shades of Gray baby quilt

Design is Patio, by Monica Solorio-Snow.

No, these shades of gray have nothing to do with block-buster escapist literature. The baby quilt in the image above, held by DH in bright sunlight, showcases a type of fabric your correspondent loves: prints in shades of gray, or gray with one additional hue, such as pink or yellow.  I have a number of these old fabrics from the days when apparel fabrics came in a 36" width, and the imminent arrival of a baby girl gave me an excuse to feature them in a quilt.

Vintage fabrics in grays with yellow.

The fabric on the left in the image above was a sturdy old apron, carefully picked apart, and upcycled for this quilt - click on the image to enlarge it and check out the covered wagon and log cabin.  Shades of "Little House on the Prairie." 

Prints with representational imagery are properly called "conversational prints"; sometimes ebay sellers refer to these fabrics as "novelty prints" but the phrase "novelty print" is more properly applied to fabrics with flocking, metallic components, or some other exotic (novel) feature.

The name of the quilt pattern is Patio, design by Monica Solorio-Snow, of Happy Zombie quilts, and it's a simple-to-make design. (I have no connection to Ms. Solorio-Snow; just found the pattern while browsing Pinterest for modern quilts.)  I widened the borders, from 1" to 4", to make my quilt, at 38" x 47", a bit bigger than the finished dimensions given in the pattern.

Vintage pink and gray prints.

Initially I mixed in some shot cotton solids with the prints, as you can see below in this tentative layout on my felt design wall, but the solids elements were too singular - they called too much attention to themselves - so back to look for more prints. (I think the pattern would work very well in all solids; it was just the mix that didn't work.)

Early layout.

I didn't have enough gray-with-color prints - this pattern really requires at least twelve different fabrics - so added more from my stash and luckily found the silhouette fabric on the right, below, on ebay.  (Talk about serendipity.) Again, enlarge to see the fairy tale imagery in the print on the left.

Gray and black-and-white fabrics.

For the backing fabric I used another old fabric originally from retailer J. C. Penney. In the post-war era, Penney's sold lightweight cottons with "A Regulated Cotton Never Misbehaves" printed on the selvedge.  The individual fabrics in this line each had a title, as well - this one is "Banjo." The middle fabric in the image above, also from Penney's line, is "Florentine."  The "Never Misbehaves" part referred to the fabric - meaning that the goods wouldn't bleed or shrink excessively.  (I think the women wearing clothes sewn from the fabric could behave in any way they wished.) The "hand" of these fabrics is just wonderful.

For sashing I used Kona cotton in "Ash."  The quilt top was machine-quilted by Martha Garvey, who chose the pantograph quilting pattern "Cotton Candy," and a thread color called "Pearl."  Pattern and quilting thread were prefect for this little quilt, now finished, delivered, and  ready for baby "tummy time."

All pieced, waiting to be quilted.