When you’re trying to pick a name for your unborn child, it’s always recommended to suggest a few “out-there” options. Throw people off the scent of your actual top name choices, you know? But did our friends realize that “Mixtape” was going to stick? It did, so this quilt, designed especially for the baby, has been named in its honor.
This quilt was directly inspired by two quilts by friends of mine. Nova put together this starry quilt with different sizes of star, and it opened my eyes to not insisting that all your motifs be the same size in a quilt. Then my friend Diana worked up this Drunkard’s Path quilt (in truth, I made a few of those quarter-circles, as this was her choice in our quilting bee). I combined the two ideas into a quilt with a scattering of circles in different sizes.
I learned a lot about my sewing skills in making this quilt, let me tell you. Getting the quarter circles to come together and create an actual circle required some careful cutting, and in fact working the smallest circles into true circles was a frustrating exercise. I have several rejected “squashed” circles now (I had to redo them, which nearly killed me).
My friends aren’t finding out the sex of the baby, and I think this quilt is fun and gender-neutral. The assortment of fabrics were collected over the years, and the background is Kona in Ash. The backing is a solid piece of gray flannel to be soft against baby’s skin. I pieced the binding out of fabrics that are in the quilt.
I gave the quilt to Jodi, the mom-to-be, at a surprise baby shower that Cynthia, Elizabeth, and I planned (more on that in a separate post). I’m thrilled I was able to capture the moment she read the label, which, while not executed in the most spectacular way, is a special part of the quilt for us. Jodi’s husband, my boyfriend, Jodi, and I all recently read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and a greeting from Midworld, which is said often in the seven books, seemed to me to be a perfect sentiment on a gift to a new baby: Long days and pleasant nights. I wrote it using a Sharpie (ultra-thin tip!) on a piece of Kona because I did not have time to embroider it, and anyway my embroidery skills aren’t so hot.
The quilting gave me trouble—not what you see here, but what I wanted to do but couldn’t accomplish. Free-motion quilting? Not my bag yet. I need a lot lot lot more practice (I’ve already watched all the videos). So I went with square spirals, and I like the contrast between circles and squares just fine.
I can’t wait to meet little Mixtape, and I hope he or she loves this quilt! Oh and because everyone needs to appreciate the amazing fluke that is my favorite part of the quilt, check out how that mitered corner pulled the circle together in the yellow and purple fabric. Couldn’t have planned that if I’d tried.