Monday, March 3, 2008

Fruit and vegetables

When friends of mine told me they were expecting their first child, my brain began the process of designing their baby quilt. I thought about the gift that would express my enthusiasm for motherhood, tie in family history, be a teaching tool for their new son and be beautiful. I knew I didn't want a typical 'baby' quilt and my thoughts kept coming back to the new mother's grandparents who spent their lives as farmers in Calabria, Italy.

I looked in my quilt books and online and would always come back to the "Escaping Bugs Bottle" quilt pattern. I purchased the RJR Farmers Market fabric for all but the blueberry print and used what I had in my stash for everything else. The standard quilt design just wouldn't satisfy me as I was eliminating the actual escaping bugs.....

I decided to add a counting theme to the produce and after playing with the fruit and vegetables for a couple of days came up with this arrangement. I included some bugs, the two mice and one snail. My kids would come in and make suggestions and move things around and when it was done and ready to stitch we were all happy with the arrangement.

The pieces added for counting were appliqued after the main body of the quilt was pieced and a variety of stitches were used depending on the texture of the specific item. I added a seed packet on the bottom row with their surname and thought I was done......

Then, there was a request for each person invited to the baby shower to bring a book. I had my son photo-shop out single pieces of fruit and vegetables from the fabric and used them in the layout of the book, adding the English and Italian counting theme. Iron on tee shirt transfers were used to keep the pages fairly waterproof and the batted pages were bound with bias tape.

My quilts aren't the precisely pieced works that some people expect; I don't follow any one specific pattern and use more of a organic process than most.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is such an imaginative gift for an Italian baby. It will be the beginning of a gift baby basket for my next Italian Club functiion!