Monday, July 7, 2008

Is there even such a thing as a baby quilt pattern?

So let’s start this discussion with the most basic question of all – just what makes a quilt a baby quilt? What do you think of when you think of a baby quilt?

Is there really such a thing as a baby quilt pattern? Or are any patterns up for grabs?

OK, here’s my take. (And as I’m the queen, my take is what matters.) What really makes a quilt a baby quilt is just who it’s given to. Child under one? It’s a baby quilt.

It’s because it’s a baby quilt that we choose certain patterns, fabrics and colors. Because it’s for a baby, we make the nine-patch in pastels. Because it’s for a baby, we use a flannel backing. Because it’s for a baby, we appliqué farm animals rather than flowers.

Granted, there are limited uses for a quilt the typical crib size. And few people past the age of three want lambs and duckies on their quilt. But it’s a baby quilt because of the baby, not the quilt.

Why do we care? Mostly because I want you to not get stuck on thinking in terms of a “baby quilt pattern”. For the most part. There are lots of patterns that are designed specifically for a baby quilt so they include special appliqués or are designed to fit a small space or be really quick to make. But really, just about any quilt pattern will work. You don’t even have to do it in pink or blue to make it work.

Don’t believe me? Think there really is such a thing as a baby quilt pattern? Take a look at the patterns and books pictured here. They’re pinwheels, squares, attic windows – nothing specifically baby, right? So before you start stocking up on books just because they say “baby” on the cover, take a look at the patterns you currently have and begin thinking about them in a baby-ish way.

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