Thursday, July 10, 2008

Utility quilt defined

So a utility quilt is your most basic type, the kind of quilt you expect to end up on the floor with a baby laying on it, likely leaking some kind of body fluid somewhere. It's one that's mean to be used. You expect corners to be chewed, the middle to get puked on and the entire thing to need to be washed on an almost daily basis. Which means you want to choose sturdy fabrics, make sure the sewing is sturdy over pretty and go with a simple pattern that doesn’t require hours to do. Not because you don’t love this child, but this is a quilt to be used regularly, not cared for like a precious thing. You’re also likely to make it a little bigger so Junior has plenty of room to roll around.

Good pattern choices
Squares and strips are the rule of the day here, not your typical baby quilt pattern with appliqued animals. They go together quickly, require a minimum of fuss for cutting and piecing and have lots of options to keep you entertained. Good options include Yellow Brick Road, nine and four patches, log cabins, Roman coins, split-rails and square-in-a-square. Unless you just really enjoy doing them or want a little practice where missed points might not matter so much, triangles aren't your friend here.

Fabrics
This could be the time to go with less expensive fabrics, as long as you don't pick things that are too thin. They'll have to put up with almost daily washings, after all. I find that this is a great time to raid the scrap pile as well.

Quilting
Keep it simple and quick. Stitch in the ditch is the easiest way to go if you have a simple pattern. You could also do a cross-hatch or large stipple. Just make sure if you choose to tie the thing that you've picked a batting that can handle the looser quilting when it gets washed repeatedly.

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2 comments:

dutchquilter said...

I stumbled over your blog and realy like the idea of learning a bit more about baby quilts. Being pregnant myself at the moment and the fact that I am a beginning quilter, I can't wait to read about what you think would be a great way of creating a babyquilt. I made a playpen quilt for my s.i.l. last year ( wonky logcabin ) which she loved and I made another babyquilt for a friend of mine a couple of months ago which is also loved to bits... but I am wanting to create more "easy" patterned bq's... hope your blog can help me out here...
succes!

hugs from the Netherlands
Winda aka Dutch Quilter

lewister said...

Well thank you, Winda!! I'm hoping this will become a great resource for anyone doing baby quilts. It seemed like I was whipping out one every week there for a while. You hit a certain age and everyone around you is having babies, it seems! But they are my favorite quilt type to do.