How to choose fabrics for a baby quilt

I feel a real reluctance to share photos of any of the baby quilts I’ve made. I think I imagine the recipients grown and stumbling across a photo of their own baby blanket on the Internet … somehow it takes away from the specialness? But I thought it might be fun to share how I choose fabrics for these projects, with a few sample pulls using fabric collections that are available today.

For each of the last three baby quilts I made, I started with a Heather Ross print as a jumping off point. Their themes are pretty irresistible and their colours are often be a mix of pastels and ‘off’ solids (think baby blue + olive, or pink + mustard), which is a great recipe for making a quilt that’s harmonious without being too matchy-matchy.

You might have a different favourite. Maybe Alyssa Thomas, or Michéle Brummer Everett or Monica Solorio-Snow? They all make very sweet kid-friendly prints.

I’ll use this inspiration print as the backing, and sometimes work it into the front as well. From there it’s a matter of choosing a mix of complementary stripes, dots, checks, and all-over prints.

Here are couple of examples of how this might go (fabric credits below each collage – in both cases I used prints by Birch Fabrics as a starting point):

baby quilt color scheme 1

Scheme 1

Starting point fabric

Litte Lamb Fog from Homestead by Emily Isabella, Birch Fabrics

Binding

Meadow fabric from Alice’s Fabric Shop

Patchwork

(clockwise from top left)

baby quilt color scheme 2

Scheme 2

Starting point fabric

Wild Horses from Wildland by Miriam Bos (coming from Birch Fabrics in 2015)

Binding

Ella and Libby, Liberty Tana Lawn

Patchwork

(clockwise from top left)

  • Crosshatch Floral from Yuwa of Japan (available from several sellers on Etsy)
  • Countryside Natural from Tokyo Train Ride by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel
  • True Colors Woodgrain in Straw by Joel Dewberry
  • Leaves in Tangerine from Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman
  • Voltage Dot in Black from Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit
  • Poppy Field from Just Dandy by Josephine Kimberling

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