Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweet Dreams of Africa

I am typing up theses two baby quilt posts as I complete the projects. It is so hard to wait to share in the reveal!! By the time this posts, both ladies should have received their gifts and this should not be a spoiler.

I have two sweet friends in Texas that are both pregnant at the same time. Funny thing is they also share a birthday! Luckily I was able to talk another friend into arranging a lake house visit that can double as a baby shower so I won't miss out on their joy! Claire - you ARE the best.

My sweet friend Kylie is having a boy! Seeing how her little bitty Avery is such the perfect princess, I was hoping it was a boy! It's just not time for little A to share that crown yet.

Kylie and her husband - the youth pastor that my teen and I miss and mourn - were once missionaries in Africa - Namibia to be exact. They have left significant pieces of their hearts there and have many forever friends still there. Last summer they were able to take the two kids and visit in conjunction with a mission trip. It was so wonderful for them!

I'm not sure how soon they will get to take the newest baby to see this beloved place, so it occurred to me that I could bring a little bit of Africa to him. (Even though its not like they lived in the jungle!)

I was given an African Animal panel by a friend that I knew I wanted to use in a baby quilt. I was going to do one of the charity quilts with it....until I found out Kylie was pregnant. Too perfect!

I changed patterns several times and it went from something very baby to what it is today - less baby and more WOW. I have to admit, if this was a first baby I NEVER would have gone this bold. And I still am kind of freaked out that I used BLACK. On a baby quilt!!

Want to see it??
The front. Most of the blocks are either African animals or animal skins/textures. It was not easy to find enough different ones but I did manage with the help of the internet. I had envisioned more cartoonish/babyish fabrics but when I ran across some of these awesome, rich, more real looking ones, it was all over. Baby went right out the window.The back panel. This is where I took my colors from. It also determined the size of the quilt. I think if I had it to do over again I would make it a little bigger...more square and less crib sized.
Originally I was going to use a bamboo fabric like frames the back panel as the sashing. It took awhile to find what I wanted (on the internet - forget looking for cool stuff here) but finally I had one picked out. Then, while re-reading the pattern it dawned on me that the strips run side to side - not top to bottom. This would make for some strange, stubby bamboo unless I ran it the wrong direction. Hmm. I was thinking about that.

Then I made a quick stop at one of my least favorite fabric stores on the way home from some errands and ran across this cross weave looking fabric that looked "African" to me. And the color looked like an exact match to the panel. I didn't have any of the other stuff with me but I took a chance and bought it.

And I'm so glad I did. It is perfect.

I have to say this has turned out to be one of my very favorite creations to date.

I tell you - I'm really loving taking an idea and making it my own and then watching it turn into the final product. Why didn't I discover quilting sooner???

And to my sweet Kylie...

Lots of love went into your baby's quilt friend. I thought about you every time I touched these fabrics and worked on it. Of course it made me miss you all the more...but I am thankful to have an outlet to remind you that I am thinking of you and your beautiful family! How I mourn not being able to watch your littles grow right before my eyes!

Love you friend!


  1. its AWESOME!! and really, i think its cool its not "super" baby because they'll get use out of it longer!

  2. You know this will be his absolute FAVORITE blanket now, right? It's just way cool!

  3. A post almost as sweet as the quilt itself!
    I, and my baby boy, will treasure this gift forever. I love it, love it, love it!! "Thank you" doesn't seem like enough for a gift that used so much of your time! :) Thank you- for your friendship, for a great weekend at the lake and for my beautiful gift!