Wednesday, November 23, 2022

For Quilters Who Love their Scraps Too Much: Upcycle them into Pet Pillows

Here are my latest scrap-filled pet pillows, (photobombed by the Beatles.) I just unloaded a dozen of them! (The pillows, not the Beatles). Here's the the story: 

Nothing focuses the mind like a new grandchild, and one of my instinctive responses to this joyful development is that I'm trying to clear and downsize my sewing room -- so I can fit some baby toys in.

And the area most in need of clearing in my sewing room was a corner stacked with pillows, most stuffed with small fabric and batting scraps. 

Thanks partly to Covid, I had about five years worth of scraps. Before the pandemic, a nearby animal shelter was happy to take them. But then I didn't donate any for a couple of years; and Covid struck, when no one wanted anything from anyone's house. My scrap stash grew. 

Last week, I called the shelter, and to my horror, they told me they no longer wanted pillows! What in the world would I do with them? The thought of sending them into the landfill filled me with despair! (I REALLY love even my tiniest scraps, and care deeply about their future. If you do too, we probably need a therapy group.)

So I posted on Nextdoor marketplace, pet section, that the pillows were free. I got two bites: one from a guy who apparently wanted to use them for humans. I told him that scrap-filled pillows, tragically, are NOT comfortable for human heads. (Wouldn't it be great if they were? Quilters could get rich with a side-hustle making bed pillows from our scraps!) Unfortunately, scrap-filled pillows are too lumpy for human faces. 

Fortunately, the second bite came from a woman who fosters kittens. To my delight, she wanted them all! So the photo on the top shows how they looked on my porch, awaiting   pickup (I wasn't giving away the Beatles photo, it's permanent porch decor).  

For pillowcases, I used a wide assortment of fabrics on hand, including

  •  New fleece featuring the Pillsbury Doughboy, gifted to me by a friend.

  •  A soft knit featuring dalmations on plaid - dots and lines, what's not to love? How I wish this were a woven cotton quilting fabric. 

  • Old (but still strong) sweatpants. Here's one of them:
I cut off the waistbands. Then I cut open the inseam (up and down the inside of the the legs.). Next, I sewed the two front legs together down the middle, the two back legs together down the middle. Sewed up the side seams. Turned the whole thing right-side-out, stuffed the open end with scraps, and folded the opening over twice and sewed it up. Done, cozy, and upcycled! 
  •  Tee shirts, processed in a similar way.
  •  Old pillowcases, sewn shut. These are the easiest.

I am so happy that my scraps went to benefit kittens, and I wish the kitties, as well as my scraps, a very happy, adorable future! In the meantime, my sewing room is positively echo-ey with this vast mountain of scraps removed!

If you're interested in making pet pillows, I suggest you first try to locate someone who actually wants them them. Some shelters do and some don't, but individuals who foster pets might be more likely to take them. Nextdoor, Freecycle, Offerup are all places you can post them. 

I would absolutely love to hear what you do with your smallest fabric and batting scraps! 



Monday, October 31, 2022

Another Day, Another Encyclopedic Baby Quilt!

 My peers' kids are having babies like mad! It's the best kind of epidemic! Here's the quilt I made for  friends' newest granddaughter, sweet Olive.

I call these my "Everything in the World" baby quilts. Child development experts encourage parents to talk to their babies - constantly. But after a while, with my own babies, I certainly ran out of subjects to discuss. How many times can you praise their dimples, burps, and poops? This quilt gives the parent conversation-prompts - specifically, 128 of them, cut into 4" squares, plus 17 colors of sashing.

I organize the squares thematically into 9-patches. Science-themed fabric went into this one: 

It's never too early to pressure your children into a career in the sciences! Here's one of the "interesting people/entities"-themed 9-patch. Yes, that's RGB in the middle.
Here's the OTHER "interesting entitites" 9-patch, featuring Pikachu in the middle, the original Star Trek cast to his right, etc.

Here's the music-themed 9-patch, featuring Elvis (upper right), Freddie Mercury (far right middle),  Mozart, and musical instruments Clearly fabric manufacturers need to make more fabric with female musicians.

Here are the dogs: 

Chased by the inevitable cats.

Want to see more "Everything in the World" baby quilts? Each is organized a little differently. Click on "Baby Quilts" in the word cloud on the right! 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Quilt is a Five-Letter Word: Quilting Lessons from Wordle, and Vice Versa




In the 1980s, before I started quilting, a cousin told me she was thinking about making a quilt.* [*Five letter words are highlighted at first mention in this article, to help prepare you for Wordle.]

I advised her against it  – I'd heard quilting was tedious: Use scissors to cut cereal boxes into squares, use pencils to trace around those onto fabric, then cut out hundreds of fabric squares (with the same scissors!), and sew them together, one by one.

That’s what I believed until 1991, when I made an impulse visit to a quilt show. It wasn't just the magnificent quilts – it was also the rotary cutters, mats, and acrylic cutting rulers. I realized my anti-quilting prejudice was wildly outdated.  I got hooked.

Same with Wordle. When the grids started appearing on my Facebook feed, I was judgy [Mirriam-Webster calls judgy “an adjective on the rise”! I haven't yet tried it in Wordle]. “Why are these things cluttering up my feed? I’ll never become one of those people!”

Eventually I decided to check it out  –  and got hooked. Today I am an unrepentant Wordle-grid Facebook-feed-clutterer. 

Along with “never say never (usually)” here are 12 more lessons that Wordle, a New York Times game that is all the rage on social media, can teach us about quilting, and vice versa. At the bottom are three crucial differences.

1. You can stare at both kinds of grids for a long time. Above and below are quilts  from my 2017 “Sophisticated Squares” series. The squares, of course, were cut out at lightening speed with a rotary cutting setup, but they took me a very long time to arrange. I now see they predicted the Wordle craze by a year (I didn’t start playing it until this year.) People who’ve never done Wordle or made a quilt may have no idea why these decisions take so long.

2. Cultivating underused abilities feels great. Until Wordle, I had no idea that I had such a broad knowledge of five-letter words. Answers seemly emerge from nowhere. And over time, you improve, which is very satisfying.

Similarly, the more quilts you make, the more you learn to cultivate your visual judgement. But in quilting, you can get a LOT better. (See differences at the end of this article.)

3. Both are an opportunity to speak kindly to yourself. When you’re off to a bad start, do you assume the worst? Instead, tell yourself, "Just because my first 2-5 guesses struck out doesn't mean I won't make it in 6.” Similarly, just because a quilt looks awful at an early stage doesn’t mean you won’t love it in the end. 

4. Ruling Things Out is Progress. Even when you make a bad guess, letters left behind  are more limited. And the empty grid squares tell you as much as full ones.

Same deal with quilts. Every arrangement you reject will get you closer to a better one. Plus, the concept of negative space: Every place you DON’T put something on a square is important, too!

5. Throw Everything at the Wall. In Wordle, I brainstorm aggressively and type everything in. Strange things appear: nonsense words; ethnic restaurant menu items (curry, chile, ramen, gyoza); pig latin; pharmaceutical names that are almost pig latin (exlax); plus loads of people and place names. 98% won’t work as a guess, but I stare at each to see if they trigger a similar, valid word.

For the game below, I typed in a slew of nonsense words. One of them, “womby” (which should be a word) made me think of “woody,” my third guess (which, I dimly recalled as sexual slang, so I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t work). That triggered “dowdy,” which describes my fashion sense, and that brought me to the answer, “howdy.” I would not have thought “howdy” would be valid when I started  I never wear cowboy apparel, have never lived in Texas, and I think of it as slang – but it worked! 

I can summarize all that action thusly: fun!

Similarly, with quilts, I try every arrangement I can imagine, no matter how unlikely and take a photo. Then I decide which is best. Every experienced quilter (and scientist, for that matter) knows that the accidents and tangents often turn out to be the best solution.

6. Something (Small) to Complain About, and Community to Share Your (Tiny) Feelings. Wordle can be SO unfair. Especially when there are too many solutions. It's a good day when the worst thing I have to kvetch about is that there are too many possible Wordle solutions, or too much fabric in my stash.

And it's so nice to have others – on Facebook, or in a quilt guild – who share my teeny little suffering, and applaud my teeny little victories. 

7. Going Public is a Mixed Bag. Moral support is a huge upside, but putting a quilt in a show or putting your Wordle grid on social media can  affect your creativity and motivation in ways that are negative, too. Knowing from the start that I might want to enter it in a show or put it on Facebook can make me work a little harder, but will also amp my anxiety a little and can make me take fewer risks.

8. Walk Away. Repeatedly. I am usually impatient to finish Wordle, which I do in the morning. The scrambled eggs may be burning, the plane may be boarding – but I want to keep going. 

However if I try to power my way through a stalemate with a purposely wrong word, I usually regret it. So I’ve trained myself to take breaks.

The longer the break, and the more I take, the more likely I am to solve it in fewer guesses. But there is a limit. With a brain freeze and a busy day, I might type in some wrong answers to break the jam. And yes, that path can very quickly lead to a strikeout.

Being creatively stuck on a quilt is so similar. Rushing a solution is something I will usually regret. Unless I’m working on a tight deadline, or have been stuck in the same place for weeks/months/years, THEN, yes, I just need to finish the darn thing!

My time limit for finishing a quilt is 30 years. (This one. The story is here). I probably don't have 30 more years, so I need to reduce that number as I age.

9. The Path More Taken is Safer (but Boring).  

I read an article that contended "raise" is the mathematically best first guess; the New York Times' Worldle Bot likes "crane." When I feel lazy and choose one of these, or another safer words (with common letters), it works out well – about half the time. It’s also boring.

So most days I start with a different word, choosing from whatever pops into my head. I try to use mostly common letters, but will go out on a limb with a “g”, “v” “w” or “c” word. This strategy, it seems to me, also works out nicely – about half the time.

In quilting, the equivalent safest solution is: Blue log cabin blocks. Americans love blue, and everyone loves making – or looking at – log cabin quilts. 

But if all quilters took the safest route, all quilts would be blue log cabins, which eventually would be less interesting.

10. The path less taken is way more thrilling, OR you get lost in the woods and eaten by wolves.

Sometimes in Wordle, the only solution I can think of is obscure, slang, or contains a double letter that, if I'm wrong, will be unlikely to give me much useful information But if it happens to be right or very close to right? What a rush!

Same with quilts. Boring building? Put a fish on it! It might be a win! (Or, it may make your quilt so bizarre that you have to take it off.)

In the Wordle graph at the start of this article, "rigor" the more predictable answer was wrong, and "vigor," with the rarer "v", was right. I thought of both at the same time, but went with the more common "r" first. In hindsight, I should have done the reverse! Except half the time, the "r" will be right! And – oh frabjous day! –I now have something to complain about which isn't really all that sad! If you’re a Wordle player, I know you’re feeling my pain! Thank you! And I assure you that I will feel your pain when this happens to you, which it will!

11. Khaki and fluorescent orange are the "qu" or “z” on a first guess in Wordle.  I virtually always regret using more than an inch of khaki or fluorescent orange in a quilt. I'm not fond of it in the fishy building above, and here’s an entire castle whose color I regret.

And here’s a khaki building that would be better with something brighter in its place. 

Similarly, if your first guess in Wordle is quilt, or zebra, you’ll be far more entertained in the short run, but in the longer run you’ll wish you’d started with something a bit more likely. But if, against all odds, “quilt” is correct, endorphins will rush to your brain, you will rightly enjoy lavish praise for your courage and luck, and many people will encourage you to buy a lottery ticket!

(There's only one fiber artist I know of who can make khaki and fluorescent orange sing, and that's Kaffe Fassett. Here's an example of both on one of his fabrics, with magnificent results, and there’s a reason he’s respected around the world as a color genius. I’m sure there are natural Wordle geniuses out there who can sense when to use obscure letters in early guesses.)

10. Both are visual. My career was in journalism. When I started quilting, it took me a long time to stop thinking about my quilts with just words, and start thinking visually. Wordle, by contrast, is, duh, much more about words and verbal memory, but I suspect that the visual element is also crucial. To repeat the example at the start of this article, if I stare at the letters “igor”, some visual part of my brain will hopefully help me retrieve “vigor” and “rigor.” I look forward to neuroscience studies, in which quilters are put into CT scanners and told to solve Wordle puzzles and/or design a quilt. I bet they light up some of the same areas.

WHAT'S PROFOUNDLY DIFFERENT BETWEEN WORDLE AND QUILTING

I. In Wordle, You Can Sometimes Say Never. A plural noun that ends in "S”; a proper noun like a name; or a private anatomical part, will never be the answer. With quilts, this is not true See Kathy Nida’s brilliant, feminist quilts; she combines edgy reproductive imagery with words, for  powerful messages. Another brilliant wordsmith/artist is the incredible Susan Shie. (And there are many more, feel free to add your links in the comments.)

II. Wordle is finite I wish making a quilt was limited to six big decisions and one day. Hmm, that could be an interesting challenge –can you make a six-decision quilt in one day? It takes me 86 decisions to choose fabric, and 14 decisions just to figure out how to lay a piece out for rotary cutting!  

III. The big one: You can improve your quilting a lot more than your Wordle score. Random luck plays a much smaller role in quilting. Quilters who start as earnest beginners can move from adequate-to-great, to absolutely wonderful, in a relatively short period of time (sometimes in the same quilt!) Wordle players move from terrible to slightly less terrible, to overall slightly more likely to win with slightly fewer guesses. Most are still going to get occasional losses, and plenty of 5-6 word games, because of the luck factor.

Wishing you many wonderful successes and growth, and empathetic people to console you for any losses, whatever your endeavors! 








Monday, July 25, 2022

Dicey 80s Fashion Makes Noble Upcycled Baby Quilt

If you were conscious in the 1980s, you may remember men's plaid shirts with epaulets. Epaulets are fabric strips on top of  shoulders, originally associated with military uniforms. An approximate example is below, for sale on etsy here

My DH (that's not him above), along with millions of American men, wore them when they were in style, and then perhaps a bit longer. In 1993, when I was pregnant with our first baby I came up with a compassionate retirement plan for those shirts. I turned them into a baby quilt for our firstborn. Here it is.

I was obsessed at the time with creating folded effects with piecing - it's in the quilt's outer borders, on top of the next photo. 


(I learned how to do this from Cheryl Greider Bradkin's excellent 1992 book, Basic Seminole Patchwork, which I still refer to often.)

I'm not sure how I pulled off the 8-pointed star. 
After the baby grew bigger than the quilt, I hung it (the quilt) over our mantlepiece, and there it sat for about 25 years. Two weeks ago, I took it down and was happy to discover that I'd documented its history in a label on the back. (Identifying details are whited-out to protect the innocent.) 
It says: "[Son's full name], born [birth date] came home from the hospital the next day, wrapped in this quilt made by his mother [name] from old shirts of his father [name]. Made with love. Pasadena, CA, 1994."

Our mantlepiece gets no direct sun, so it was in remarkably good shape; the colors and fabrics had held up well. I washed it, and photographed it for the first time with a telephone. (When I first photographed it in 1993, I used a "camera" filled with "film," which went into the  "mail," resulting in "photos" on "paper" put into "albums," where they were never seen again.) 

Last week, I shipped the quilt off to my son and daughter-in-law, who are expecting their first baby - my first grandchild - in a week.

The morals of this story are:  

1. Label your quilt! In the blink of an eye, your baby will have a baby, and you'll want to remember all the details of the former's quilt when you give it to the latter. I'm going to make an additional label for this quilt, to record the new baby's name and birth date.

2. Dicey fashions make wonderful quilts, and when your loved ones get mad at you for mutilating their clothing, point out that you have also upcycled and immortalized it!


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Another Week, Another "Everything in the World" Baby Quilt!

I have a theory that Covid and/or the vaccine got a lot of people pregnant - I can hardly keep up with the baby onslaught! The last two posts showed some of my recent baby quilts, and here's the front of my newest:

Long before "gender-fluid" was a common phrase, I debated with myself about how girly or (why isn't boyly a word?) to make a baby quilt when the biologial sex was known.

And nowadays, of course, I'm even more conscious of stereotyping. There's a whole lot more girly fabric in the quilt world, than the boyish kind, and I'd like to use it! My solution for this particular quilt - knowing the baby is a biological girl - was to make the front as gender-balanced as I could. 

And then I threw a Kaffe Fasset pink party on the back! (Kaffe's a guy, so that balances it out.)

The front is built from 4" blocks, 12 across by 16 high - which adds up to a staggering 192 different fabrics. How do you acquire 192 fabrics? See the end of this post. How do you organize and sew them? I always start by creating thematically-linked 9-patches.

For example, there's a "people" block on the left, and a nature block on the right.

Can you see RGB and Harry Potter? There are also some child Olympians and an Egyptian princess. The nature includes a cactus, pansies, and autumn leaves. 

Here's part of two 9-patches with some of my favorite creature fabrics. (I don't happen to own any Mickey Mouse fabric, but I do own Minnie).

Next, below, a sports-and-games block, plus the 2nd vertical column on the left, which is all food (and not in 9-patch form).  I scored that woman golfer fabric on the upper right 200 years ago, at Michael Levine's in downtown Los Angeles. The bicycle fabric was bought in the last couple of weeks from Remainders in Pasadena CA, a wonderful arts-and-crafts community upcycling shop. The row across the bottom shows part of the music-themed 9-patch.
And speaking of games, in the outer rounds, I played completely different games. The second horizontal row across is all black-and-white images. I am on a personal mission to teach babies about typewriters. This one looks like the one my Dad used. 
To the right of the typewriter, there are keyboard letters (to help the kid figure it out), and punctuation next to that. On the typewriter's left, there's an alphabet block, and  then hands spelling out sign language letters. 
In the outermost border round, mostly solid color blocks alternate with additional black-and-white prints. 

If you want to make a quilt like this, with just 4" blocks, it's extremely simple. 

1. Spend 30 years as a fabriholic with a driver's license. Ideally some of those years should be pre-1998, before you could order fabric online, when you had to go to every quilt shop you could whenever possible, and buy virtually everything, because you knew you would never see that fabric again.

2. When you're creatively blocked or need a little exercise, cut all your family-friendly fabrics (and solid colors, and black-and-white fabrics) into 4" squares. Let these pile up.

3. When anyone declares a pregnancy, sew your squares together into 9-patches, and then join those into a quilt.

So easy! (Except maybe the time travel!)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

My First Tumbler Quilt! (Not Tumbling Blocks)

First, in case you are as confused as I was, a "Tumbler" quilt is  completely different from a "Tumbling Blocks" quilt! 

"Tumbling Blocks" are made from 60 degree triangles and diamonds, and wind up with a 3D effect. They're great fun to look at, but technically can be a bear to make. I don't even remember how I pulled off the blocks below, from a Tokyo-themed quilt I made in the 90s, called "Sushi in the Sky with Diamonds." 

I must have had a much higher tolerance for mitering in those days. On that same quilt, I also threw on some hollow tumbling blocks, carrying little passengers cut from Japanese fabric. 

But in three decades of quilting I never made a much easier-looking "Tumbler" quilt, whose patches are shaped like - guess what kind of glassware? 

Until now! Here it is. Made as part of my emergency response to the massive baby tsunami happening among my family and friends since the Covid era began.

What made this quilt possible was a wonderful craft thrift shop, Remainders, in Pasadena, California, which has every kind of fiber art notion from the past 50 years. Remainders sells them at such reasonable prices that if I don't like it, I just donate it back to them to sell again! It's like a lending library of sewing stuff!

Specifically, I found this:

It's Marti Michell's "One-derful One-Patch Templates" They're $23 new at Joanns, but half that price at other retailers (which makes the price only a few dollars more than I paid at Remainders.) 

You may ask, "Why would I need to buy a Tumbler template when I can perfectly well cut a tumbler shape out of a Cheerios Box?" And I asked myself the same question. Then I tried it, and my newly-educated answer is, "This template rocks!" 

First, it's thick acrylic, so unlike a cereal box, you won't trim it with each piece you cut. Second and more mysteriously compelling: The template has these two little jogs in the lower outer corners, on the wider end. Look closely at that bottom right edge in the photo above - the template is not quite straight there. 

When you cut the shape with these slight extra angles, they piece together much more cleanly than if they didn't have the extra angles. If you understand why, please explain it to me!

UPDATE! Several alert readers have explained it to me - Tumblers have strange little dog ears. Reader mary greene (who doesn't capitalize her name) sent me to this tutorial by Nancy Zieman. If you scroll down to the section titled "Construction," the third photo below that subtitle, you see the tiny dog ear on the bottom right that's created if you don't have a shaped template. Because Michell's template has you trim that first, the pieces' alignment is less confusing! By the way, mary has a hilarious blog, where her favorite post is "Two Dog Shirts for 50 Cents," here

I also found many of the fabrics for this quilt from Remainders,  of course supplemented them with pieces from my own exhaustive, exhausting, library of novelty prints.  

I debated whether to include popcorn (upper left in photo below), since it's a baby choking hazard, but hopefully by the time the baby is old enough to comprehend a picture of popcorn, they will be old enough to safely eat some. Also, the parents could lie and claim they're floating yellow teddy bears.

Every baby quilt should include mooses (above left).
Below, the back. I like putting fabrics that I don't have the heart to cut up into small pieces on the back.
I decided to give the back an astrophysics, fish and pet theme. 

My great debate with myself with this quilt was whether to leave the sides zig-zag, or cut the edges even, thereby losing half of each outer side row. And speaking of pets, my grand-cat assisted me in scrutinizing this important issue closely.

I finally decided to leave the zigzag sides. I cut the binding from bias. At the four corners, I turned the bias the exact same way as for a regular 90 degree corner. And for the gentle ins and outs on the sides, there was no need to take the quilt out of the machine. Just stop on each outermost and innermost point, needle down, and swivel to the next direction, turning the bias along with the rest of the quilt. It's surprisingly easy! 

Tumbler quilts do take a little more time than square-based baby quilts - but with a sturdy-yet-mysterious Marti Michell template, they're relatively fast and a lot of fun. (No financial affiliation). I'll hold onto my new favorite template for a while and see what babies come along next! 


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Are You Experiencing a Baby Tsunami?

I don't know about your world, but in mine, there's a monumental Covid baby boom.

It's apparent that young adults didn't have anything better to do nine months ago - after making sourdough, resin art, beer and kombucha. They finally said, "What the heck!"

My favorite kind of quilt to make for potential and extant babies is an "Everything in the World" quilt. The theory behind this quilt is that, while all the baby experts say parents should talk to their babies constantly, they don't tell them what to say. "Aren't you a cutie-pie?" and "That's an excellent poop!" gets old quick. So this quilt is designed to spark conversation. Here are two, hot off the machine.




Each quilt has 108 different fabrics. I cut four inch squares for these quilts all year long,  Whenever I pull a kid-friendly novelty fabric out for any reason, I cut a couple of squares from it.

Then, when someone has a baby, I go through the squares and sew them into nine-patches. My nine-patches usually have theme: dogs and cats; imaginary or anthropomorphic animals (animals golfing, fishing, etc); humans; household objects; transportation; healthy food; junk food; holidays (Halloween; Chanukah, Passover, Christmas); things that fly (mythological or real); things that float in water, etc. 

Below, you can see a "Humanity" themed 9-patch. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the center. (I found the RGB fabric at Joann's online, not in stores). A Dutch fabric brought to me from Holland is in the upper left, Tokyo-themed fabric is in the lower right; there are lips, hands, and eyes (the latter are from a Halloween fabric, and they glow in the dark.)

Next, the top row is things that fly (including Harry Potter and cows-in-nursery-rhymes, ladybugs, Mighty Mouse,), and Animals, Other, are under that.  The anteater fabric on pink is my absolute favorite these days. 

Hopefully, this next patch will spark much nutrition education for the baby.

Sometimes my categories puzzle even me. The next one was supposed to be a "household items" nine patch, so why did I throw in a robot? (Lost in Space? Roomba?) Also, what baby born in 2021 will experience vinyl records? (Hopefully at Grandma's house). Let alone stamps, as the US post office teeters.
The next segment shows my Jewish studies nine-patch (bottom-center, see the matzoh?), surrounded on the left by sea life (Yellow submarine with Paul, shell, rubber ducky, octopus, kayak), sports (above the sea life); food-related (radishes, forks, citrus, pasta, middle top); random animals on the upper right (zebra, lizards, festive penguins); and more household objects on the lower right (chair, fireplace, thread spools, whistle, keyboard, cowboy hats - just the important stuff.)

To assist parents even further, I throw in most of my black-and-white prints, especially in the border/outermost round of squares, even if they're not necessarily juvenile prints. My own experiments with my babies has proven to my satisfaction that babies really do like looking at black-and-white patterns - I've literally seen them stop crying when presented with some of my better black-and-white fabrics. It's gravy if these fabrics have to be explained at length. The borders that you can see below include dalmations, crowns (as in royalty), screws, dice (they're never too young to be taught about Las Vegas), tree trunks, etc.

For a fabriholic like me, however, there's one flaw in this system - some fabrics are just too wonderful to cut up. Like this amazing Tula Pink fabric. The unicorns are huge, I only had a fat-quarter, and a 4" square wouldn't have the impact that a giant piece has. 

So this fabric got to star in its own baby quilt. While it won't give the baby a LOT to talk about, it will hopefully fall in love with the beautiful rendering. 


And I put a collection of black-and-white 4" squares on the back, in case the mother must sedate the baby quickly. The center was yet another fabric that I didn't want to cut up. 
So tell me - is there a baby boom in your world, too?