They start as a huge stack of 4" squares cut from my encyclopedic collection of novelty fabrics. Once I have a bunch - 108 squares to be exact - I start placing them on my design wall, brainstorming ways to sort them into categories. For example, in the top row, the 9-patch below, left, is all ocean creatures. The 9-patch on the right contains objects/people related to sky and/or space.
The top row's last block is mostly non-domestic animals.
And so is the next block. To the right is another block that focuses on non-domestic animals.
More of them are in the third row, first block.make potholders.)
The objects in the first block of the bottom row are united by the fact that they are made by humans.: the Colosseum, keys, computers, rocking horse, cellphones, farm, billiards, violin, money.
For the inner sashing strips, I used black-and-white prints, which really do attract infants' attention (I've tested them on real babies!). The outer sashing strips and cornerstones offer a variety of colors. When parents run out of conversation topics with their little ones, I would like to think that my quilt gives them some handy prompts.
Why do I have so many novelty fabrics? In my early years of quilting, in the 1990s, before Internet fabric shopping, you had to physically convey your corpus to a "quilt shop" - remember those? (We used to have 4 in Pasadena; as of yesterday, there are 0 - thanks, Amazon!)
Whenever I saw an interesting and/or obscure object on a fabric - whether it was pocket knives, women's golf, or bowling - even if I didn't know anyone who liked or owned these things - I bought a half-yard. Because what if I needed it someday? The result is that I have way too much novelty fabrics, that I am using up, square by square. But no matter how many of these baby quilts I make, my stash doesn't appear to be getting any smaller!
Do you have a go-to baby quilt?