I can finally show you all the quilt I made for my nephew's son, Ben, and I'm thrilled to report that Ben's dad thinks it's "awesome"!!
100% of my inspiration for Ben's quilt came from this quilt by Carol/mamacjt. At the time I decided on this design I knew she had a pattern in the works, but I couldn't find it available to purchase. So I took out my trusty graph paper and colored pencils, guessed at the ratios and dimensions, and made up a pattern for myself. But lucky you! The pattern is now available to purchase from mamacjt!! Contact her here if you are interested in purchasing one.
Her original quilt had the bars arranged in rainbow order, but I thought for a baby boy the "mixing up" of the colors was more fun. The solids are a mix of Kona cottons, Moda Bella cottons, and some others from who-knows-where. Each appliqued circle is a completely nephew appropriate car print (Ben's dad loves cars)from Michael Miller - Honk Honk in Brown. It's really a very deep, dark, chocolate-y brown with retro cars in green, orange, and yellow against a cityscape backdrop in blue.
I really struggled with a quilting design for those colors bars. Something about an all-over pattern didn't feel right, and I eventually came across this meandering waterfall-type design in some notes from a free-motion quilting class I took a couple of years ago. It was quite easy to do, very forgiving, and is well suited for quilting at slow speeds - the speed at which I have the most success!
The back is almost as much fun as the front with it's random width stripes of leftover solids and the car print. The pieced binding is also made from the same solids. It was my first attempt at a pieced binding and here's the very scientific approach (insert sarcastic air quotes here) I used to figure out how much of each color to cut to have it come out evenly: quilt circumference divided by number of colors plus a couple inches added for error. Result = Total dumb luck that it came out (mostly) even with all the colors!
Each individual color, however, was chosen using a very reliable and nearly foolproof method - paint chips. His parents mailed me the paint chips they were planning to use to create a checkerboard-like pattern of giant squares on one wall of the nursery, and it really was quite easy to find the perfect solids to match!
The quilt doesn't really have a name, I just called it "Rugby Stripes" in the title because Ben's dad likes to wear rugby stripe shirts :) It measures 38.5" x 51.75". It's definitely one of my favorite quilts that I've made! Thanks Carol for the inspiration!!