Earlier this year we received the exciting news that our daughter Emily and her husband Michael, who live in New Zealand, are expecting their first baby. So of course Emily and I needed to talk about what sort of quilt he or she might like. At first it was to be a quilt of sea otters - very cute, but a bit limiting in colours. Then it was to be a quilt containing all sorts of wildlife - sea stars ("Could they be puffy please?") and jelly fish ("It would be great if they had dangly bits hanging from them!") and sand dollars. Just when I was beginning to wonder how exactly I was going to pull this off, a quilt with orqa whales was suggested. Yay!!! Here was something I could work with.
I began with a graphic I found online. I wrote to the artist - a young woman from Seattle - and asked for her permission to use it, which she graciously gave me. Then I simplified the design, enlarged it to the size I wanted, and used it as the basis for the centre panel. I wanted to make something that this wee babe would use - could spit up on and poop on and be cuddled up in, with the quilt being thrown into the wash whenever necessary. Nothing too precious. So the lines are simple and the fabrics are few. I was already well into the appliqué when we learned that it's our first grandson who will be making his way into the world in December. Not that one has to use blues only for boys, but I felt happy that these colours would be fitting for a boy.
I had some pretty complicated ideas for how to surround the centre panel, but kept reminding myself to keep it simple. Two inch squares in a variety of blues and sea greens seemed fitting. And to finish it off I added a darker blue border. I feel pretty happy with it, and most importantly, it will be ready to take to New Zealand when we return there in December, in time for the birth we hope, and so that we can help out in the first few weeks.