Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

A quilt TOO hard

The other day, my daughter called and started a question with “Please say no if you don’t have time!“

And I know all of you are yelling at the screen….. “SAY NO….SAY NO!!“

But being a good mother (don’t ask my kids for their input), I listened to her question.

One of the couples that she and her husband are closest to are about to have their first baby.

Do you know what’s coming?

She asked if I had time to make a baby quilt, and of course, she would pay me for my time and materials.

We agreed that I would do it if I could, but that I didn’t have to give her an answer right away

Well, you know what happened. Jenny told me that their theme was boats and whales. Of course, I had to Google it

One of the images that I found was a pattern called Explore” by Magic Little Dreams

It looked relatively easy, at least in that 2-inch picture on my screen, so I sent it to my daughter and asked if it would be appropriate…….

She answered in the affirmative.

I purchased the pattern and was horrified to realize that it was a pieced design and that there were 400 pieces in the baby quilt.

Not only that, most of the seams were angled, and the design would not work well if those seams didn’t line up perfectly!!

I drew out two of the blocks to solidify my suspicions….

At this point, I was shaking my head and saying…….

I really liked the movement in the quilt, the sprinkling of fish along the way, and the very cute whale at the bottom. So, how can I simplify it ??

My first thought was to make the design bigger so that it didn’t require as many pieces of fabric. But there would still be angled seams that would HAVE to match.

My second thought was to fuse those fabrics down rather than piecing them.


I loved the movement the designer had achieved with the pieced blocks, and decided to emulate that with smooth curves … And Wonder Under, of course!

I decided to design the quilt in the same manner that she had, putting two sets of blocks together, and having the waves undulate between those two sets of blocks.

OKAY….I simplified it somewhat. What else can I do?

Instead of making the quilt interior 40 inches wide, I chose 30 inches, and instead of 50 inches tall I went for 40.

If I kept her 5-inch width, I could do three sets of two blocks to make each row of the design,

But that would still mean that I would have to sew these blocks together, making sure that all of the curves met up perfectly.


OK new plan… Let’s make it in strips that are 30 inches wide, and make the strip set 8 inches tall, something like this……

As I look at what I’ve drawn, I am thinking that the middle strip needs to be a little narrower.

I will offset these as she has done in the pattern to give more interest to the waves.

I think that THIS quilt is entirely doable!!


Is this the same quilt?

Not really, but the idea came from her design and I will ALWAYS give her credit!!

Is it a quilt that I can finish by the September deadline?


Of course, I immediately started pulling fabrics…

….but, if I am going to keep this cute for a baby, I think that it needs some solids and surprisingly, I don’t have many solid blues! So even though I prefer to work from my stash, I’m thinking that a trip to the fabric store is in my future…..after all…. my daughter is paying!!🤣🤣

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