A Week of Quilts- Last Day: Quinn's Stripey Raccoon Baby Quilt

Monday, May 20, 2013

 Last day, last quilt. I did it! Woot! If you're just joining in, I've blogged the five other quilts I've made, each found here:

And for this last one, I am sharing Quinn's baby blanket. Never mind he also just turned four months old, and I'm just finishing this... He won't remember he was "special blanket-less" for the first trimester of his life.

So for Quinn, I got the idea that I wanted his "animal" to be a raccoon. Since Joe was a kid, raccoons have been one of his favorite animals, and they are just funky enough to not be super-overdone (yet). I wanted a modern look to Quinn's room, and decided to go with the color scheme of grey, white, navy and mustard yellow. The raccoon fit into this perfectly. Now since making all those plans, here we are and Quinn doesn't even HAVE a room. The intent was to move him into Lucy's room by now, and move Lucy to Noah's room-- but now that we move in a month, it's been pointless to make those sorts of changes. But I do hope, very soon, to actually put together a nursery for my little guy, one that is specific to him and to the "look" I'm envisioning. Until then, here is his baby quilt-- the first piece of that puzzle, and finally finished for him to snuggle with.

 This is a really simple project, actually. It's inspired by this quilt from Pottery Barn, which then inspired this quilter I found on Pinterest. I loved the stripe, LOVED the contrast-color binding, and it stuck in my head for what I wanted to do with Quinn's quilt.

The basic quilt is just 5.5" strips of grey and white stitched together. That's it. The only thing that makes this quilt tricky at all is the raccoon applique. A couple of years ago, I made Noah a sunshine blanket that had an appliqued half-sun on it (blogged here). I used machine applique to do it, and it looked really cute. But in the last two years of getting used daily and washed frequently, the applique is looking pretty ragged. I decided I  wanted something more sturdy, with better edges. And then I read about this quilt--- the cloud quilt. She mentioned a trick to making her clouds look like needle-turned applique, but less difficult. I LOVED the way her clouds looked on her quilt and I decided to try this dryer-sheet method of applique for my little raccoon, but with thin cotton like the cloud quilt artist talks about. (Look closely-- my thin back fabric is turquoise and white. You can see it on some of the edges. oops.)

The next trick was actually thinking through the design and assembly of the little guy. I knew I wanted detail on him, and wanted ALL the edging to be solid and un-fray-able. so it became a puzzle of sorts--- what layers to put on first before adding the thin cotton backing, whether or not to make the raccoon form one piece or a few... And after puzzling over it for a while, I decided to do the head and tail separately so that I could really concentrate on the details for each of them. I'm not going to bore you with all the steps, but this was a pretty fun, but pretty tricky little project. But every step of the way I got more and more delighted with seeing my vision come to life.

Once the little guy was all made, all that was left was to ladder-stitch applique him to the quilt top, then quilt the whole thing and bind it. I went with a very simple quilting-- just double-stitched along the stripe lines. And I chose a fun mustard yellow for the binding and added that last.

Here's a couple of close-up detail shots, the binding and the applique:

 And a snap of the back--- a fun navy with white polka dots, bringing the full color scheme together. 


Meanwhile, the baby for who this was intended has turned FOUR months. And in honor of completing his blanket, I used it as the background for his 4-month photos. Hooray!

And a few things about my Quinnster at 4 months:

This kiddo has blossomed in the last 4 weeks. I have seriously seen a shift in him from a newborn trying to get acclimated to the world, and fussing his way through it, to a pretty content little infant, mostly happy and observant and only really mad when he's tired (which is still a LOT. This kid seems to CRAVE near-constant sleep!)

The biggest change in him has been his car-crying. Slowly but surely, he cries less and less while he's in the car. It's a near-miracle. I credit much of his change to the introduction of soft loveys to his arms while he's in the car. He clutches his fists together and brings them to his mouth, and these soft loveys are automatically brought up to his cheeks every time he does this, and they soothe him. It's pretty cool. He's also able to observe more of the outside world around him, and that has helped him calm down and not get so angry while stuck in his carseat. It's really been a MASSIVE relief to me to not have him wail the entire time we're in the car. 

Other things about Quinn at 4 months:

He is a little guy--- on his actual 4-month date, he weighed in at 12.3 lbs, and is 24" long. He's still solidly in 0-3 mo. clothes and size 1 diapers. 

He loves Noah and has started noticing Lucy and being amused by her. 

Quinn lost pretty much all of his newborn hair, and it weirded me out for a while-- not only the actual tufts of hair coming out onto my fingers when I'd play with it, but how BALD he looked compared to those first weeks. But in the last week or two, I'm seeing new hair coming in. And it's not as dark. It's just a weird process for me this time. Noah went bald then got hair back, but it was basically the same color. Lucy was born blonde and stayed blonde the whole time with no noticeable hair loss. So this has been odd to me. I'm having to get used to a different Quinn  than the one that was born to me. 

Hes grasping more and more, and showing real intent toward objects. It's so cute. And he rolled from tummy to back at his actual 4-month appointment on Saturday. Show-off. 

He blows VERY spitty raspberries during his bath-times. It's funny, and messy. 

I think he's going to be as much of a drooler as Noah was. We're having to keep a bib on him all the time already!

He LOVES his bouncy seat-- kicking and grabbing the toy and just having a grand old time. He's finally tolerant of the swing, and is doing well laying on a blanket for playtime. 

He hardly ever naps in my arms anymore. I definitely miss it, but the trade-off of having a baby that settles into his own nap and having time for my other kids and other things needing to get done has been worth it. Still, when he fell asleep nursing tonight as we were doing FHE, I was in NO rush to move him off the boppy and get him into his bedtime routine. I just let him nap on the boppy on my lap for a lovely little 30-minute stretch. 

Quinn smiles with his whole body when he's excited, and I ADORE that. He is incredibly lovable and good and sweet, and I am so grateful for that daily. When Lucy was 4 months old, she was still really struggling with liking her life, and we still had to do a LOT to keep her happy. It's been such a relief to be able to take Quinn anywhere and trust we can keep him happy and quiet and content for the most part. And its been so easy to just love on him and enjoy this ride a bit more. 


That's probably enough for now. Thanks for sticking with me on the quilt-journey, and for letting me get goo-goo-eyed for my baby for a minute. 

But it's bedtime now. And you KNOW I gotta sleep when I can. That part hasn't changed much in these 4 months. 


  1. How cute! Both Quinn and the quilt! You are more on the ball than I was with mine! I had plenty of time to sew and appliqué a Christmas stocking with my first child, but by the time my second came along...well, let's just say he was ONE year old by the time I got his stocking sewn. And we won't discuss my third one! So it is awesome that you made quilts for all your babies!

    I know what you mean about baby hair. My oldest, my daughter, was born with very dark hair which nearly all fell out. Then I thought she would never get hair to grow again! I think she was two before she really had a full head of hair, and it was nearly blond, then darkened to brown. So she's been a chameleon when it came to hair. Both my boys were born with red hair, and heck, almost more hair than their sister had at a year! Some fell out a bit, but they kept most of it and the color has stayed the same.
    I do love all your art projects! I wish I had some of your creativity, and I am in awe of how you are able to craft with little ones!

  2. What?! You are moving?! Where are you going?! Please tell me you're not leaving the 'Lou?!

  3. JeNae, Thanks for your fun comment! I love the idea that your daughter had "chameleon" hair. :) And as for me getting crafty things done, rest assured I am definitely NOT getting lots of other things done. haha!

    Jennie, definitely NOT. We're just shifting over to Ballwin.... a new neighborhood and community, but still STL, all the way.

  4. I love this quilt! And thanks for sending me to feedly! I just put your blog in my subscriptions :)


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