My son’s school has an annual Arts and Crafts Fair in early December.  When I signed up, they asked for examples of my work, and this ended up on their flyer:

"I Got the Blues" March 2010

I was happy they used this picture, because I like this quilt quite a bit.  Then I remembered that I gave it to another school in March for another fundraiser and didn’t have another one like it.  What were the chances (could there be even one?) that someone would see this on the flyer and expect to find it at the fair?

Because this style is relatively easy to make, I decided to make a baby quilt like it.  Individual mass production ensued.

I had quite of few squares left from the earlier project.

The basic block is the “Nine Patch.” Nine squares of color or pattern are grouped, and in this case, surrounded with 16 of the same color, a blue, to achieve a look like the quilt above.

The blue comes from a former futon cover, seen just above, from back in the day when a futon was still a reasonable sleeping surface.

For a baby quilt, three rows of Nine Patch blocks makes an nice center, then it’s time for a border.  Long stripes from the futon fabric provide quick sashing, as well as an elongating effect

To me, this looks blue. At the fair, many observers felt it was grey. And no one was looking for the quilt on the flyer.

Once this quiltop was done I decided to make more Nine Patches because the assembly is so straightforward.  Blue says “boy” to me, so I decide to make something for the young ladies.  Choosing the colors is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process, and my pink stash offers a nice range from darks to lights

A rotary cutter and cutting mat are extremely effective tools.

There are enough squares for two pink quilts, so I decide to border one with white and one with black.  I do the black first, because I’ve been wanting to use this velvet for a long time.

Velvet "moves" as its sewn if not pinned well or if a self-taught quilter doesn't have the machine tension right.

Bad choice.  It’s lovely, but is it ever a nuisance to sew.  It produces invisible dustclouds of fine black fibers  that irritate my eyes.  It moves as it runs through Modest Machine, so that carefully measured pieces don’t line up as intended.  I imagine garment workers at a table all day at this work and understand the need for face masks.  Yet it looks and feels nice, and receives favorable comments at the fair.

Once its done I do begin to like it again, and as I move on to the next one I know the cottons for the white sashing will not be as vexing.  I use the same pinks, but surround with fabric from oxfords and blouses, an eyelet skirt, and the like.

Nine squares of nine pinks, joined in rows. A pink satin from old p.j.'s is tucked into the white sashing.

This went together so quickly that I take the time to make a special backing:

A white center (from a sheet picked off Bleecker street before the current bed bug scourge) surrounded by a delicate pink gingham (Salvation Army tag sale)

That done, I want one more Nine Patch baby quilt that’s not pink.  All this pink and blue, black and white has got me thinking of a color study, and I already have a border in mind.

This fabric was a dress my mother made for me as a girl. When she gave me these cut squares recently I was delighted to see the original fabric: my memory is of a bandana-like wash-softened fabric.

I try to find true colors in my stash.  The one that’s not quite right, I think, is the blue, which is funny because I have more blue than anything else.

Three primary colors, three secondary colors and black and white. What's the ninth wheel?

I’ve bought a number of quilting books over the years (a favorite here), and this oft-mentioned time and thread saving strategy is one of the most useful things I’ve learned from them. Squares to be joined are fed onto the machine one after another, resulting in a fun flag look.

Speaking of time saving strategies, let me wrap this up.  A very soft (love those men’s dress shirts) white with navy check will transition the brights nicely to the darker border.  After a trim with the rotary cutter

and attaching the border

the Nine Patch color study is nearly done

I simply cannot resist the orange "Foreclosure" yarn

and I’ve got four baby quilts to add to the three denim ones (featured in the last post) to take to the school craft fair along with several others I made previously.

Can you guess which of the seven was sold?  Answers in the next post!