So, without further ado, let me introduce "The Babar Triangle," the birthday bedspread for my little boy that has watched every, and I do mean EVERY episode of "Babar" and has checked out EVERY Babar book in our library (a couple of times).
I really stepped out of my comfort zone with the colors for this quilt. This was not a combination that came naturally for me, and truthfully, I fought it. I ended up telling myself that I was picking colors out for Nolan, and that this palette was every facet of his four year old personality. Warm sun, green grass and sweet thoughts. The reflection time was good for me, though. I vowed to use a heavy hand with brown, which is I think the only thing that kept Babar from having a vacation in the tropics.
The one indispensable item I used in making this quilt was a template. I made my own out of a sheet of acrylic and an acrylic knife using a pattern I drew up. I constructed my own equilateral triangle pattern with a protractor and newsprint to make a triangle that was 15 inches tall. The best part of having a template was having the flexibility of going hog wild with triangles, and knowing you could cut everything down perfectly to the exact same size.
I paper pieced about half of these blocks. I know, I know. But, a 15 inch triangle is BIG and I didn't want a quilt full of friendly triangles waving back at me. I slapped down that template on top of a newspaper and got an instant paper foundation. After that it was simple to draw in piecing lines. My six year old son helped me draw them in one lazy afternoon. The rest of the quilt blocks were a combination of intentional design and serendipitous scrap management. :-) I am still thinking of things I could do to a triangle. Ha!
I started having second thoughts about writing his name in the back. Once I finished the letters, I asked my husband what he thought of them. He told me that if the whole quilt thing didn't work out I could always take up ransom notes. Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking. Seriously. The other thing I was thinking is that this back deserves a name. I would call it "Hubris, by Jill Fisher." One of my favorite episodes from "The French Chef" was when Julia Child tried to teach how to make a grated potato pancake. I say "tried" because when she tried to flip it using the pan, she dropped most of it on the stove. "Whoops," she said. "I just didn't have the courage of my convictions!" So, despite my reservations about doing a pivoting design on a not-so-forgiving solid background, I tried it anyway. I just checked the back in a borderline compulsive manner during the entire process.
It's hard to hold up a twin size quilt. It was hard doing pivoting straight line quilting on a twin size quilt. If we keep doing this, we're both going to have AWESOME shoulders.
Here is Nolan, photobombing his own quilt. He is asleep under it as we speak and he went to bed with a huge smile on his face. I am happy too.