My wonderful friend Mandy asked me to make a quilt for her nephew for his first birthday later this month. I was thrilled with this request because I love to make children's quilts, they are so quick and the fabrics are so fun and colorful! Mandy really wanted a "Where the Wild Things Are" quilt, as her nephew's name is Max, but there is no such fabric out there (someone should change this!). Her next request was Dr. Seuss, like her son's quilt, or Eric Carle. The preschool teacher in me immediately jumped at the idea of an Eric Carle quilt, an INTERACTIVE Eric Carle quilt!
I have wanted to make an interactive children's quilt ever since I came across this quilt made by Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio, I guess the early childhood educator came out in the quilting portion of my brain when I saw this and I added her quilt to my inspiration to-do list. So here is my Eric Carle quilt for the soon to be one-year old. I made this quilt using a panel of the Brown Bear fabric which has the animals from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do See? the children's book written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by the very talented Eric Carle.
For Max, I wanted to make a quilt that a toddler could use to snuggle up with, as well as play and learn with. Originally I wanted to do a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt, with a number on the top of the flap and the corresponding fruit underneath (for those of you that are familiar with this story, you will know what I am talking about.) However, that quilt would have been VERY expensive! Then I found a seller on etsy that had Brown Bear fabric available and snagged it up.
I cut out the animals squares and pieced them randomly into 12 by 15 inch blocks using a Kona grey (can't remember which one, sorry). I decided not to place the quilt squares in order with the story, this way Max's interactions with the quilt could be more challenging as he grows and develops cognitive skills.
I visited my favorite LQS for corresponding prints for the flaps, and put them together with batting in the middle to make them a bit more sturdy. Then I decided to quilt them too, using different quilting techniques. It was really fun to try out new quilting designs on these flaps, and each one is different. For some I quilted along with the fabric, like the blue, green and yellow squares:
What I learned:
I loved getting to try out different quilting techniques on the flaps. Usually I am afraid to waste batting and fabric as I try out new styles, this quilt was a great way for me to get my feet wet, without wasting materials. Plus, I think I have gotten pebble quilting figured out enough to try it on a full quilt!