So, I've said it before and I'll say it again - I've never been a huge baby person. I'm more into dogs (and I guess cats now, too). However, I think that might be changing just a little. Apparently I'm at that age where people I know start to have kids, and they're kind of cute (especially since I can play with them, and then leave them with their parents). I'm opening with this to prepare you for the increase in frequency of baby-item posts that is coming. It started with the shower for my niece, and continues with this blanket I made for my cousins' new son (who's bris is today, so this is appropriate timing!).
As with their first child, they decided not to learn the sex. Typically I stick to green and yellow for gender neutral, but I broke out of my comfort zone a bit with this one and added orange. I'm glad I did because I really like how it looks!
The inspiration for this blanket came when my quilt guild participated in a hand quilting demonstration day at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. I'd never hand quilted before, and I didn't have any other hand projects in progress, but I had just found out that my cousins were expecting, so I picked up some fleece and pearl cotton from JoAnn, and set about making this blanket. I sandwiched the two pieces of fleece right sides together with some batting and turned it as you would for a simple throw. To secure the batting, I machine quilted a few lines horizontally and vertically, then hand quilted a few lines in both directions to add more interest. This also proved a good beginner's project to demo at the museum since the cotton is thick and easy to see.
For the final touch, I used this tutorial from Purlbee to finish the quilt off with a zigzag blanket stitch. The pearl cotton I used is a yellow ombre, so it's kind of fun as it fades in and out. It's probably a bit too warm for this blanket right now, but they live in Michigan, so I'm sure it will be quite useful when winter (and gray skies) set in in just a few short months.
And thanks to my cousin Arlene (the baby's grandmother) for taking pictures for me. I took some on my phone before I gifted the blanket, but then my phone broke and I lost all my photos :(