I really wanted to make some homemade gifts for Christmas and so of course I thought of my darling Julia! She’s growing up so fast so I decided against making her clothes. I do have some Oliver and S patterns to make for her and of course I made her a mini Coco, but I just really wanted to make something that she’d be able to enjoy for longer than 6 months.
I thought about trying my hand at quilting but my machine can’t handle a big quilt and the price to have it long armed was not appealing. I considered dolls, a backpack and a sleeping back before deciding on The Big Block Baby Duvet. This tutorial was written by Annie of The Village Haberdashery. It was such luck that she posted that tutorial when she did because it appeared on my Bloglovin feed the week I was deciding what to make for Julia!
I used 7 fabrics as the tutorial states but my finished dimensions are not quite as big. This was my first time making a patch work anything and if you are not perfectly precise your blocks don’t line up and things get a little wonky on the inside. I’m happy with how this came out, don’t get me wrong, but it was also a major learning experience for me. I’ve never made anything other than garments and if I don’t cut out the pattern piece just right its easy enough to fudge the seam allowance to get back on track but with a duvet of quilt top thats it. Your little block is it, you cut a new one or you make due. You can see in my pictures that not all of the rows line up perfectly but they are cute anyway right?
Now, lets talk about the fabrics! As I’ve said, I’ve never made a quilt but I’ve read on other blogs that regular quilts get passed down from generation to generation as they stay nice if taken care of properly. I decided to think of the duvet in the same way. It may not have batting and be quilted but the elements are similar.
Julia is 3 now but if the duvet survives until she’s going off to college or passing it onto her own daughter, I wanted the fabrics to not seem dated of too childish while still maintaining a sort of whimsicalness (is that a word?). I chose 3 really fun prints, the frog price, sleeping unicorn and butterflies and then I picked 4 less striking prints that matched the other three. Here are prints that I used:
Wingspan Melon and Plumage Poppy from the Winged collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery
Daisies in Pink, XOXO in Dandelion and Dottie in Bluebird all from Cotton + Steel. I think they are all Melody Miller but I’m not 100% certain.
Unicorn Lavender and Frogs Yellow from the Far Far Away collection by Heather Ross for Windham.
I’ve used the Winged knits and at least 3 of the Cotton + Steel fabrics for garments for myself so thats why I started with those. I thought that a unicorn print would look nice with the butterflies and the other colors I had already picked so I just searched “unicorn” on Hawthorne Threads and found the Heather Ross collection.
I 100% copied Annie and used the solid flannel from Rae Hoekstra and the purple looks perfect with the prints I chose in my opinion. Now that Julia has had it for a month I know I picked the right backing if for no other reason than she told me how soft it is and that her and her friends (her teddies and such) love it.
Of all the twists of fate, I found the buttons while I was grocery shopping at Walmart. I love the rainbow effect and that they are so big. A perfect pairing!
Julia’s mom, my cousin Kathy, made a comment that she thought Julia would love the duvet so much that she’d try to bring it with her to school. Its so bulky with the insert that this would be quite difficult. My sewing machine can’t handle a full size quilt but a doll size one that Julia could take to school for her Hello Kitty Build a Bear (Richard), that I could do! I had run out of the pink daisies but I had the blue ones from my Pavot jacket and used that for the pillow and quilt binding. I didn’t have much fabric left so doll quilt uses just the Winged prints.
So there you have it, the first Christmas gift that I’ve ever made! Overall I’m happy with it and Julia seems to like it. Every time I’ve gone over to visit she pulls it out which I think is super cute and it makes me feel really good about what I decided to make for her!