I’ve been working on designs for quilts for babies as compared to baby quilts. As adults we are attracted to lovely pastels for baby quilts, which often match the nursery or are indicative of the baby’s gender. These baby quilts look pretty to us, but do they visually stimulate the baby? I don’t think so. Please note that this is my opinion based on vision experts; such as, the AOA, and also based purely my own experience from studying art and from motherhood. As I interpret the experts, initially babies prefer high contrast as well as light, shapes, and movement. They then start working on focusing and later on differentiating between colors. Knowing this, can you imagine how boring a pastel quilt would be to a baby? I think I can.
Some people talk about black and white for the high contrast, but who wants to only surround the baby with black and white? I wouldn’t. So, I am working on a general design with high contrast, some color, and detail with contrast. For my daughter, I concentrated on a deep red, deep royal blue, and white. It raised quite a few eyebrows at the time. Before she was six weeks old, I was daily creating numerous construction paper mobiles, which would entertain her…for a bit. She never slept during the day more than 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon. She was bright, alert and ultimately became artistic. Is this due to her soul, genes, color work or many influences? I think all of these, but who really knows? However, if the color work helped to stimulate her and kept her less bored in the early stages of life, then it was well worth it. I believe babies are very smart souls stuck in a body that does nothing! This is why I want to make some quilts for the baby, not for the adults.
So…this is what I’ve come up with for the first quilt.
This picture shows the quilt top on the longarm before quilting. I have the high contrast with the black and white, but in a limited quantity so the black isn’t overwhelming. I have the strong solid color, the orange, for another contrast. The bicycles are detailed, which will work on the baby’s focusing. And maybe the baby will grow up to be another Bradley Wiggins type? Did I mention this is gender neutral?
I quilted large free-hand swirls to bring some motion to the bicycles. I made the quilting loose so the it would be soft. In addition, I have washed the quilt so it will be fresh and clean for the newborn. This way the parent will not be afraid to wash it.
Opinions? Any suggestions for the next one? If you are an opthalmologist or child development expert, am I nuts?! Let me know. Happy sewing!