from snowboard to mini-quilt

Are you ready to hear the enthralling story about how this Burton snowboarding jacket…


…inspired a mini-quilt for my sweet baby niece?


Here goes. During our last ski trip, we were having a beer in the lodge at the end of the day and I spotted a woman wearing said jacket at a nearby table. This was soonafter I had finished Island Baby’s quilt, so clearly I had birds on the brain. Or maybe just a bird brain. Either way. I immediately thought, as any slightly crazed good sewista would, that those birds on a wire would make a nice design for a quilt. I wanted to run over to the woman and ask her about the jacket, but running after a hard day of skiing really isn’t something I do. So I simply jotted the words “birds on a wire jacket” in my handy sketchbook and carried on with my beer drinking.


Fast forward a few weeks. I was leafing through my sketchbook for ideas for a mini-quilt for Alpine Baby and decided that I should incorporate the “bird on a wire” theme somehow. Though I decided that a clothesline would be prettier than an electrical wire. It got me thinking about the clothesline that my grandparent’s had hanging off the second floor of their two-family home in Somerville, Massachusetts. Theirs didn’t connect to the neighbors’ house like the one in the quilt, but my memory of their urban clothesline gave me the idea to string it between two buildings.


The light blue printed fabric is designed by Denyse Schmidt. The windows and itty-bitty clothes are Look and Learn by American Jane for Moda. The pants and dress are double-sided and hang from the embroidered clothesline so that they are able to flap in the wind like real laundry. The birds are from a Japanese import fabric, as is the apple orchard on the reverse of the quilt. I am pretty sure the orange polka dot binding is Robert Kaufmann.


I added a little message to Alpine Baby using rubber stamps and fabric markers. That idea came from the queen of craft, Amy Karol. The apple orchard was originally sewn in place on top of one of the buildings, but I thought it looked too busy so I moved it to the back. It was one of those “its-midnight-and-i’m-still-sewing” decisions. It probably would have been just fine where it was. But I do like how it looks on that strip of stone colored cloth on the back.


I’ll be with my little sister and her new baby tomorrow! I am so excited to meet the little one. She is so stinkin’ cute in her photos–can’t imagine how adorable she will be in person. I’ll be away from this spot until early next week, but maybe with some persuasion I can get the Cydermaker and the little guy to pop in for a quick post. I’m sure they will have plenty of good photos from all the strip clubs and seedy bars they will be frequenting while I am away.



11 thoughts on “from snowboard to mini-quilt

  1. I love the baby quilt! The baby is going to love playing with the clothes. An the trees on the back are like the extra cartoons on the back of Shoebox cards or FarSide t-shirts. A little surprise.

    Great job!

  2. Great Idea see you in 4 hrs. Can’t wait for you, Kate, Lucy and I to have some time tog. Maybe one day it could be all five aunties and me (too).
    With Love from Grandmama

  3. Really cute quilt. Makes me long for a new grand baby. Mine are all growing and it’s time for a new little one around! You are very creative! I admire that in anyone since I have no talent in that direction whatsoever!

  4. I love the baby quilt – but not as much as the expression on your little guy’s face in that last photo! It’s like “whatever Mom!” So cute!

  5. just found your blog through Sew Mama Sew. Love your little quilts. Curious…How do you applique your little pieces on?

  6. I love where you pulled the inspiration for this one from. The little quilt is really charming. The colors in the fabric really make it pop. I was interested to see the stamp work on the back.

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