the bravery of a bunk bed and a quilt to prove it

our oldest, C, is a naturally cautious and apprehensive child…he hates all bad guys and generally spends lots of time considering before he is ready to dive in and give things a try.  we have learned that the best way to be helpful is to give him his time, explain things a lot and take it slow.

and that is why I was slow to respond when he insisted he wanted a bunk bed.  and, by slow to respond I mean I did nothing until he asked again and then again.  I honestly assumed he didn’t really know what a bunk bed was.  finally, one weekend while on an unrelated errand, we popped into a store and showed him the bunk beds. we honestly expected he would realize that the top of a bunk bed was pretty high up there and decide he didn’t want one.

it just goes to show what we know because he was even more excited once he saw them.   given that his increasingly-long body was practically spilling out of his toddler bed we decided –what the heck…let’s indulge him and ‘hey, maybe they will even share a room and we can move some toys out of our living room and into the empty bedroom’.  and, that is when we went to ikea and got the perfect bunk bed.  and even after all that, when the bed was up and ready I still expected him to decide he wasn’t ready to sleep in the top bunk.  of course, he loves it and hasn’t looked back since we got it all together.

{these two don’t share a bed or even a room (yet), it is just impossible for a photo shoot to involve only one person. }

it took a little while for the whole thing to come together, though, because we ordered a healthy eco-friendly mattress from here and they are made to order.  so, in the meantime, I decided to make a quilt because I was still under the impression that he was going to need some encouraging. (I know! in retrospect it is pretty clear that I can be a bit dense sometimes).

I made a bigger version of the simple quilt from amy karol’s book bend the rules sewing and picked two prints from the sarah jane children at play collection, which is chock full of playful and adorably child-friendly prints. in addition to a white fabric, I also threw in a denyse schmidt print and used shot cotton in two different blues for a denim look with a soft hand.  I am a big fan of shot cotton, which is made by weaving together two different colors—one in the weft and one in the warp–giving a bit of depth and dimension to what would otherwise be a plain solid.  (this post at make it perfect goes more into shot cottons if you are interested.)

but the big exciting thing about this quilt is that it is my first free motion quilt!  I have done small potholders in free motion but never a full-sized quilt.  and, there is no doubt about it, I am in love.  free motion quilting involves using a free motion quilting foot, dropping the feed dogs and essentially drawing on the quilt.  it’s more forgiving in the sense that fabric doesn’t get ‘bunched up’ as easily because the foot is essentially bouncing around on top of the quilt.  it is, however, less forgiving in some ways because you have to keep the quilt moving without quilting yourself into a corner or accidentally making some wacky stitches.  this quilt has plenty of wacky stitches but no more than I would expect for a first try.  and, I can’t wait to give it another try with free motion quilting.

see how some of the curves are less than smooth? those would be the wacky stitches. 

that stuff I said earlier about our home having too many quilts was a lie.  a big lie.  our home needs many more quilts, it needs quilt everywhere. it really does.

below is the full front and back view:


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