So now Liz and I have chosen our fabric and the motivation to go with it. Jennifer will surely follow in Italy! I dared myself to use eight different dots and circles prints in a baby quilt for a good friend. I tend to think of quilts as modular systems that start with very simple shapes such as squares. Squares are my favorite shapes at the moment: they are incredibly versatile, very easy to cut and sew in rows and columns and complexity is constructed using just scale and color. I also tend to like my quilts to have an odd number of rows and columns. The reason for this is that you have a central square block that aids to organize the whole surface. A matrix of 3 x 5 blocks has fine proportions for a baby quilt so I’ll make 15 blocks. Each block will be made from 9 little squares and I’ll use only two different prints in each block. Do your math at this point keeping in mind your seam allowances (normally ¼ inch). Keep adding and multiplying until you reach a good compromise between the width and length of your finished quilt. Little squares measuring 4.5 in x 4.5 in (including seam allowance) are fine for me but think about it before you start cutting into your precious fabric!
One thing I must tell you is that I'm not a great planner. I usually start by cutting enough pieces to build about ¾ of the total blocks I need. I try to make a fine composition with those blocks and then I cut and sew the blocks I specifically need to achieve a good overall balance. This is all very intuitive and relaxed! I would save time if I could plan the whole thing ahead but I am quite prone to changing my mind so I’d rather be on the safe side...and keep my fabric safe for as long as possible!