Quilt for Zoe


Some friends are expecting their first child at the end of the month, and we all were excited to work together to create a special quilt for her. Life has a way of meandering, and between all of us, finding a time when we were healthy and able to sit down together to discuss color, design, and fabric was not looking like it was going to happen. So even though we’re basically neighbors, we’ve been communicating via email and I am excited to move forward on making a quilt!

Before I talk quilts, I have to say that attending this baby shower was a lot of fun. One of the suggestions was to buy a book instead of a greeting card, and my husband helped me find his favorite book as a child. when I say it was my husband’s favorite book, I mean he can still recite by heart many of the nonsense poems in the book. We found the book used and it was exciting to buy it and get a chance to read through the book before gifting it.

Yes, that’s right, the title of the book is the end of the first poem in the book: “A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me”!

As I was standing in the street,
As quiet as could be,
A great big ugly man came up
And tied his horse to me.

Other favorites include:

There once was a man from Peru
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe.
He woke in a fright,
In the middle of the night,
And found it was perfectly true.


What a wonderful bird the frog are
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop he fly almost.
He ain’t got no sense hardly;
He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain’t got almost.

I’m a huge fan of rhyme and silliness, and both parents are just as tickled by the book (hooray!).

So, back to talking quilts. I started off by presenting the parents-to-be with 5 different color palettes. I assured them that we could find other inspiration if none of the palettes I shared spoke to them immediately, but they both quickly agreed on Color Palette #5.

Color Palette #5
Color Palette #5

After that, I got really excited and sent off 2 different quilt design concepts. Not knowing exactly which colors they were the most drawn to in the palette, or if the white in the color palette was something they were interested in, I used the lightest gray as a background and told them to let me know if they wanted to see more of any one color and if they would prefer white as the background.

To my delight, dad-to-be gave me a call a few minutes after that email and affirmed that white and green were definitely to be used more. Great! He also mentioned that he was really excited about the idea of a quilt design that would give his daughter something to puzzle over and think about. So, loaded with a bit more information, I created 6 more design concepts, and the one I was the most excited about appealed to them as well (I love it when that happens).

Design for Zoe
Design for Zoe

I have rummaged around in my stash and found great options for all the colors except for the light blue; the light blues in my stash run less gray than this one reads.

Birds of Night in Slate
Birds of Night in Slate

Mom-to-be had also expressed delight in the Maureen Cracknell Birds of Night in Slate print I used recently, and it coordinates beautifully with this color palette, so yardage of it was acquired for the backing along with a small bit of yardage for the light blue (and isn’t it a fun mind game looking at the graphic trying to pick out which is the light gray and which is the light blue in the design?!?!).

Fibonacci Quilting
Fibonacci Quilting

I have even come up with a preliminary quilt design concept based on the Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8). It’s still subject to change, but I think it could be a fun idea.

The Name Game

I love naming my quilts and quilt designs. In fact, my husband and I love to play the name game. I think it goes back to my husband’s fondness for silliness and rhyme; his family is very creative and the name game is something that he excels at. This particular quilt has been a stumper for both of us, though.

Right now I’m just calling the quilt “Design for Zoe”, but it has a feeling of an aerial view of a city, or a perhaps it is an assembly view of a bunch of cogs and wheels, or a representation of the way a family or community is connected and joined together. Just like the dad-to-be wanted, this design can be interpreted as so many things, and thus naming it any ONE thing seems like a disservice. So, my ideas based on these thoughts are:

  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • All Paths Lead Home
  • Layers
  • Eye of the Beholder
  • Viewpoint
  • Perspective

If you have any ideas for the name, I’d love you to share them!


  • I love this design and hope it will become a pattern later. Great quilting design, too. I can’t resist someone asking – I hope you were asking – for suggestions. Zoe’s Playground, Zoe’s Maze, or Zoe’s Labyrinth. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love your ideas for this quilt! The design, colors, and your Fibonacci quilting motif are fabulous. As for names, I really like Perspective, or the Zoe’s Playground idea that Mary mentioned.

  • The Labyrinth. In looking at definitions online, one stood out. The labyrinth is symbolic for the journey to the center of yourself. What a deep meaning, yet it makes very good sense when you think about that statement.

    The quilt is simply delightful. Zoe is going to love it!

  • Lovely design! I find it interesting you discuss the quilt with the parents and treat it more like a commission than a surprise gift. I almost always go with the latter. If I can tell what theme they’re going with for the nursery I’ll try to coordinate, otherwise I’ll just go with something I want to make and I think they’ll like…. Hmmm. Maybe, I’m making for the wrong people…
    I can’t wait to see this interpreted with fabric!

  • No suggestions for names, but I really like this quilt, Yvonne. If you enjoy silly rhymes, another book you may like is “It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles” by Jack Prelutsky. It was one of my kids’ favorites.

  • I love the Fibonacci quilting idea! My first name ideas are Connectivity or Seven Degrees of Separation. Just odes to the idea that we’re all connected somehow (which reminds me of the opening of the Blue Man Group show…we’re all connected by the sewer system..ha!).

  • I love the discussion between you and the parents-to-be, and the resulting quilt design and colors. I’m looking forward to seeing the final quilt. And I love those Maureen Cracknell owls too! When I first saw your design, it reminded me of a building block city. So my suggestion for a name would be Building Blocks, which you can make into anything your imagination conjures.

  • I love the design and the titles you have come up with so far. I think as it is a baby quilt I would go with All Roads Lead Home. The quilting design accentuates the roads idea. Looking forward to seeing this quilt and what you decide to name it.

  • You are a talented lady! This is going to be an amazing quilt…I wish I was Zoe! I’m kind of fond of your first title changed a bit: Choose Your Own Path. I wish I knew how you were going to piece this…I’m fascinated by it!

  • That is a very, very cool quilt! I love naming quilts too, it seems to give the quilt a personality all its own. I immediately saw layers with this quilt … but I love the name Eye of the Beholder!

  • Wow I love the design and color palette. If your still looking Meissen blue/grey from RJR solids would be perfect color match. The design reminded me of play ground equipment so I love the choose your own adventure name. Beautiful work!!

  • After reading all the suggestions, I really like The Labyrinth. Zoe will love it. Great interaction with her parents. I love your design and hope you offer a pattern for it soon.

  • You are such a delight, Yvonne – this quilt design is another example of that. I, too, hope this becomes a pattern (or maybe a QAL in 2018?!) The name “Labyrinth” is rather enticing!

  • “All Paths Lead Home” jumped out to me. What a wonderful and comforting phrase to carry with her through life and your quilt design is perfect for encouraging her imagination. I am loving your process and creativity. And, best of all, Zoe is going to love the quilt.

  • I actually like “design for zoe”. It says it all .
    And the Fibonacci sequence – I should so do that in one of my quilts . The boys would enjoy that , of pretend to anyway !!

  • I love this design and coloring of it! And the quilting plan is a great idea. I like the name All Paths Lead Home, but am drawn to Perspective, I like that idea that the quilt is like looking down on buildings. I’m looking forward to seeing this quilt come to life!

  • Love the post, love everyone’s comments, too. At first I liked Viewpoint, but after reading the suggestions, I think Zoe’s playground is perfect. Whatever you decide on will be perfect!

  • Love the idea of a fibonacci quilt. This is a beautiful pattern and so much fun. It will be fun to see how you quilt it.

  • First of all I have to tell you that my kids had this book and we all loved it as well. I really love this quilt design and the colour palette. The design reminds me a little of a building toy that I think is called connectors. So that’s my suggestion for a name.

  • Oh I love love love that quilting idea! So clever — not immediately identifiable, but like a fun “secret” for anyone in the know.

  • Hello Yvonne; I have so enjoyed reading your post and feeling your excitement in creating this quilt with every step. I am especially looking forward to seeing photos of the quilt with the actual fabrics and your amazing quilting choice as well! You know that I am horrible with names, but something like Family Mazes. Thank you for sharing all of your excitement and talents with us! Have a great day!

  • Who doesn’t like a silly limmerick, and other silly nonsense? (Grumps, that’s who!) I’m glad the book was happily received. I might have had a hard time handing it over, if it were me!

    I used to enjoy looking at my quilt when I was little, so creating a visually interesting quilt for this little one seems like a brilliant idea to me. I also like the quilting plan. Go, Go, Quilting Jetgirl! (I hope you got the Inspector Gadget reference. He was one cool character!)

  • I love the design and colour palette you’re using Yvonne. All the little rhymes made me smile. Can’t wait to see it finished! It takes me ages to come up with a name although I’ve picked it first and then designed around it. I’m yet to actually make any of those but I do like it as a starting point.

  • You already know that I love this quilt 🙂 I really like the idea of fibonacci quilting. Looking at the design it kind of reminds me of the game pick up sticks (even though some of the parts are not really stick-like) because it looks like the the different elements are randomly stacked on one another.

  • I love Wallace Tripp books. I have several of his books. The rhymes are funny and the illustrations are great. I even have calendars saved which I had when younger. I will have to hunt them up again and start smiling

  • Love the book and the quilt. My suggestion for a name is “What is Your Wish?” because you have quizzed the mom2be about color, design, etc. and it’s a lovely quilt design, BTW.

  • I loved Shel Silverstein poems when I was little. I think we can all use some silliness. What a fun design and process. If you are taking votes, Eye of the Beholder is my favorite.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)