Peek-A-Boo Play Quilt a la Anna Maria

On Sunday, I got together with some ladies to shower one of my dear friends with gifts for her new baby, due any minute now.  We don’t know if she’ll be having a boy or a girl, but we do know she has flawlessly good taste, so the gift had to be one that was thoughtful and beautiful and lasting–which is to say, it just had to be handmade.

Knowing that the mom-to-be is a huge fan of Anna Maria’s, it didn’t take me long to pull out my copy of Handmade Beginnings. And once I’d opened it, I almost immediately decided on the Hide and Seek Spectrum Quilt. I love all the gifts in the book, but the mommy gifts were of less use at the end of her pregnancy, and while the baby gifts are off-the-chain adorable, I really wanted this to be a gift for her.  This quilt is perfect.

Not only was it really fun and fairly quick to assemble–an excellent project for someone new to sewing or quilting–but it looks fabulous and eye-catching as it goes together.  Every step of the way I was really motivated to keep going, because I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out.

It was also a really great chance to showcase some of my favorite fabrics.  The Happy Campers fabric is the keystone of her nursery, so I knew I’d include that under the red window.  I threw in some Good Folks, some Alexander Henry out-of-prints, and a really awesome mix tape print as the center square.  The whole quilt is designed to be a play quilt with a built-in activity that grows as your child grows, so over time, he can lie and wiggle, then lift the flap, then discuss the objects he sees in the fabric, then learn the color names, then understand the color spectrum.  It can even be hung on a wall as nursery decor when it’s outgrown.

After a 10 minute photo shoot test-driving it with our own new little one, I can see I’ll be making at least one more of these in the near future.  In fact, when I showed it to my husband, he said, “Wait, you’re giving this away?  How come our kids don’t have anything as cool as this?”  Must up handmade quotient in our own home, it seems!

Happy stitching, everyone, and hooray for babies!

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  • Marci Girl
    August 31, 2010 at 11:20 am

    It looks great! I love Anna Maria Horner too and this quilt turned out so nice and pretty (colorful too!) I would have a hard time giving it away, but I am sure the mom-to-be will love it.

  • Miranda
    August 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Wow! This is absolutely fantastic. What a good friend you are. I’ve been pining after Anna Maria’s new book and this is just another reason I must have it. I love the gorgeous saturated colors on your quilt. Lucky little baby!

  • Holly
    August 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I love it! Just got Handmade Beginnings out of the library and this project is an eyecatcher. Love the fun fabric surprises under the flaps!

  • Jodi B.
    August 31, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    love it! wish I could make it!

  • dana
    August 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    oooo. very cute!

  • Michie'
    September 3, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Love the blog and am looking forward to visiting the shop!

  • eileensideways
    September 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

    sweet quilt, sweet baby. love the bright colors.

  • Tamara
    February 24, 2011 at 10:01 am

    So cool! Love the linen border and freshness of the patterns you chose. Dare I attempt for my newest neice/nephew coming next month?! This inspires me. I hope to get to it…..
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Aileen
    March 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Lovely!!! May I ask what fabrics you used for the solids?

    • Deborah
      March 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm


      They’re all Kona cotton solids. I picked primaries and secondaries that I thought worked well together from bits leftover from other projects. Baby loves it!