Four years ago was the first time I truly developed my own quilt pattern. A friend of mine was having a baby and I wanted to make a quilt. I had seen a Noah’s Ark pattern in a book, but it had all these appliqued animals and a gangplank and all sorts of things I didn’t want to do. But I liked the idea for a little boy’s quilt. So during one of my hour breaks at school, I got a spare grid paper notebook and a ruler and got to work on my own Noah’s Ark pattern. Since then, that notebook has become very well-used!
Before this quilt, I had never made a square with such small pieces and with so many! But really, since I made up the pattern, I did it to myself. The pieces are sewn together into strips, then the strips are sewn together to make the whole picture.
Each square has 7 sky pieces, the roof, sides, interior, and bottom of the ark, and water with seahorses swimming in it. I knew I wanted animals on the inside, so I had gotten a flannel with jungle animals printed on it. We were overseas at the time, so I was ordering all the fabric I needed online. Everything always looks different online, ya know? It turned out the animals did not all line up or were facing the same direction, so I ended up cutting them out and sewing them on. Way more trouble than it was worth! This quilt was tied in the middle of each ark and in the corners between the squares.
I revisited this pattern again last year. We finally decided on the name Noah for our baby, and even though I had already made him a quilt, I HAD to make him one of these. I made this one a scrappy quilt, with blues, yellows, and greens. I had access to a fabric store this time, so I was able to find a material that solved my animal problem, which made it much easier this time around. I found some circus-y “ROAR!” fabric on the sale table, and it was perfect for the backing. I had quilted the other quilt I made for Noah and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, so I thought I would try quilting this. It is quilted around the arks, and it is so cute!
One problem I noticed the second time I made this quilt was that the roof just seemed too short. I couldn’t get it centered easily, with both bottom points hanging out over the walls. After I finished this quilt, I made another square where I lengthened the roof and shortened the sky on that strip and it works so much better now! There can be something to be said for persistence and the willingness to change to make it better, right?