In a knitting group that consists mostly of Baby Boomers, Lalie is a ray of sunshine. She’s young enough to be the daughter of most of the members. She’s a teacher, a force for good in the world, a super knitter and an incredible Fan Girl. Game of Thrones, the Marvel Universe, Harry Potter, you name it–she’s an expert, and has probably designed knitwear inspired by it. When she announced that she was pregnant, I instantly thought, “Baby quilt,” since the knitwear was pretty well covered. When she said she was having a little girl, I thought, “Little girl baby quilt.”
Then, being Lalie, she said she was doing a Doctor Who-themed nursery.
“Okaaaaay,” I thought. “A Doctor Who baby quilt. I got this. I think.”
So I started hunting around on the net for patterns and ideas, and found quite a few fantastic Dr. Who quilts. There were a lot of Tardises, only for larger-sized beds. (Oddly enough, when most people think “nursery,” Dr. Who doesn’t leap to mind. Only Lalie!) I thought of trying to scale down a pattern, but decided against it. Dr. Who may have no problem dealing with various dimensions, but I do.
This one was by far the most spectacular design I found:
Alas, I don’t happen to have the paper-piecing skills of an archangel, weeping or otherwise. And it’s not the sort of thing you’d want to see dragged around and marinated in the toilet by a darling little toddler. (But if you are a Whovian who does happen to have the paper-piecing skills of a weeping archangel, you can find this collaboration between Laura Hogg and Kristy Lea on Craftsy.)
Luckily I found a whole series of amazing blocks from Trillium Designs. Caroline Press has designed an astonishing series of paper-pieced quilt blocks relating to All Things Whovian. They are quite large, finishing at 12″, and there are a lot of them that would bring delight to any adult fan. If I could only find a couple that would work for a baby, I could fill in the other spaces with other random bits and I’d be good to go.
But I wanted to be selective. I happen to know that little kids can be scared to death of textiles. I know this because I was terrified of the draperies in my aunt’s bedroom in my grandmother’s house. They may have had a rather lovely stylized leaf design, but anybody who had read my fairy tale book would have known that those leaves looked JUST like wolves with long, pointed noses–and everybody knows that wolves with long pointed noses are the very worst kind. I had to sleep in my grandmother’s room for years until I made my peace with those draperies.
So I ruled out the Cyberman. I mean, would you make a tent out of a blanket with this guy on it?
Not being au courant with the current Dr. Who universe, I have no idea who or what the Ood of 13 is–for all I know, he’s a real sweetheart–but I ruled him out, too, because of his resemblance to Cthulhu:
There are some other amazingly-rendered pieces from Dr. Who’s history– a sonic screwdriver, a weeping angel, Tom Baker’s scarf, something called a Red Wolf which may or may not have a long, pointed nose, and a whole lot of stuff I don’t recognize. The designer’s final quilt, which is queen-sized, looks like this:
I finally decided on three blocks: the Tardis (of course); K-9, who has a reassuringly non-pointed nose and looks downright cuddly on a grassy space under blue skies; and the Powers of Three. For all I know the Powers of Three might be more horrific than the Ood of 13, but at least, being a standard block with a number on it, it looks like something one might plausibly expect to see on a baby quilt.
I lucked out and found some remnants of out-of-print Dr. Who fabric on Etsy, which enabled me to introduce some bright, baby-pleasing colors.
So I made it, and it looked like this without the binding:
The binding was that yellow-orange color, and was only finished about an hour before the shower, and I didn’t think to get a photo of it, but you get the idea.
The quilt was a great success, but even the Whovians present at the baby shower had to Google the Powers of Three. Apparently it was a minor detail in one of the Doctor’s storylines, and it is totally unmemorable.
But it looked like something that might plausibly belong on a baby quilt. So there it is.