After a decent stretch of keeping things relatively low-key, I seem to be accumulating quite the project backlog all of a sudden. At the top of the list are planting veggie and flower seedlings, whipping up a bed skirt, recovering the two butterfly chairs in the family room, finishing two knitting projects (the baby surprise jacket, and my long-abandonned Sunrise Circle Jacket) and sewing buttons on two sweaters, and reseeding the front and back lawns.

Now, since I clearly have free time to burn, I keep thinking about baby quilts. ๐Ÿ™‚ The leading contender is the Bento Box pattern — the piecing is quite simple, but some of the fabric combinations are spectacular. I don’t have a color scheme in mind yet, and I’m not sure whether the baby pastels or some combination of brighter/starker fabrics would be better. Just starting to ponder the possibilities.

Stealing photos from other people’s flickr sites, some notes/thoughts:

These color combinations are great. The muted blues/greens/browns are definitely what I associate most highly with this pattern, but some of the other combos are equally appealing.

Bento Box Close Up Blue Bento Box quilt bento box quilt
Bento Box Quilt Bento Box Quilt bento box top 1 quilted

I like the 3 level squares (inner, middle ring, outer) best. The four square ones are still neat but I think you lose some of the power/simplicity.

Quilt # 2364 (Sue's Quilt)

There seem to be three main ways of assembling squares:
Opposites โ€“ two colors per set of four blocks, diagonally self-mirroring:

bento-box-quilt bento box Quilt Pink Show and Tell 04

Random โ€“ you see the Lโ€™s but somehow they donโ€™t really come together into rings:


Rings โ€“ the Ls come together to form a ring that really stands out and provides structure:

bento box - finished!

Each are pretty in their own way, but the rings are the ones that impress me the most. Most quilts seem to end up a mix of the random and the rings โ€“ itโ€™s hard to find examples that are purely one or the other. Some blocks just seem to come together more successfully than others. I’ve been trying to figure out what differentiates the Ring blocks from the Random blocks — tone of the center fabric compared to the exterior/interior? Using the same fabric for at least two touching center stretches? Color? Pattern texture/density? I haven’t figured out the trick yet, but it’s definitely something to decode before deciding on fabric.

Finally, the quilting on this one is amazing:

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