Tummy Time Mat

by Lindsay on 12/31/2011

Long before Lucas was born, I had an idea to make a “tummy time mat” made with many different swatches of black and white fabric.  I had heard the high contrast of black and white images is stimulating to the developing vision of infants.  So over the summer, I put the pedal to the metal… on my sewing machine.  And, slightly out of character for me, I actually got it done before he was born.

Remember when I showed you my first purchase of fabric for this project?  Some of those AMH solids became the brightly colored rectangles separating the swatches of black and white fabric.  I filled in the gaps with some Robert Kaufman Kona cotton solids ordered on a trial and error basis.  Unfortunately, my project budget didn’t allow much room for error, so some of them are in the wrong color family.

The black and white fabrics came from JoAnn Fabrics, Whipstitch Fabrics, Pink Castle Fabrics, Form and Fabric, and Pink Chalk Fabrics (their “shop by color” option was helpful).  They include mostly Alexander Henry, Robert Kaufman, and Timeless Treasures designs.

The light colors all reminded me of sorbet, and the deeper hues reminded me of gemstones.  I laid the pieces out to play around with where I wanted each one.  I decided to go from dark in one corner fading to light in the opposite.  I also wanted all of the color stripes to fade from dark to light.  As Lucas gets older, I have this idea of using it to teach him about complimentary colors (each color stripe intersects with it’s complimentary), tints, symmetry, and other geeky art things.

If you want to create a similar quilt, here are the facts:

  • I used 16 different black and white fabrics.  I wanted a variety, so I thought of these categories as I was choosing- geometric/organic, large print/small print, mostly black/mostly white/overall grey, dots/stripes/plaid or gingham/damask/floral/animal print.  I cut them into 10.5 inch squares allowing for a half inch seam allowance.
  • I used 24 different solid colored rectangles (4 of each color- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).  I cut them into 10.5 inch by 4 inch rectangles (again, including a half inch seam allowance).
  • I used 9 white squares where each of the color stripes intersect.  I considered using black or grey for a different overall look.  I cut them into 4 inch squares.
  • I used a black single fold satin blanket binding along the edges.  Again, white or grey would give it a different look.
  • With the total overall size being about 4 feet, I had to choose a backing from a 54″ bolt (the more common 44/45″ would be too small).  I chose a bright yellow minky.
  • I sandwiched a thin quilt batting (padding for the baby’s tummy) in between the front and back.  Then I stitched in the ditch along the edges of the color stripes.


Lindsay Ramon

There are 6 comments in this article:

  1. 01/1/2012joan nelson says:

    What a unique keepsake for Lucas! It`s a labor of LOVE, well worth your time & effort……and talent.

  2. 01/1/2012Aunt Karen says:

    This quilt is beautiful!! I tried a bit of quilting and gave up because picking colors is so very hard. Your black and white with color is absolutely fantastic! What a neat treasure for years to come!!

  3. 01/1/2012Aunt Joyce says:

    Wow, Lindsay, the quilt is unique and beautiful. To me, who never sews, except for buttons sometimes, your directions and plans sound as well planned as any engineer or architect would do….you should have gotten a degree in those fields. What a treasure for Lucas…for years to come. You are so talented and creative.

  4. 01/2/2012grandma lois says:

    Thanks for explaining all the thought you put into the quilt and the meaning of all the fabric. I had no idea and am embarassed I didn’t ask about the design when I was there. Scott’s grandma made him a quilt with birds on it and now you have passed on an heirloom to your son as well. I need to be left out of this chain, unfortunately. Lois

  5. 01/2/2012Great aunt Julie says:

    very sweet and clever indeed- such talent and love!

  6. 02/27/2012Mechelle says:

    Would you be interested in making such a mat that I could buy from you, I have looked and looked for something like this and have not found anything that is comparable. I would make one myself but alas, I do not know how to sew! I have a 4 month old and would love for him to have something like this.

    Thanks so much!!

    Mechelle Hobbs