Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby Quilts: Loving Them and Using Them are not Mutually Exclusive

I've been a quilter since I was 14 (I'm somewhat older than that kids are in college, that's all I'm saying...).  I love quilts and quilting!  Baby quilts are one of my favorite kind to make, because they are small, which means they can be machine-pieced and hand-quilted fairly quickly.  I love the idea of giving a hand-made quilt to a brand-new baby, with the hope that it will be loved and used--and last a lifetime (or more)--with the proper care.

 Here's my latest baby quilt, commissioned by my friend Elsa for her granddaughter.

I scoured all the nearby fabric stores to come up with an assortment of pink and green fabrics in just the right shades to match the sheets and bumper pads that were already chosen.

Adding a label to a quilt makes it extra-special

Here's one of my earliest baby quilts.  I made it when I was in college, to match the color of the wallpaper in my townhouse kitchen.  It was the late 1970's, and "Americana" was very much in fashion.  When my daughter was born in 1993 I made her a quilt with a lot of applique; I hung it on her bedroom wall because I couldn't bring myself to use it!  Instead, I cut the hanging loops off this red, white and blue quilt and tada!--she had a quilt she could use.  We REALLY used it, and it shows--there are lots of stains and worn spots.

By the time my daughter was too big for this quilt to be useful, it went back to being decorative.  Here is where it is now, on a small bookshelf in my living room. (This is the only "country" corner in my house!) It might continue to fade, but other than that, it is stable and will remain in it's present condition indefinitely.  It looks old and worn, which makes it more valuable in my eyes, because it has a history and has become part of our family's story.  That's how I hope all my quilts will be treated--used with love and displayed forever.

Here's the next quilt I will be giving away.  I made it a few years ago, and it's just been sitting in the cedar chest, waiting for it's purpose.  That "purpose" will be born any day now!  My cousin and his wife are finally going to have the child they have been hoping for, for so long.  They know he's a boy, and I think this quilt will be perfect to welcome him to the world.
(Suki--get off the quilt!!)

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