Creating Keepsake Quilts For Babies

How to give homemade cherished keepsake quilts for babies

The art of quilt making has become a craft of the very few, where it used to be quite commonplace. Quilts today are more keepsakes than necessary for warmth, and they have become cherished items that are given and received with love. What better gift to give a newborn, than one that their parents can wrap them up in and be surrounded by your love?

Quilt making isn't as time consuming as it once was. Pieced quilts do not need to be "quilted." (The tiny stitches that completed a quilt in days of yesteryear.) Certainly it would be nice to do this detailed work, but who has the time? Our fore-mothers would not be very proud, but if you want to "quilt", and are on time constraints, you can "quilt" by machine. This intricate stitching takes skill but it does go by quickly. I usually just tie my quilts. (Sewing a knot through all the layers from back to front, in order to hold the batting in place.) Piecing together patchwork on the a sewing machine is fast paced work, and while it does take consistency and care, it is really quite easy.

Your planning is most important. While it is hard to wait for the blessed event of the baby's arrival, it is best to do so. You don't want to make a frilly, pink, bunny quilt for a person who turns out to be a boy! So, wait it out and then choose your colors and motif. Does the baby's room have a theme or color scheme? Upon your first baby visit, take a peek. If the quilt is not to be a surprise, ask the parents what they would like.

There are countless quilt making books and patterns available and the joy is in choosing a quilt to make. With all the options available, this can be difficult, or you can be optimistic and happy that you have so many choices! Keep the child, his room and his parents wishes in mind. Also, keep in mind your skill level. If this is your first quilt, do not attempt a complex pattern; you'll want to present the finished piece before the child graduates from high school.

Most quilt making books will tell you how much material you will need to buy for your chosen quilt. I always enjoy picking out the fabric colors, but if this seems a daunting task, most fabric store salespeople should be willing to lend a hand, or eye, as the case may be.

When all the material choosing, cutting and sewing is completed, as per your pattern's direction, personalize your gift. I always cross stitch a "label" to sew on to the back of my quilts. I include my name and the recipients and if the gift is to be given close to the birth date, I include that as well. If it is going to be presented at a later date, then I use that one. Dating a quilt is an old tradition and adds to the heirloom quality of the piece.

The most important thing to put into your quilt making is love. The recipients will know how much you care, through the giving of your love and time put into what will surely become a cherished thing. Truly, it is most endearing, when your homemade gift becomes a child's "blankie". This joy is something that I have known and is one of the reasons that I continue to make quilts for every new baby in my life. Happy quilting!

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