Ev'ry Baby Gets a Quilt

It's a rule around here. Every baby gets a quilt. Every one. Because every baby needs a quilt. The hard part is making something the parents will like and that will fit into an undisclosed decorating scheme. Neutrality is key.

But, it took a while to learn that.

The first baby McQuilt. This is from a picture I saw in a book. I got help from all my co-workers at the time. The ladies sewed and the men donated money. I tried to hold quilting bees, but that wasn't very popular. So, we ended up taking over an empty office and setting up a quilting frame and quilting there for several weeks at lunch time. And, after that, I turned down all other suggestions from non-quilters about making group quilts. But it is cute as the dickens, eh? Some of my first applique, and all the applique and embroidery were done by hand. I'd prepare a block and send it home with a co-worker and she'd bring it back in a few days, done. I had to teach a few to chain stitch and I had a co-worker from China, at the time, and taught her to stitch. She didn't quilt, but she did embroider.

Soon after, Rob's nephew was adopted. Didn't want to overload the pics, but this quilt has a pieced back. There's a huge pinwheel in the back. I didn't have enough of any one fabric leftover, so I made a huge block with the green and yellow to fill the back and bordered it with blue.

I had the devil of a time matching the border lines on the front of the quilt with the border lines on the back of the quilt. After that, I started attaching the borders after the quilt was layered together using a quilt as you go technique that guarantees that the lines match up from front to back.

Rob's co-worker had a baby. There's just nothing quite like a pinwheel quilt for a baby boy. The back is a pieced pinwheel. A huge pieced pinwheel. Made a cute back, but imagine piecing a 45" pinwheel. That's like a half mile of bias edge trying to stretch out in front of you.

Then, the Mc's had another Baby Mc and got another Baby McQuilt. Not the picture I thought I uploaded of it this morning. But, you get the idea. Purple. And, on this quilt, we learned to ask what colors the Mother is decorating with.

Then some Cash's had a baby. Believe me, this picture makes this quilt look better than it did. The colors were so washed out. But, I'd waited until the last minute to make it, so no time to start over. But, lessons learned. Don't put a dark border on a pastel quilt. The dark border has flowers and butterflies in the colors from the quilt center. But, instead of making those colors pop in the border, the border made the center fade into obscurity.

And, then the Stock's had a dividend. Pattern from a magazine. Lots and lots of raw edge applique. In retrospect, probably not the best thing for a baby quilt that's going to get lots of laundry. I did cover all the raw edges with pink satin stitching. Miles and miles and miles of pink satin stitching. I still haven't been able to use all the pink scraps left from buying the variety I needed for this quilt. But, it is a cutie, huh?

Then, the Cash's had another baby. But, I can't find the pictures of that quilt. I don't even remember what I gave them and am ashamed to ask what it looked like.

And, the Stock's dividended again and I came up with an original pattern that I offered on the blog for this one. This was so much fun to piece. I just happened to have the perfect fabrics in my stash for it. If I could change anything about this quilt, I would have been more careful with the prints. Both the water and the sky have a horizontal line in the prints. But, to get all the pieces I needed, some of those prints got turned vertically. I could have averted that with more care.

But, ya' know what they say. The way to Carnegie Hall is Practice, Practice, Practice. I learn something with every quilt.

I found out last week that another co-worker is going to have a baby, so now I need to start planning for her quilt. Who knows what I'll come up with for her. She's not much of a pastel girl, so I'm thinking neutral, green, gold.

Inspiration, don't fail me now.


I've been looking through my quilts and I'm just not sure I can keep this little retrospective going until the 15th. So, I'll give you some teasers of chapters to come, though they may not be every day.

1. My antique quilt collection

2. The crazy quilt from LD

3. I fall in love with Bonnie Hunter (and am too shy to meet her when she's in town)

4. The Linus quilts

5. The sewing machine collection

6. I get involved in the local quilting community and then get uninvolved again.

Tonight, Sydney is making cupcakes for the volleyball team to commemorate the last game of the season tomorrow.

Next week is basketball tryouts. I'm sure she'll make it. She's not interested in soccer, so I'm hoping we can find some other sport for her after b-ball. She does so much better when she has something like that in her life.

Gonna brag for a minute, so if you don't like bragging, stick your fingers in your...eyes? No, don't do that. Just comment and move on. First grading period ended last Friday. That "borderline failing" (as described by the teacher) spanish grade has been pulled up from a low C to a high C, one painstaking point at a time. Poor Sydney does 45 min to an hour of Spanish homework every night, but she's seeing the results. No better motivator that seeing results and being rewarded for the work. Even my thank you's are getting through the gunk to her brain. All her grades for her core classes are A's and one elective has a B. I can live with that. I can even live with how mad she gets at me when I make her do an assignment again. After all, this child will likely be paying for part of my nursing home care. I need her well educated and well paid.



Bratling said...

They look gorgeous to me. but I'm only on my tenth quilt... if I ever get around to piecing it. I owe quilts to my two nieces. I bought the themed fabric (butterflies and fairies) picked the pattern (Snowball combined with double nine patch and yeah, I am crazy) and haven't even cut out the patches yet!

Coloradolady said...

Oh, all of these are wonderful! Congrats to Sydney and all of you guys hard work!! Glad that she is seeing improvement! One step at a time.

Tammy said...

Your baby quilts are very cool. I like the colourful pinwheel one the best. Congrats on effective parenting 101 or Sydney learns Spanish. You're an excellent dad Lane!

qltmom9 said...

OOOO...that PINK daisy! I want one! Wow. I wished I'd known you while I was having babies...at least until baby #5 when I learned to quilt.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Great post!! And brag away! I love hearing Sydney moments. Seriously! I'm having empty nest panic over here, that is when I'm home to deal with it. Jeff has now been moved out on his own for almost 4 months!

And THIS quote: "Made a cute back, but imagine piecing a 45" pinwheel. That's like a half mile of bias edge trying to stretch out in front of you."

I busted a gut!! Seriously! LOL!!

Just love the way you write...keep sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Love, love, love all those baby quilts. You do beautiful work. It is hard to pick a favorite, so I won't. I can pick a favorite feature about each quilt, though.

Loving the tour down quilt memory Lane.

xo -E

lw said...

These are all so beautiful, I can't wait to see what the next one looks like.

Vesuviusmama said...

The Stocks had a dividend - I love it! I also love that pink quilt! And yes, you do want a well-educated child to care for you in your dotage.

ShelleyK said...

Was the second Cash baby quilt this one? I did some sly investigating with Cash-Dad, "How old is E? I just read your wife's blog about his adventure this weekend."