Our office is fairly bursting with babies. Two women are due this month, another is due in the summer, and last fall two coworkers became first-time grandmothers.
This mini baby boom has everyone digging out their baby quilt patterns, eyeing fabric samples for colors and patterns that would make pretty baby quilts, and sharing ideas for other handmade baby gifts.
So far we’ve created flannel burp cloths, bibs, knitted jackets, and an assortment of crib quilts.
Here are some tips for creating quilts and accessories for the modern baby:
1. Baby quilts are mean to be used-and spit happens! Not only should your fabrics and trims all be washable, it makes sense to wash, dry, and press all fabrics before you start sewing. This will also ensure that you don’t get shrinkage later on that could distort the quilt. In addition, pre-washing the fabric reduces the baby’s exposure to dirt and chemicals from the cloth.
2. For comfort and durability, look for high-quality cotton fabrics and soft flannels.
3. Pastels and primaries are tried and true–but consider bright greens, oranges, and unusual color combinations like soft gray and ochre.
4. Intricately pieced patterns make impressive quilts, but if you’re looking for easy baby quilts to make, you might try a wholecloth quilt or mat decorated with appliqués and or simple stitching.
5. When making any item for babies and small children, leave off small items (like buttons) that can become choking hazards. Also, make sure strings or straps are too short to wrap around a baby or child’s neck.
This free play mat and baby quilt pattern designed by Meg McElwee would make a terrific sewing project for a new baby. You can download it instantly from our website.
You can also get Quilting Arts instantly–on an app, downloaded to your computer or e-reader, and so on. Check out all the digital subscription options we have for you.
P.S. What’s your go-to baby quilt pattern or other handmade baby gift? We could use some more ideas!