A Mother’s Quilt

This is a busy time if year for everybody, myself included. Christmas and graduation are the most popular times for t-shirt quilts. Last week, I finished 2 quilts, I have 5 to do before Christmas, and then 2 more after that. Because many of these are gifts, I won’t share them on the blog till after Christmas, but this blanket was for a friend.

Jenica and I taught at the same elementary school and have been friends ever since. She has two daughters, her youngest is just a few weeks older then my son. She asked me a long time ago about compiling her daughters’ outfits into an adult sized blanket for her. After making the December Darlings quilt over the summer, I had a pattern and was ready to create Jenica’s keepsake.

This blanket uses 32 outfits and 32 flannel squares, each cut 7″ square. I tried my best to keep the dresses intact with ruffles, and am pleased with how that turned out. The blanket has a double flannel border and is backed with anti-pill fleece. Finished, this blanket measures approximately 70″ square. What makes this blanket so sentimental is that many of the outfits were worn by both sisters, and then there are several where the girls have matching personalized shirts. I did my best to keep the coordinating shirts beside one another.

Many friends have expressed interest in the baby blankets made with newborn onesies, but their kids are older and they didn’t save enough. This blanket has 7 years worth of outfits. It’s never too late to start saving clothing, and really, a quilt is a much better way to preserve these childhood memories than storing them in the attic.

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Baby Onesie Quilts

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- baby onesie quilts are my FAVORITE thing to sew. They are the perfect way to preserve your child’s baby clothes. I know I’m not the only one who has trouble giving away my son’s cloths. There are so many shirts or pajamas that have sentimental value, like the outfit he wore when he came home from the hospital, or my favorite sleeper that had the monkey on the butt… So many people save these precious memories, but they’re idea of saving them are boxing them up and throwing them in the attic. This quilt is something we use constantly. It allows me to keep my favorite things, without my husband calling me a hoarder.

This post is combining 2 different projects. Well, to be technical, 3 projects. The first were onesie quilts for a set of twin boys. Their mom got my name from a friend. (PS referrals are how I get business). She was so meticulous about what outfits she selected for their blankets. We chose coordinating fabric, an aqua and a navy gingham fabric. These quilts are slightly different from ones I’ve done in the past. They mimic how I do adult t-shirt quilts, and not the checkerboard pattern I’ve done in the past. The squares are still 6″, but there are 25 outfits instead of the 18. They still measure 42″ complete, and are backed with fleece as opposed to flannel.

The second (or third) project was a onesie quilt for my best friend’s daughter. She is exactly 10 weeks older than my son, and while these are outfits she wore her first year, it was a present for her second birthday. Belle loves owls, so her mommy selected this fabric, for her blanket. The back is a coordinating flannel print, in a bright and festive pink. This blanket measures 42″ square, and uses 18 outfits, each measuring 6″ square.

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Bridesmaid Dress Baby Quilt

A few months ago, I came across a picture on Pinterest of a woman who used a bridesmaid dress as fabric for a quilt to give as a baby gift for her friend (the bride). After some google investigation, I found her blog. I tucked this idea aside and hoped that I’d be able to do this at some point in the future.

That “future” arrived last month when a friend of a friend contacted me through Facebook, and showed me this exact same blog post as an example of what she was looking for. I was over the moon excited about this project.

The theme for the baby’s nursery is sailboats, so I went with that when selecting fabric. Because the bridesmaid dress is a satin, I was afraid of that fabric appearing out of place with other cotton or flannel squares. So, I decided to use an assortment of fabrics and textures. I think the finished product is amazing.

This quilt measures approximately 36″ square. The sailboat fabric is flannel, the red and white rope print is cotton, the brown and white stripes is seersucker, the blue nautical print is chambray, the white is muslin, and the brown is the dress. Baby blue minky dot fleece fabric was used to back the blanket.

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The December Darlings

I am so excited about this quilt. It is an adult size blanket, using baby onesies. 32 onesies to be exact, that came from 30 awesome women (plus myself). The story behind this quilt began over 2 years ago…

Social media plays a huge role in our lives. What you may not know is that sites like Baby Center and The Bump serve not only as online resources for new mothers, but as a community of women. There are groups for everything from pregnancy, to motherhood, those struggling to conceive, dealing with a loss, and everything in between.

I found out I was pregnant with my son, March 30, 2011. I was already a member of the Baby Center online community, so I searched for a due date group to join. I had no idea then the impact that decision would have on my life. The group was called “The December Darlings,” and was a private board for women due December 1-10, 2011. People shared every aspect of pregnancy- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We grieved together as some women suffered miscarriages, prayed together as some (myself included) received troubling news, and rejoiced as our babies were born.

As the year drew to a close, our group dwindled. What was once close to 200 women was now 73. Anyone who’s had a newborn knows that sitting down at the computer can be a challenge, so most of us accessed Internet through our phones (especially those up nursing a baby at 2 am). For convenience, we decided to move our group over to Facebook. Not everyone made the move, but for the ones who did, our bond grew stronger.

We’ve supported each other through the loss of parents, miscarriages, deployments, sick children, and spouses with cancer. We’ve celebrated as our babies reached milestones, new pregnancies and the birth of younger siblings, homecomings, and more. Somewhere along the line we started sending gifts, and that’s where the idea for the quilt came to be. How cool would it be to have a blanket made up with something from each of us… I was eager to take on this project, and after weeks of nagging, I got enough onesies to make the quilt.

I’ll spare you the details, and focus on the highlights. What started off as women with one thing in common (motherhood), and over the past 2 years we’ve become great friends. Our group consists of 36 women, spread out over 23 states. We range in age from 22-42. Some of us are first time moms, others have 7 children. Many of us have had the opportunity to meet one another; I’ve been fortunate enough to meet 3 of my fellow darlings (pictures below). As a group, our dream is for all 36 of us to meet with our babies. Anyone out there with the power and funds to make that happen- my contact info is available on the blog.

I think our story is powerful. Support comes in all forms. These women, most of whom I’ve never met, I consider my closest friends. I truly don’t know how I would have made it through the past 2 years without them. In an online arena, there is no shame in asking the kinds of questions new mothers have. In our group, sometimes we jokingly wonder how our ‘real world’ friends get answers to their personal questions.These women are my sounding board for everything, and I’m so so thankful for that decision I made, back in the spring of 2011, to join this group.

If you read through this, thank you! For those here for the quilt, this blanket consists of 32 onesies and 32 flannel squares, each measuring 7″. The teal border is 2.5″ and the snowflake border is 4″. The finished blanket measures 69″ square, and its backed with pale grey anti-pill fleece. We plan to “share” this blanket, sending it to those in need when they need it. I’m hoping nobody “needs” it soon because I’m not ready to part with it.

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Are you ready for some football?

Goodness, it’s been awhile. I’ll keep this post short, because really the pictures speak for themselves. I made this quilt for a friend, as a father’s day gift for her husband. He’s a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. The shirts were a combinations of his and hers, and then new shirts she bought specifically for the blanket. I love the fabric used on the front. I really don’t feel that pictures do it justice. It’s purple with metallic gold polka dots. I’d love to do a quilt like this for myself or family using Pittsburgh Steelers shirts…

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Busy busy

Things have been busy, so I’m going to combine these posts. This week, I’ve started & finished a t-shirt quilt and a baby onesie quilt. (Pictures below) The t-shirt quilt was for one of my best friends from high school, using her college sorority t-shirts. She lives and works in my hometown, and I visited her while I was home back in September. I helped her narrow down the shirts to include, and she settled on 20. There was no real deadline for this project, but I was going to be home this weekend, and wanted to have the quilt done to deliver to her. In typical Melissa fashion, I started this week (I am amazing under pressure).

I finished Heather’s blanket Wednesday, and immediately started another project. Erin is a friend of a friend. When I posted a picture of my son’s onesie quilt, she asked if I’d make one for her. She lives out of state, so she had to mail me the outfits to use. I’ve decided that the baby quilts are my new favorite. I think it is a great way to treasure your child’s jammies and outfits, and I hope I have the opportunity to make another one soon.

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Surprise for my sister

Since my sister graduated college, I’ve been bugging her to let me turn her t-shirts into a quilt. She finally turned them over to me this summer. I planned on making the blanket for her birthday in November, but decided it would be awesome to surprise her. My sister recently moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. She is getting her Ph.D. and works for the university. This is a phenomenal opportunity for her, but between hurricanes and bomb threats, she’s had a rough couple of weeks.

I am a horrible secret keeper, and I hate waiting, so this was difficult for me. It was hard not telling her what I was doing. Perhaps the hardest part was waiting for the package to arrive. (It didn’t help matters that I wrote the wrong zip code on the box, but we’re not going there…). I paid for Priority shipping, thinking that the package would get to her on Thursday. It didn’t. I thought it would get there Friday. It didn’t. I gave up hope, especially when tracking said the package was sent back to the sorting facility Saturday morning, but at 4:58 Saturday afternoon, I got a call from my sister- the quilt made it! She was surprised, excited, and in love with her new blanket. That phone call made all the stress of waiting worth it.

Here are pictures I took while making her quilt…

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Team Spirit youth quilts

I owe this idea 100% to my friend & neighbor. She asked me if I could create a baby gift for a child whose house was divided- one parent a Steelers fan, the other a Patriots fan. Because quilts are my favorite thing, I had a vision for a checkerboard pattern blanket, using fabric from both teams. I placed the order for the fabric and couldn’t wait for it to arrive.

In the mean time, I was at Hobby Lobby (for what, I’m not even sure), and browsed through the fabrics. I saw they had Atlanta Falcons fabric, and got an idea. My best friend and her husband are Falcons season ticket holders. Their daughter was turning 1, and I needed a birthday gift. I bought the fabric along with red gingham and red flannel to back the blanket, went home and got straight to work.

Here are both blankets-

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After these blankets were finished, I had the opportunity to create a LSU blanket for a friend’s little girl. Normally, I either purchase fabric from Jo Ann’s or Hobby Lobby, or I order from Fabric.com, but none of these had the purple LSU fabric that I wanted. I found it online, but (of course) had issues actually getting it. 2 weeks, 3 emails, and 2 separate shipments later… Here it is-

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The small blanket measures 36″ by 42″, and sells for $30, the larger blanket is 42″ by 42, and is $40. These can be created for any college or professional sports team, and are a great way to show your team spirit, or a house divided! Check out my Facebook page for ordering information.

Baby Quilt

I did something crazy. Something that might make some gasp. I cut up my son’s newborn clothes! I’ve had then put aside for awhile to make into a blanket, but didn’t have the guts to make the first cut… until yesterday. I wanted a way to preserve my favorite outfits and jammies, and this is the perfect way. The front squares are a soft flannel, matching the “snuggleyness” of the outfits. This isn’t finished yet. I am seeing a brown border around the outside, then an outer border with the same patterned flannel as the squares, but I couldn’t wait to share the latest Sew Sassy Creation.

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