When you have a child, every piece of clothing that touches their skin is precious. You want to save the outfit you took him home in, the pajamas he wore when he first slept through the night, the bib he had on when he tried cereal for the first time…. Since we can’t keep our babies tiny forever, saving their clothes is the next best thing. When the clothes outgrow the closet, and you have to make room for bigger sizes, a baby memory blanket will allow you to keep the pieces you love and transform them into something new and unique. How do you make a memory blanket?
There are different ways to make a baby memory blanket, depending on your level of comfort with sewing machines or embroidery needles. But regardless of how you are going to make the quilt, whether it's for your baby or to give as a baby gift, the first step is to gather your fabric. A 36-inch x 6-inch quilt will use about 30 articles of clothing, depending on the size. Lay out the pieces you want to incorporate into the memory quilt to get an idea of the colors and patterns that are emerging. Cut squares of the same size: for a 36x36" quilt, for instance, 6x6 inch squares are great. You can supplement your baby clothes with other fabrics: fleece and flannel are especially well-suited to baby quilts.
If you prefer not to use any of your baby’s clothes, you can use other fabrics and embroider them with names or special memories. You can use fabric paints or pens to decorate the squares, or better yet, to have each family member make a square. You can also buy photo fabric to incorporate pictures into your quilt or have fabric squares made by photo printing companies. This certainly lets you remember all the special moments without sacrificing clothing that could be used again.
An easy way to complete the quilt is to sew your squares on a soft blanket. This gives you the shape and form, not to mention the beautiful texture that you need. It is a bit easier than assembling everything, basting, quilting, and binding a quilt, although that certainly is an option as well. It is more time-intensive, but the results can be more traditional and lovely.
After the squares have been sewn or quilted, you can adorn the top by sewing on cute baby socks, hats, mittens, or bibs. These are cute embellishments, and when your child is grown, you’ll marvel that his feet once fit in these tiny little socks.
If all this talk of sewing has put you in a panic, don’t worry. You can still make a beautiful baby blanket. Ticche and Bea, for instance, sells a reasonably priced kit that comes with pre-cut squares, batting, cotton backing, templates, straight pins, safety pins, and very clear, detailed instructions. You simply assemble the quilt, saving untold time. If this is not calming your sewing fears either, you can send the squares you’ve made from your baby’s clothing back to Ticche and Bea, and they will sew the quilt for you. This costs about $40 more, which may be well worth it to save you time and pricked fingers.
A baby memory blanket will allow you to preserve treasured memories while making entirely new ones. They also make wonderful gifts when your baby is all grown up and expecting a baby of his or her own.
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