I like to make baby quilts about 3x5 feet approximately so they will fit nicely in a crib. A lot depends on the pattern being used as to the finished size. I have seen some small ones that would fit in a bassinet and feel that they grow out of this size too fast for the amount of work put into the quilt.
Any size you want. I usually make them 3 x 4 or 4 x 5. Basically you want it to be big enough to fully cover the crib mattress AND be big enough to cuddle in. Make it very sturdy and use a batting that can stand many repeated washings. Making it 3' wide will allow you use a 1 peice backing as fabric is 44" wide.
I let the design dictate the size. My baby quilts are never larger than 43" wide so that I can use 45" wide material without a seam for the back (laziness on my part). Sometimes I do squares, other times I'll do a rectangle, so it's longer one way....but it almost always depends on the design of the quilt.
For me, it depends on the pattern. The size of the block you're using can determine, in part, the size of the quilt. Does it work better square, or rectangular? What size borders look best? (I almost *never* think about the border size till I'm done with the rest of the quilt!) I've got a 36"x36" quilt from my sister which my two-year-old still uses in bed (it's a little small); I've made quilts for babies up to about 4'x5', I think (I haven't kept very good records). I also made a hexagonal quilt once -- I think it was about 40" across.
One question to think about is how you'd like the quilt to be used. Any size quilt *may* end up on baby's wall, even if you insist you made it to be used! A thin/flat quilt that seems rugged may get toted around, along with all that other baby paraphernalia (sp?), and used to cover baby in the car, in the stroller, or wherever. A larger, "fluffy" quilt will be more likely to end up in baby's bed. A quilt might even turn out to be a "play area" on the floor for a baby who's not yet mobile.
I've never yet known any parents who had too many baby blankets or quilts for their kids. Have fun!
I've made many baby quilts, and the size can vary, as you say. It depends on the pattern, the time you have available for the project, etc. I think, though I prefer quilts that will just about be crib sized: say 36x48 or so. This is big enough for covering a baby, small enough to drag around without leaving a winding trail of blanket for others to trip over.
My 4 boys all have baby quilts measuring about 45 x 60 inches. These just fit a full-size crib, and are large enough to transfer to a "youth" bed. The 7-yr-old still sleeps with his every night. Daddy borrows it when he is sick and sleeps sitting up in his lounge chair. It is the perfect size for a child of any age :-) All 4 of these were made with cotton flannel both top and bottom, and bound with flannel. They are wonderfully soft and cozy, and the boys will not part with them.
I recommend a bigger quilt if you want it to be used. My son received a quilt from a friend of mine when he was born that he is still using at 4 yrs, 11 mos. I usually make them about 40" by 50", or the width of the backing fabric, by the length - I usually use about 1.5 yrds. Check the size of a standard crib quilt batt, and use those dimentions.
I don't think there are any really hard and fast rules about size. A crib mattress is about 36 X 52 so you can use that as a guideline, or a quilt about 5 foot square is nice for playing and napping.
No matter what the finished size, your gift will be treasured!
I don't have any children either, but I guess I have a bunch of fertile friends because I've made a bunch of baby quilts. I always make mine 45"X60" (at least). Parents seem to like that a lot because the babies grow so fast. With a larger quilt, the kids can drag them around when they're toddling and even later.
As a quilter and a new mom -- I'd say that that range is just about right. ;-) Seriously, different sized quilts are useful for different things and at different stages. Right now, my baby is 6 weeks old. Her "favorite" (ie. the one I use most) is roughly 3x4' -- a pinwheel design in bright shades of fuschia and purple (with a lot of contrast, so she likes looking at the shapes). It's tied, with a fatt batt, and the backing is a wonderful batik of purple seagulls on fuschia. It's the perfect size for use in her pack-n-play (a portable crib/playpen) or the stroller; it's plenty large enough to be put on the floor for her to play on when we're out.
The quilts for her normal crib are about 45x60" -- which would also work on a toddler bed (many parents "transition" kids from a crib into a pint-sized bed that uses the crib mattress and bedding; so most crib quilts are a little larger than the actual crib to accommodate a toddler bed.) Many parents don't actually use a crib quilt in the crib until the baby is older... while they're still little, there's a risk of getting their head under it and not being able to breathe. Alex's crib quilts are hanging on a rack near the crib for now, although we'll start using them when she can move around more.
Finally, she's also got a few larger quilts (60x60" is my favorite) that I fold up when I use them at this stage, and will provide a larger cuddling/spreading out area when she's bigger.
Basically, any size quilt would be useful! I've even got some light-weight blankets that are about 26" square, and they're quite nice for while she's little -- although she will be outgrowing them soon! ;-)
My mother insists on making quilts that perfectly fit a crib (~32x40). As a mother, I say the bigger, the better (within reason of course). My favorite quilt of my son's is 40x52. Like everything else, it is a matter of preference.
I have made a lot of baby quilts for the ABC Quilt project. They range in size from 3X3 to 4X4 feet. If you want to make a quilt for the baby to drag around, this is a good size. If you want to make a quilt for the crib you might want to make it a little longer and narrower - say 3X5. I hope this helps.
By the way, be sure to overstitch or quilt about 1 inch in from the edge, and quilt or tie closely. Baby quilts get a lot of wear and tear. I have not had good luck with those pretty satin bindings around the edge. They wear out quickly.
Monica asked what size a bay quilt should be and I laughed right out loud -- must have hit a nerve! I, too, don't have any children, but in my bservation -- they all GROW UP! I plan the baby quilts I make in colors that I think will please these little people long after thay have been babies beneath them, and don't worry about the fact that they are 2 x 6 12 inch blocks with sashing. I guess I mean to say that quilts can be any size you like, that babies come in all sizes, even from the beginning, and anything you make will surely be appreciated by the parents, guardians, and future quilt collector (the baby). Andi in Tallahassee
The size that I love using (2 children, 9yr. &3yr.) and making are about 40"x70". Thats 2 yards of backing, batting, and top fabric. These are simply tied about every 4". The top fabric is your design. These are easy to make, machine washable/dryable, and hold up extremely well. They also make great "floor mats" for the young infant to play on when you don't want to put them directly on the carpet. These are much softer and washable, too.
Have fun, any size will work. These are only my preferences, though all I have made them for have loved them as well. Oh, they make up in 1 day or 2 evenings, so make great shower gifts. I have made one with a pieced Trip Around the World top that looked great, but took about a week of evenings to make.
I make mine about 76x76 or big enough to wrap a 1 year old up in.
Also on baby quilts- I often make a size about 36 x 45 for newborns. This size fits flat in cribs. I make them out of cottons and machine quilt them.
They wash fine and the parents lave to use them. They haven't become the child's "blankie" though. Babies seem to lean toward the satin edging and flannel like type. My daughter is very attached to one of this type as well as a bear made out of the same types of materials. At 10 months old she was able to give up her pacifier because she had her other security items.
I first contacted this group with a question about how big a baby quilt should be. I got lots of good replies. I made the quilt, and although it was not a technical masterpiece, it turned out to be quite pretty.
The parents liked it a lot, and as a result rarely use it. They do not want the baby to wreck it! Even though I assured them that I purposely made it to be sturdy - polyester batting, lots of machine quilting, no transparent nylon thread, etc. Part of it is definitely my fault - much of the quilt was white. Well, so much for it being a baby quilt!
I use whatever fabric/pattern I like. If it is meant to be -used- then I don't mind if it gets to looking used. I once made a Dresden Plate with alternate white blocks. It is hand quilted with echo quilting around plates and feathered circle in alternate blocks. It now resides on the bed in our guest bedroom. BUT, that is where my three daughters (ages 9, 6, 6) color and play. The quilt has become everthing from a picnic blanket to a tent to a cape. It has held up well. It does have a few stains from permanent markers, but all-in-all it has served us well. I like the fact that they enjoy it. I have made quilts that I don't want them to abuse. They hang on the wall or on a quilt rack that is "off limits".
When one of my nephews was born I made a star quilt. It was a "quickie" quilt, that is, it is one huge star - on a white background. It is a tied quilt. Last summer, my nephew (now 14) and his mom came to visit us for a week. She was showing me his pile of stuff on the bed. She pulled out a rather ragged lump of cloth and asked me if I knew what it was. Then she spread it out. It was the star quilt!! Very worn and sad looking now. She said that he always slept with it as a baby. When he ourgrew the "blankie" stage, he didn't want to give it up, so he folded it up and used it as a pillow. It has been his pillow ever since, and he takes it everywhere. So, I guess it depends less on the quilt and more on the "baby".
I use one that was made from a preprinted panel, and machine quilted. I got it in a thrift shop so there is no sentimental attachment!
I also use one made by a friend of mine, I know she meant it to be used, but now I'm sorry I did since the navy blue fabric has faded badly from washing. (Of course, it might have faded anyway from exposure to light). So dark colors aren't necessarily the answer.
I also made several quilts for my daughter but she prefers to sleep with an old wool afghan with a hole in the middle that I got for $1 at a garage sale :-)
About the favorite baby quilt: My MIL made a quilt of flannel for my December baby. It was soft, warm and snuggly. Robin slept with it for years and has it in her cedar chest now - she's 34.
All of the colors are faded almost to white, but it is still intact.
The question brought back sweet memories.
Well, as Maya is 7 months old I don't think she has a favorite blankie yet, but the one I REALLY use is one I made that is approx. 45 inches square. It is my own design -- I could send you a photo if you're interested. I made it in bright colors -- black/white/red/yellow and the back is green. I used a fatt batt and tied it. One of the fabrics is white with black polka dots. She loves to stare at it. I mostly use it on the floor. She plays on it, throws up on it and pees on it. It's very washable/dryable. I also throw it on the back of the rocking chair and she likes to stare at it when I sit there holding her over my shoulder.
As I said, I can send you a picture of it but it was VERY easy to make! (Hard to describe the design. It's kind of similar to a quilt that was used on one episode of Full House that you saw for about 10 seconds. That's where I got the idea. :-) )
The baby quilt that I love and use the most was given to me for my second child. It's nothing fancy, two pieces of two yard fabrics, polyester batting, and tied. One piece of fabric is the top, the other piece is the backing, and the backing is pulled forward for the binding. I have made several of these for baby gifts and sewed them together "inside out" leaving a 10" opening for turning, sewing the backing and batting together along the opening, and hand sewing the opening closed. The dimesions vary by the width of the fabric, the shrinked in the length, and the straightness in cutting off the bolt.
The most wonderful thing about these quilts is that they are large enough for: a play area on the floor, to be tucked in around the sides and bottom of the crib, to be used on a toddler bed, to wrap up a large 3 year old, or anything else that you could think of. Mine has been washed too many times to count in the last three years and still looks great (even with the majority of it being white background)!
The batting is the polyester (off the roll is how I usually get it) 4-6oz. depending on the availability. Both turn out soft comfy quilts. I enjoy making these because I feel every baby (even the third or more) deserves her/his own quilt. They take just over 2 1/2 hours (for me) start to finish to make. I have a _very_ easy way to tie them, you only have to do the marking once and _never_ again.
Our first baby's favorite quilt was a flannel nine-patch my mother made her; it was tied and nice and fluffy. It got drug around until it fell apart. I've saved pieces of flannel from nightgowns to make flannel "bankies" for the next generation.
A lot of baby quilts I make as gifts I back with flannel -- it seems to be a very popular thing, as people tend to open them gingerly, saying "oh, how beautiful" and then when they feel the flannel they suddenly relax and spread them out on their laps. I don't know why; I guess flannel is just a very friendly fabric. I use a fatt batt and tie most baby quilts; the others I machine quilt. I have made hand-quilted crib sized quilts before, but they've all been decorative, like for a nursery wall. I made a quilt for a one year-old friend of mine, and that was a snowball 9-patch with bears & balloons in the setting squares, and flannel backing. Instead of a binding, I gave it a ruffle that she loves playing with. It's definitely her favorite blankie, but it looks awful at this point -- the mother wanted navy blue and red (I added white and yellow) but the husband does the laundry and will only wash in hot. You just can't wash a navy blue and red quilt in hot water! This is something to take into account when making a quilt as a gift -- I'd told them from the outset (and even put it onto the label) that it could only be washed in warm water, but I knew they wouldn't listen. While it doesn't seem to bother the baby at all, I know it bothers them that it looks this way! I guess they'll know to believe me next time!
For my own baby (due 12/4/93) I've got a few quilts that I'm planning to make EVENTUALLY... I'm making a small (40" square) quilt in bright magenta, purple and teal to go on adventures with the porta-crib, and that will probably be tied. I'm making a standard (45x60") sized one in mauve with a blue print and natural muslin background for the regular crib, and that will be machine quilted (actually, I started this one a year ago, long before the baby was started! So this one's almost done) Then I think I'll make a bright scrappy tied quilt that's a little larger for picnics and spreading on the ground to play; I'll probably back this one with flannel. For general stroller use and such I've got a bunch of all-cotton crocheted blankets, and I think these will be nice because they pack up small and hold up to a lot of washing. However, remember that this is all theory since this will be our first! ;)
My favorite "baby" quilt was made by by Grandma and I have had it ever since I can remeber. It is made out of scrap squares of heavy late 60's, early 70's polyester fabric (blue with white ploka dots, red, blue/white mix, blue with stripes, and yellow with very ugly red and blu geometric flowers). She knotted it on the corners and quilted it diagonally. the top and bottom of the quilt is dso thick and heavy it needed no batting. It may be ugly but I could not sleepo one night with out the security of that heavy quilt. When I graduated from high school she gave me another similarly made quilt, though out of pastel plaids (like mens shirts are made from). Now I have one to sleep under at my parents home and one at mine. It is amaxing how attached you can get to something out of your childhood.
Another interestin thing about my grandmother was the source of her materials. My Grandfather was the manager of a small department store so brought home tons of fabric swatches. Usually the fabric was not top of the line and thin, but you could get about a fat quarter in one pattern in many colors. My Grandma's quilts were never very artistic. She would sew together odd pieces or squares of old blankets and sheets to make every day coverings for bed. She whould also use what ever old threadbare sheet or blanket that was handy for the inside 'bating'. When we were cleaning out her house in April (she has Altzheimers and lives in a nursing home) I liked looking at these odd quilts. One I like was a reall mish mash and even used old ties. As I was examining it closer I noticed a hole and saw the name of some ancester embroidered. My practical Grandma had used an old family quilt (from before she was born) inside on of her every day quilts. The family was amazed and my mother saisd she had remembered seeing it as a child. Unfortunatley one of my older aunts grabbed it when no one was looking so I do not know if I will ever get to see the whole quilt.
Your story of your grandmother's quilt brought to mind the ones my grandmother made. She also used whatever she had at hand for the fillers. We had quilts made with men's wool work socks. When the socks wore out, she cut them to lie flat and sewed them together into a "bat". The quilts were quite warm but incredibly heavy to sleep under. The tops were scap quilts from leftovers or parts of old clothes. They weren't fancy but she did have a good sense of design.
I don't put too much effort into the baby quilts because they will get washed alot and faded with use. So I usually do a quicky patchwork, or just buy a cute top and add ruffles.
I have always back the quilts with flannel and just tied off what ever front I had used. I am happy to say that all the baby quilts that I have made have become the kids favorite. My theory is it is the soft flannel that makes the quilt.
I usually use puffy batting for the middle.
One common mistake - dont' make the baby quilt too small, the kids grow fast. I would make it a minimum of 1 1/2 yards long.
I usually make "one block" baby quilts with all my scraps of 2 1/2" squares.
In one of the quilts I made I picked out all the squares that had blue in them, added muslin to it and machine quilted it with diagonal lines. The blue helped to tie it together and it was very pretty and fast to make.
I also make 44" squares from flannel for winter babies and sear sucker for summer babies, edging them with pretty lace or rick rack. My granddaughter's remaining "bookie" is about 8" square at this point and VERY grey!!
It's hard to stop, once I get started.
Many years ago when the kids were tiny and we couldn't spend money for beach towels, I made a plain white one from bargain-sale terry. My daughter adopted it as her "blankee", she loved the softness. By her teens it fell apart from washing, and she was just keeping it under her pillow anyway. So when the shreds got terminally grubby I let them sit in the laundry basket for years thinking she'd forget about it. Not so, at age 22 she asked for a copy! (She got it.)
I have really enjoyed reading about everyone's ideas for baby quilts and it reminded me of one I made my grandmother. She had entered a nursing home the previous year and had requested a small lap quilt. I told everyone in the family that I would make it; I'm the only quilter other than her in the family (there's still hope for my sister though). I made a scrap quilt using all the bright fabrics I could find since her eyesight was failing rapidly. I used fat bat for the batting and flannel for the backing and the edging. I tied it. She *loved* that quilt just like the small children mentioned in previous messages. I was concerned about how well it would launder in the industrial laundry of a nursing home and it held up for several years. It also made me feel wonderful since she was the one who made quilts for everyone else in the family (including my son, her great-grandson) and it was now her turn to get a quilt from me. She died 5 years ago but every time I do anything with quilting I remember her and her stories about her mother and grandmother. Thanks for letting me share this with all of you.
Thanks, guys. I was amazed at the response to my baby-quilt question. Some people asked for a summary - well, my personal e-mail responses pretty much said the same as those sent to the group - babies like flannel, their moms like it when the stains don't show too much. Some people like satin binding, others don't, because it falls apart and needs replacing. 45 x 60 is average size, 45 or 40 square is small. I think I will go with 45 x 60.
My own blankie was a dark tomato colored piece of some kind of rough fabric, with a satin binding. I loved that thing. When I was 2 1/2 my brother crushed my finger with a croquet mallet, (visualize that, Carolyn Y!) and I remember quite clearly absolutely refusing to go to the hospital without my blanket. I kept shreds of it until I was in high school.
My baby quilt (from the 40s -- eat your heart out, Andrea!) is Sunbonnet Girls, each dressed in a different print and embellished with embroidery, lace, buttons, etc. It's ragged around the edges, but it's hanging on the wall of my sewing space. That's sort of a charm quilt, too, isn't it?
Cindy writes about the quilt she made for her grandmother when she entered the nursing home. I did the same when my grandmother reached that point. It was a Christmas present, so I used reds and greens in Christmas prints I used flannel with multicolored hearts for the back, and a red eyelette ruffle. She thought it was beautiful and was surprised and pleased when she realized it was for her! She had that quilt with her everyday for the next 4-5 years. It was washed with the regular nursing home laundry and it did get a bit worn. When she died, my mother was with her, and the quilt was on her bed. Mom brought the quilt home for me, and I keep it on my bed as an extra cover. The greens have faded to blue and yellow, and and it doesn't look christmasy any more, but it has to be the softest quilt around. I love having it as it reminds me of her, and it helped me to know how much she loved it, even when she no longer knew who I was. I highly recommend making quilts for the elder folks as well as the babies.
Happened to catch the 6 o'clock news last night. There was a pretty scary segment about the fact that they have been able to document that 25% of all the babies that die of SIDS were sleeping face down on wool sheepskins.
That makes me wonder if a wool batt might not have similar dire potential.
They stated that when an infant sleeps face down on the sheepskin, they keep re-breathing the same air. The wool fibers hold the moisture from their breath and consequently fresh air doesn't come into the area where their face is. Eventually, the oxygen in the air they're using is insufficient to keep them alive.
I imagine that a plain wool batt, i.e. one not enclosed in a quilt, might have the same potential. However, if the baby's quilt or crib bumpers or mattress cover were wool batt covered with fabric, the cloth would be a bar- rier keeping the wool fibers from the baby's nostrils/mouth. It seems to me that the danger in the sheepskin is that the wool fibers, being loose, can block the baby's nose and mouth not enough to immediately suffocate the baby but enough to not allow fresh air in. A cloth barrier between the fibers and the nose and mouth would prevent the fibers from blocking the baby's breath.
If this is right, an uncovered cotton batt would be just as dangerous as a wool one.
A few years ago there was something on TV about SIDS which I remember (my sister's best friend lost her baby to it). It said that only babies who are put down to sleep face down are subject to SIDS; that pediatricians had been used to advise parents to have their babies sleep face downwards; but that only sickly babies, ones who were likely to vomit in their sleep, ought to sleep face downwards on a regular basis. It said that healthy babies ought to sleep on their backs, because the only way they could die in their sleep is via SIDS, and for that they'd have to sleep on their faces.
So it sounds to me like, to avoid SIDS, a parent should put her/his baby down to sleep face up, unless the baby's ill, in which case the parent should remove things like sheepskins and naked batts from the crib anyway!
Actually, the reason sheepskins were dangerous was not the fibers entering the baby's nostrils and mouth, but the LEATHER didn't allow air to pass through. A wool quilt batt would (or should, anyway) be fluffy enough to allow air to pass through unobstructed.
Either Time or Newsweek had a short article on this subject this week. Wool, sheepskin, or quilts were not mentioned as a culprit in SIDS, rather the practice of putting babies to sleep on their stomachs was cited as a common thread in SIDS. Many European countries have held national campaigns to educate parents and encourage them to put babies on their backs, and the reduction in SIDS has been remarkable. This practice is still not widely recommended by doctors in the US (not enough proof they say). There are several theories about why placing babies on their backs makes such a difference, the "recirculated breathing air" being one, and the physiology of babies mouths and throats being another.
I guess I got a bit off the track, but I thought this information might take some suspicion away from quilts, and spare some generous quilter from worry.
My grandmother made my sisters and I all quilts when we were kids and always backed them with flannel. They were not quilted, but tied. When we started having children, she made them baby quilts which were pieced flannel on the front and solid flannel on the back, still tied. I love making baby quilts from flannel (usually nine patches) for baby gifts. I have never quilted these, but always tied them. I guarantee it will be a quilt which is used and not hung on the wall or put away to be saved. I think mothers and babies really like them.
When I make my baby quilts I always have in mind that the can be enlarged. I would remove the binding and add as much new sashing as necessary to make the quilt fit the kid!
Make up the new sashing sections for each side/end. Cut pieces of fiberfil [to match existing] the sizes of the completed pieces of sashing. Sandwich the sashing and fiberfil over the right side of the quilt and sew them on. Take new backing for the new parts, cut it oversize on the width. Place the backing, right sides to the old back with a healthy seam allowance which covers the new seam.
gee, could I draw this?
salvage of new back>| /\ new backing old backing new fiberfill new seam old fiberfil new sashing /\ old quilt top
get all of these 'letters' pinned together [make sure you get the seam turned in towards the new, not the old, and flip over and stitch in the ditch of the new seam. This stitching should go over the edge of the new backing. Now you may flip the new backing over the new sashing/layer and finish with new binding.
Disclaimer - I have never had the opportunity to try this, I always make my baby quilts BIG. Actually, I make them to the size of a twin bed mattress top, so if sashing were added they would look like they were made for the twin bed.
Someone asked about tying a baby quilt. I have a way to tie quilts that never comes apart, even if the ties untie! It goes like this:
The three layers are secured together first of course!
Next I thread darning needles or tapestry needles, those long needles with a big eye with a longggggg length of thread. I thread as many needles as I own! and use knit crocheen(sp) or pearl cotton when available in the color(s) I need.
Then bring the needle up from the bottom, leave a long tail maybe 4 inches to begin with, then go down again, then up again and down again nearly in the same spot then down again close to where I went down before. This forms a double vertical or horizontal line depending if you went to the side when you came up or top when you came up.
NEXT Do not cut a thing, move to the next spot probably 3-4 inches away and leave a loop maybe six inches underneath and continue on to the next spot etc, etc.
NOW when you are done tying, all you need do is cut in the center of the loops, and you have long enough lengths (3 inches or so) to work with to tie. Then you can trim your ties to the desired length.
I try to make a graphic, but it was more confusing, so just read this slowly and if you don't understand, e-mail me separately.
I have tied quilts that have been abused and untied, and are ten years old but can't pull the ties out. So I believe this is safe for a baby!