for a while, I’ve been wanting to begin making specialty quilts out of the super-special baby clothes that otherwise stay stowed away somewhere…too special to get rid off but without any real plan for what to do with them. this last month, I was blessed with an amazing opportunity to do just that for dear friends. they came over with three sacks of clothing….one filled with the precious clothing worn by their oldest daughter from her baby/toddler days; one bag of the same worn by their youngest daughter; and one worn by both. these were the items they couldn’t part with. the ones that it was impossible to put into the ‘give away’ or ‘donate’ pile. the clothes that instantly conjure up a sharp memory, smell, or moment from those fleeting baby days. and, rather than sit in a bag in her closet, she brought them to me so I could turn them into two quilts. one for each girl.
I love these two girls. I mean I LOVE THEM. I’ve known them since their days in the womb and I remember some of these clothes myself. making these quilts was emotional for mom and dad but also for me. it was not lost on me that I was trusted with something really precious. as I sat sewing away, the quilts in my lap, slowly transforming them into something so much more than just fabric scraps I could get a bit, ahem, emotional.
to make them, I started by cutting squares (and in some cases rectangles) out of the clothing and then using interfacing to stabilize anything that needed it, like the jersey knits. there were also some special requests like incorporating socks in some way, sewing on some special buttons and adding in a tassle from the top of a hooded jacket.
it took a long time to decide on layout and design, which happens to be the part I enjoy the most. for the older sister’s quilt I clustered some of the rectangular squares in the middle and discovered that the wording taken from her special clothes provided a sort of definition: ‘big sister’; ‘inspired’; ‘sweet, smart, and sassy’; and a characteristic apple from one of her sweatshirts. all together, the quilt started to look like her. I took a little moment for some happy tears when I realized this (told you…emotional). the other quilt came together in a similarly weepy manner.
after that, it was just piecing it all together and quilting it (stitching in the ditch). and, there you have it…time capsules in quilt form:
complete with tiny socks, beach wrap snippet, a scrap of a special dress from a first birthday, an important sweater, teeny-tiny jean pockets even bits from tights.
the funny thing is, while these quilts capture pieces from the fleeting baby days, I saw more of the future when I watched the girls react to seeing them for the first time. as they giggled, pretended to fall asleep, and jumped up to point at things they recognized in the quilt, they suddenly looked so big. and the days of onesies and swaddling blankets seemed so far behind. and, SO MANY amazing and incredible moments seem just up ahead.
are you interesting in having one of these made for your little but getting big people? if you are, get in touch and check out the specialty quilts page for information.