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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Oh Baby!

by Joy Rusonis

     My favorite quilt to make is a baby quilt. It’s a little odd when you think about it—I put hours and hours of work into an piece that I hope will be chewed, spit up on, thrown on the floor—and worse. But I really want my baby quilts to be used, loved, even worn out.

Nola's quilt
    The first baby quilt I made was for a special co-worker.  Her first daughter came a little later in life and not without a little heartache. When I offered to make her a quilt, I showed her some designs that I thought I could manage and took her fabric shopping where we talked about what she liked. We chose this Pam Kienholz design from a 2004 American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I hand pieced and hand quilted it.

    When I gave her the finished project at her baby shower, she came to me with a kind of sad look on her face. Someone told her that she should display the quilt, rather than use it. I told her that the quilt was hers to do as she wanted, but that I made it with hopes that it would be used. It became the quilt that she used when she nursed her daughter Nola. At four, her daughter is still attached to the quilt.

For Benedicta
and Marcus
The next two were for twins! Wow, that was a big project. I wanted to make them similar, but not the same. The nursery colors were yellow and gray with an elephant theme. I found a great pieced elephant design by Miri at Milk and Honey Quilts. I used two different yellow fabrics and 30s reproduction fabrics. I used the same patterns in different colors for each quilt, with the exception of the log cabin and the Dresden plate.

Luca’s quilt was a joint project. My sister and niece wanted to help, so I sent everyone a few fabrics pieces and let them go from there. My niece made a beautiful pin-wheel design, and my sister made foundation pieced animals. My blocks were traditional designs. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting until they came in the mail and the blocks were not all exactly the same size, so it was quite an adventure to put together.
Luca's quilt
     I was running a little late with the next quilt, so I chose a Big Block Baby Quilt design from Quiltmaker magazine. It was machine pieced and hand quilted. While this is the simplest quilt, I really like the bold design and color and I will keep this pattern for when I need a quick and easy quilt.
Chloe's quilt
    I am currently planning my next baby quilt. Maybe someday, I’ll even get to make one for a grandchild of mine! I’d love to see your baby quilts, because I am always looking for my next inspiration.


  1. Beautiful ! All the children and moms are so lucky to receive your talented gifts from the heart.

  2. a lovely selection of baby quilts, have hand quilted some but never hand stitched the blocks.I am putting a baby quilt on my blog in the next couple of days

  3. Your Babyquilts are lovely. I am due to make one for my first grandchild. Love your interpretation of what they are used for.

  4. Beautiful baby quilts! And what a gift from you... all hand made. It would be hard to use such a treasure, but my quilts are made to be used, too.


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