Phoebe’s baby clothes quilt!

A year or so late, here is Phoebe's baby clothes quilt. Actually I'm not even going to say it's late. I'm very proud of myself. We all know how keepsake projects can sort of drag on — burning all the video onto cds, finishing baby books, filling albums, etc. I'm pleased as punch to have finished one of my baby memento projects.

It's a little willy wonky but not too bad for working with stretchy knits on a 25 year old machine with no walking foot.

People always ask me about Oscar's quilt,
how can I bear to cut up the outfits. For me, it's worth the wince of cutting into them to have the memories right at my finger tips. I box
away a handful of favorite outfits, ok more than a handful — the home from the hospital outfit, the tiny booties and hats, special gifts, handknit sweaters, tiny dresses and matching shoes, the list goes on. Then I save
all the knits, the worn, loved, sometimes stained with baby food, onesies and sleepers, pants and tops to cut into squares for the baby clothes quilt.

When cutting the squares I tried to keep little details like buttons, pockets and ruffles in.

Here are the specs: 13 rows of 13 squares, squares are 4" after sewing so I must have started out with 4 1/2". Finished quilt is about 50" square. The white fabric is flannel and all the knit outfit squares are backed in white flannel as well so 169 white flannel squares in all. I took a quick count, and this is probably not exact, but it looks like I used about 45 outfits with all repeating 2-4 times.

So there they are, frick and frack. Oscar's blanket got a new binding because I couldn't take the sloppy one it had a moment longer. And now I just need to embroider a little label on Phoebe's and they'll be a matched set.

48 thoughts on “Phoebe’s baby clothes quilt!

  1. Clair says:

    Those are gorgeous. I have been hoarding so much from my girls thinking I would make a quilt but hadn’t thought how to actually approach it. I love the details left on. Am I the only person who eyes up their new clothes thinking “ooh what could I do with that when you grow out of it?”

  2. Shelly Pope says:

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing this! I have been wanting to do a baby clothes quilt for all three of my little ones for about 6 years now! I love yours. Quite an inspiration.

  3. Visty Lindgren says:

    Very nice! I was going to do this with my older kids’ baby clothes, and I just gave up, because I didn’t see it ever happening. Makes me sad to look back at pictures with all those sweet prints that were a daily character in our lives. I could do one with my present toddler, but then maybe they’d feel jilted! I am trying to save their favorite clothes in these older years. There aren’t that many, but the one or two things per season that they wear a thousand times a week will be saved for a project like this someday.

  4. Jennifer says:

    My hubby has a whole stockpile of my daughter’s clothes that he wants me to make him a quilt with (he’s a little sentimental). Only problem is, she’s only 4! How long did you wait to start sewing with the clothes?

  5. nancy heard says:

    wow. that is truly an incredible work of memories and love. i dream of doing this same thing but i don’t know how to quilt. i even have quilt projects ready to go because i’m foaming at the mouth to do it but i’m completely baffled as to how to start. incredible job…it’s just awesome!

  6. Liz Allen says:

    I’m working on this too. My kids were both preemies so I saved all their preemie clothes are am making keepsake quilts out of them. I just couldn’t bear to part with those memories.
    And I like that it’s wonky, that’s the fun part!

  7. Happydacks says:

    It’s the Perfect theme for a quilt!!
    I love the idea of using your child’s clothing to make a quilt. Such a great use for all those stretched and stained fabrics I can’t part with. There are so many special memories in each piece of clothing.
    I have so many things on the go though I probably won’t post my own quilt until 2012+!!!

  8. susanintexas says:

    I would like to know this too! She did say that she sewed flannel squares on the back of the knit squares–or that is how I understood it…I guess that is to stabilize it? I’ve never ever sewn with knits–scares me…but this is such a good way to use all those boxes of baby clothes that it might inspire me to get over that completely irrational fear.

  9. ThreeBySea says:

    Too adorable! I was just asking on Twitter yesterday about quilting old baby clothes. I have a stack of stained stuff that I hate to just throw in the trash. Definitely have to put this on my “Things to Start” list.

  10. Hillary Lang says:

    yes, the flannel is to stabilize it. It really helped to keep things lined up when I was piecing it together. I used a needle for knits for my sewing machine, a ball point needle. other than that I have no special tips, except use a walking foot for the quilting if you have one. It’s not irrational to be afraid of sewing with knits but really it wasn’t that bad.

  11. Ammie says:

    This is beautiful. I have been hand-batiking onesies for Kidoodle, and I think this will be a fantastic way to save my designs once Kidoodle (and any other Kid-siblings) has outgrown them. Thanks!

  12. Denise Leavens says:

    Oh, Hillary! This blanket is so very precious. I have been enjoying all the sweet little details. I just spent a very engrossed 20 minutes pooring over all the pictures. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  13. taylored4baby.blogspot.com says:

    Oh wow! I love love love this idea. I have just finished packing away some of my babies items. I am not sure that I can cut into them…. The temptation is there though! Yikes… It’s absolutely stunning. Your daughter will love it/

  14. Mary says:

    Love it! I have an idea for the stretchy fabrics you can fuse flexi-knit stabilizer the opposite direction of the stretchy fabric. This way the fabric will not stretch as you sew it. Use this trick when making “T-shirt” quilts – works great.

  15. Angie says:

    Beautiful quilt–I’d love to do this for my little ones, but am a fairly novice seamstress. How did you back the knit with the flannel? Did you stitch the knit squares to the flannel first, then assemble the quilt? Did you use any fusible webbing?
    My experience with knits has been limited to appliqueing shirts, but I might have to give this a try.

  16. by little hands says:

    Your quilt came out beautiful. I made one with the baby clothes from my two daughters and it is the most special thing I own. I curl up under it every night and I hope that when I am old and grey I will still be able to remember my girls in each of those pecious outfits.
    And to those who are not sewers … either am I!!!! I just really wanted to do this and while it is far from perfect, I think that is part of its charm.
    http://bylittlehands.typepad.com/by_little_hands/2009/05/family-blanket.html

  17. Amanda Kunz says:

    I’m sorry – forgive my ignorance (but I love your quilt and would like to do something similar) … how do you use the flannel to stabilize it? When you are sewing the blocks together do you just slip the flannel underneath? Thanks in advance – I love your blog!

  18. Kristin says:

    I remember when you did the post for Oscar’s quilt, and I wanted to do the same thing and saved all my favorite outfits for my now 16-month-old son. Seeing this post has inspired me to get started on it now instead of letting the outfits continue to sit in my dresser.

  19. Tanya says:

    Thank you for posting/sharing this. I have a 3 month baby boy and I’ve been saving his clothes for just this reason. People have questioned whether it would work — since most of the clothes are so stretcy — I’ve said, “I’ll MAKE it work!” I’m so glad to see one that’s been done. It looks beautiful!

  20. Michele says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My daughter is 2.5 and I have saved almost everything I have of hers….I just can’t bear to sell or pass it on. She is my last lovebug so….well you get it. This is EXACTLY what I have been wanting to do but didn’t know if the knits would work! Both of yours came out just beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Amanda says:

    This is so beautiful. As I was looking at your pictures, I recognized some of the squares! My daughter is 18 months and had some of the same sleepers! One pink floral one from old navy with the ruffle was my absolute favorite! I wish I could sew, I would love to make something like this.

  22. Marissa says:

    Gorgeous! I’m working on two of my own right now (twin girls…what a project!) I’m wondering where you got your quilt back fabric? If the finished quilt is 50″, you must have used something other than the standard 45″ material, right? Thanks for the inspiration!

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