Why would I spend days making one when I can go online or to a department store and buy one more quickly and much more cheaply?
This is a question I have been asked many times as people see me sitting in a doctor’s office with my baby quilt on my lap and needle in hand quietly stitching on my latest handmade baby quilt. Or I will be sitting at the park watching my grandchildren play, and putting in a few stitches and someone will go by and comment on how beautiful the quilt is but state that they would never have the patience for such a project. How and what do I answer to these and many others.
Quilting handmade baby quilts is a passion. As a youngster, I learned the art of quilting and the love of sewing from my grandmother, as I sat for hours with her, listening to the hum of the sewing machine and watching her hands gently rock back and forth, as she created what I came to love as her beautiful patchwork quilts. I have always been a lifelong learner with a passion for quilting.
Many scores of my own quilts later, I decided to put this passion together with an up and coming venture idea –marketing on line. Thus, Unique Baby Quilt Boutique was born. Sitting peacefully either with my sewing machine designing the newest of my baby quilts or with one on my lap hand quilting, these hours spent are truly my mental health. For some running, or doing yoga calms the mind, but for me the steady hum of the sewing machine linking patches together or the steady rhythm of my needle as it pulls the thread to form even stitches in each block is my way of blocking out the stress of the day.
Where are those quilts that you bought from the department store 5 or even 10 years ago? Many don’t even last that long and I know in my house my son uses many in the garage for his projects! Yet the keepsake quilts that my Grandmother made over 100 years ago are still being used on my beds today. Why? They are not only important to me because they have been made by someone who was special in my life and will no longer be here to make me another, but these vintage quilts were made to last more than a few years.
Today, as I peer at one Grandma’s quilts, a memory of a dress I wore or my sister’s night gown come flooding back because those patches were made from those clothes. Grandma did not run down to the local quilt shop and buy fabric by the yard. Her quilts were made from the rag bag and are true keepsakes today. Today, there are types of handmade baby quilts known as baby clothes quilts. These use the outgrown baby clothes to make keepsake quilts. Just as Grandma saved clothes that were outgrown and no longer used, today parents can preserve the items that would otherwise be shoved into the back of closets and forgotten about for handmade baby quilts. Grandma never knew she was recycling before it was fashionable to do so.
To teach is to touch a life and so Grandma did so when I was a child. Her love of quilting inspired my passion. Today, it is my responsibility to pass this joy, my understanding of my craft, and my knowledge to others. From sitting my granddaughters on my lap as I piece together my handmade baby quilts, to teaching them the safety and the fun of using a needle and thread, it is important to spread my knowledge learned from years of experience and from the many wonderful and talented quilters I have had the honor to learn from since Grandma’s day.I hope that all quilters continue to teach the next generation and share their passion of quilting.
Handmade baby quilts are SEW special.