I am a bit of a nostalgic hoarder. If my kids ever touched anything, ever, it goes in a box and becomes an heirloom. I want to keep everything, but sometimes, that means no-one gets to appreciate things they’ve grown out of. Like swaddling blankets. I’ve made and loved so many swaddling blankets over the years. And when my kids outgrow them, they become doll blankets, or go in a box.
I didn’t want to do that with Birdie. I wanted to find a way to use her old swaddles, so that she could enjoy them in a special way for longer. That’s when i got the idea for a swaddle quilt. I spent a lot of time looking at quilt designs that were way beyond my skill level – but then i saw this amazing ombre herringbone quilt and a tiny spark of an idea formed. Given her herringbone inspired feature wall, i felt like a herringbone quilt would be quite fitting!
BUT it took me a long time to get up the courage to actually cut into the swaddles. This was one of those emotionally difficult projects. The kind of thing where you feel like you might cry the whole way. YUP.
But boy was it worth it!
I ended up using 5 swaddles in this project. 1 Jersey swaddle (the patterned one) 2 pink muslin swaddles, 1 white cotton swaddle, and 1 patterned muslin swaddle (the backing). PHEW> I worked on it really slowly over a few months, and then did the backing and quilting and binding in one day – that last burst. I am not the worlds best quilter, so i stuck with half square triangles, and machine quilted around the “squares”. i know, not very original, but i’m happy hehe. For the binding i used some Liberty scraps from one of Mini Tania culottes samples. At first i felt like the binding looked really messy and uneven, but oddly after a few washes everything is so nice and wrinkly that it’s pretty unnoticeable. Winning.
I don’t think i spend enough time practicing quilting to ever be very good at it – but i’m really pleased to notice that I’m improving a little bit each time. It’s funny, I always seem to make my kids their first quilt when they are toddlers – here is Bunny’s (my first ever and very messy quilt) and here is Buddy’s.
I am so happy with how this quilt turned out, and I love that i managed to find a way for Birdie to enjoy those swaddles i made her for even longer! I honestly finished this just in time. Winter is coming to Perth (actually it’s literally on the doorstep, last night was SO COLD), and Birdie has just gotten to the point where she can manage to keep a blanket on herself. Well kind of. Every now and then she yells at me at 2am to come put her blanket back on hehe. Please pass the coffee, i am very tired.
These are not the best photos ever, but here are a few shots of her after waking up from her afternoon nap – she was pretty patient with having a camera shoved in her face, she is such a sweetheart :)
She is two next week. I’m pretty sure she is growing up too quickly. I’m really not ok with that.