Menu
Inspiration / Quilting

Birdie’s swaddle quilt

Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.

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!

Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.

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.

Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets. 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.
Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.

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.
Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.Birdie's swaddle quilt // a herringbone quilt made from baby swaddle blankets.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
districtofchic1
districtofchic1
6 years ago

What an adorable idea! I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to my little one’s things, too and I would love to do something like this!

District of Chic

anya-zoe
anya-zoe
6 years ago

Such a great idea! and absolutely beautiful execution! I love it :)

Charlotte
6 years ago

Love the quilt & cannot believe she is already two!

Helen
6 years ago

This is such a lovely idea, and Birdie is such a cutie. My littlest one is 2 next week too. It’s scary. I hope to move mine out of his cot this summer and move both my boys into bunk beds. I am planning to buy new bed linen, but I do love the idea of making them both quilts too?

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago

I made winter pyjamas out of my boys flannelette wraps. I know they won’t wear them forever but I like they still wrap around them in some way. My aunt made the wraps. I haven’t decided what to do with the muslin ones. Perhaps a quilt.

kathryn
6 years ago

This is so lovely! I’ve just got into quilting and have seen a few quilts made from vests/onesies which I really like the idea of, as I’ve kept pretty much all the baby clothes!

My son still wakes up in the middle of the night when he’s thrown the blankets off and got cold (he’s 2 & 1/2). I’m hoping he learns to pull them back over himself soon, and I hope Birdie does too! What lovely photos too, aren’t they just even cuter than ever after naptime?!

Pam @Threading My Way
6 years ago

This is such a lovely idea, resulting in a beautiful quilt!

gingermakes
6 years ago

What a lovely quilt! And what a great way to use the swaddling blankets! Great job, mama!

Ruth
Ruth
1 month ago

The link for the inspiration pattern is no longer available. Do you by chance have a copy of the instructions? I would love to make a version of this quilt.