Baby Quilts: Your Tips on the Perfect Baby Quilt Pattern and Nice to Meet You!

Hello Quilters! My name is Carrie Sisk and I recently joined the Fons & Porter team as their new Online Editor. I can’t wait to jump right in and discuss fabulous quilts, talented quilters and ways we can ramp up our skills. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with the Fons & Porter team for some time now and I can attest to their great knowledge and skill when it comes to the art of quilting. I can see you furrowing your brow at my contradicting statements. Just joining the team, but have worked with them for a while? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let me further introduce myself…

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I’m a new mom with a six-month-old daughter who keeps life interesting! She has opened my eyes to a variety of worldly perspectives, including my interests. This discussion could go on for hours, but let’s keep to quilting, shall we? I’m looking into starting on my first baby quilt. Making a baby quilt for your baby is a big decision since I will need to squeeze this project in during my daughter’s naps and it is something she will have for the rest of her life. If you could choose one pattern, what would it be?

I’d love to hear about your ideas on how to make a baby quilt. This Baby Genius Synapse quilt by Linda Carlson (pictured), from an issue of Easy Quilts, looks like a winner.  Do you think a baby can become a genius from a quilt? Tell me about your favorite patterns for baby quilts.

So, as promised, my backstory…

For the past couple of (exciting) years, I’ve been the Talent Coordinator for F+W Media’s Video Department in Golden, Colorado and I’ve worked closely with some of the most talented instructors and artists in the crafting industry, including our very own Jean Nolte and Colleen Tauke of Fons & Porter. And, wow! What an experience! Most recently, I worked with quilting all-stars Patrick Lose, Marsha McCloskey and Deb Tucker. They share a sense of community that seems to envelope all quilters and they’re excited to share their knowledge with those who want to learn more. I was impressed with their focus, dedication, commitment and overall passion for all things quilting. So, here I am! I’m knee deep in quilting and loving it. In short – I dig it, man.

Thank you, kind quilters, for lending an ear and welcoming me into your community. I look forward to hearing from you and learning what you have to teach me.

Oh, yes. Don’t forget to leave comments with baby quilt ideas!

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Happy Quilting!

Carrie

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Carrie Sisk

About Carrie Sisk

Carrie's first sewing machine was a gift from her dad—a better gift was never given. A crafter, trained pianist and experienced paintballer, when the opportunity arises, she's hiking in Yosemite or Rocky Mountain National Park.

38 thoughts on “Baby Quilts: Your Tips on the Perfect Baby Quilt Pattern and Nice to Meet You!

  1. Baby quilts are fun to make, but I have a request for a different sort of pattern you might consider for your publications:

    A great number of quilters are making quilts for the Ronald McDonald Houses, and the preferred size by this organization is 40×40. In an effort to maximize the number of quilts made, it is best if the patterns are simple and quick to make.

    Any help with ideas would be appreciated.

    Thank you for considering this request.

  2. Favorite pattern for a baby quilt would be tumbling blocks. It just seems suitable. Whatever pattern you use, make it in bright colors and ones with motifs a child can identify: bird, flower, cat, dog, apple, banana, etc. My mother made a bird quilt for my children and they would name “bird” when they used it. Keep us posted.

    1. That’s sweet. I’m a fan of birds and owls as baby décor. I like a nice Tumbling Blocks quilt, as well. It would provide great visuals for a growing, learning baby. I’ll make sure to blog about my baby quilt as I get it going! Now to find the time. 😉

  3. I just made a No Measure Bargello quilt for my StepDaughter’s soon-to-be-born baby boy. I chose a collection of blue batiks… but pink would be so beautiful for a girl. It looks like a difficult quilt to make – but I’ve only been quilting for 6 months and mine came out BEAUTIFULLY! Whatever you choose, your daughter will love and cherish it. Happy searching 🙂

    1. Wonderful idea, Kathleen! I love the look of those quilts. My options are mounting and I want to make them all! I’ll need a place to put them. Do you have a photo of your finished quilt? I’d love to see it!

  4. My favorite baby quilt so far is a pattern I bought years ago called “Snuggly Bug Quilt”. It alternated blocks of bug or flower appliqués between bright colored squares. What makes it so great is that all the appliqués are outlined with chenille strips that give the quilt soft texture in 3-D. Kids love the tactile nature of the appliqués.

  5. The challenge with making a baby quilt is getting it made before they leave for college!
    The choice of making a “Keepsake Quilt” or a “love it up/use it up quilt” has to be made.
    I believe in both kinds, but I enjoy making “love it up quilts.”
    Keep it simple. Make it durable and washable. Then while she is using it for Tummy Time, you can work on the Keepsake Quilt.
    Although I love interesting quilt patterns, a big part of the appeal is the fabrics.
    Babies are the best! Take time to enjoy being a new mom!

    1. Haha! Getting anything done before they leave for college feels like a challenge right now. 😉
      I had a “love it up” quilt when I was a kid. I loved that quilt until it was in such bad shape, I had to take the batting (which was separate at this point) and wrap the fabric around it, making a sort of lollipop shape. I loved that quilt to death! I’ll take your advice and start with one of those. The keepsake quilt will come after.
      Babies are the best, I agree! Being a mom is pretty great, too. Such an enjoyable time in life!
      Thanks for commenting, Marcia! I appreciate your input.

  6. My favorite baby quilt was an ABC quilt using coloring book animals and things for ideas…..I also used the baby’s hand print for H …hand…..This quilt was made 40 plus years ago when I was still doing all my appliqué by hand….Now, it is a family keepsake….
    My second favorite baby/ child quilt idea is a 100 block memory quilt….I’ve made 7 for the GRANDS, ages 4/11 and use all the child’s favorite interests and colors in their individual quilt…..
    Right now I am looking for a bookcase quilt pattern to make a teen quilt….Any ideas on where to find one?

    1. I love a quilt with a story! It’s fun to hear about quilting for different ages, as well. I’m on the search for a bookcase quilt pattern and will get back to you shortly with the information I gather. Thanks for the comment, Joan!

    2. Hi Joan! I’ve searched high and low for a bookcase pattern from Fons & Porter, Quiltmaker and others. I am unable to locate one. I did, however, find a blog by Jamie from International Stashes: A Group of International Quilters who describes the process of making a bookcase quilt. At the end of her discussion, she suggests emailing her if there are any questions. Here’s the link to that blog: http://internationalstashes.blogspot.com/2014/07/jamies-bookcase-quilt-august.html. I would love to see a picture of the quilt once it’s completed!

  7. Welcome to the quilting family! I love your enthusiasm and congrats on your baby girl. A quilt I remember as a child was a butterfly quilt that my grandma made with all different scraps of material from other things she had sewed. The eyes and antennae as well as all the squares were hand-stitched and I spent hours going from square to square looking at the variety of patterns and designs. It gives me a warm feeling just thinking about that quilt and realize now the hours it took to make it!

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you for the welcome and the well-wishes! I’m so happy to be here.
      I love hearing about sweet childhood memories, especially when it’s about treasured items from our loved ones. Quilts are such an emotional experience for the quiltmaker and the recipient – what a positive force! We can always use that in our lives, don’t you think? I look forward to creating memories like this for my little one. 🙂

  8. I have made 2 floor quilts in the last year for nieces who are new Moms and planned on returning to work within the year. This fact was important because their babies would be in the care of others for some days a week and I guessed that they would like to feel that their babies are in a safe environment. One was alternating 6″ blocks of light and dark denim with the alphabet embroidered on the light denim blocks. By the time the cotton batting and a slightly heavier weight cotton became the backing, this quilt became a floor quilt – a play space that was their child’s own space wherever he went, be it day care or babysitter. I embroidered his name and birth info on one block so that it could not b lost and he could know how much I cared about him and his family. The second was similar in stow and size but the fabric content was heavy weight sweatshirts for the top and heavy weight fleece for the backing. I was very proud of both and knew they could be washed safely and provide a fun and functional play space. Best wishes with your new little one.

    1. Hi Regina! If you gifted me with either of these quilts, there would be plenty of tears. I’m sure your nieces appreciated the amount of thought and love you put into these very special quilts! I think the alphabet idea is a great one. Also, using washable, durable fabrics is definitely a take-home tip. I love this story! Thanks for sharing and for the well-wishes.

  9. Welcome! Naming a favorite pattern is next to impossible for me so I will share my thoughts about baby quilts more generally. As mentioned before bright colors with items of interest to kids will set the stage for growing baby geniuses. As the mother of twins many years ago I developed a preference for flannel quilts because they seemed less likely to slip out of my hands and arms. The kids also seem to like the soft feel of flannel. Some of the newer fabrics such as cuddle cloth have a similar soft cuddliness that we all like. Another suggestion I would offer is to make a small quilt, perhaps one to four blocks, that your daughter can carry wherever she goes. It can be her special “lovey” when the larger quilt is more cumbersome to carry. This lovey can be a little bit of home and mom when she is visiting grandma.

  10. An ‘I Spy’ like quilt with sets of two matching images of animals, flowes, toys, colors, etc. can be used to teach words, matching, opposites, colors. Agree about flannal and smaller rather than larger. Have also made quilts with a heart shape on them. Use fabric scrap strips sewn onto on a cloth diaper to create matching burp cloths. Also, use scraps to creeate borders on homemade hooded bath towels for baby. You are creating a lifelong, multi generational keepsake! Be sure to sign,date and personalize for posterity! This ‘story’ on the back teaches reading, too”

    1. What a wealth of information, Jacquelynn! I’m always looking for ways to teach my baby girl about the world around her – it’s never too early! Signing, dating and adding a story is a must. Thank you!

  11. My new favorite baby quilt is, Quilt as you go with Strips. A great way to use all the fun children’s prints I’ve accumulated, along with bright colored large squares. I also add a couple of bias tabs in the seam to attach toys to. Great for “Tummy Time!”

    1. I, too, have accumulated quite the stash of children’s fabric samples. This just might work! I’ve also heard of using entire onesies (or cutting them) to create a baby quilt. My daughter loves tabs, so that would be a hit. Thanks, Sally!

  12. I usually refer to the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman and if the baby’s name is known, I try to use a block with the baby’s name or similar (ex:Jacob’s Ladder for a Jacob). or I will use novelty fabrics that are meaningful to the family (like cupcake fabric for a mom who is known for making cupcakes). I usually ask what the baby’s room color scheme is so that I can include that in the quilt.

  13. Babies are soft,warm, dreamy and cuddly. I feel that their blankets should be the same. I’m having trouble with this trend of bright and sometimes noisy colors. I usually opt for pastels and charming nursery prints for the newer babies and save the more stimulating colors for the 1 year and up crowd. Ultimately the new mom or dad decides the color choices.

    1. Sometimes those busy colors and patterns can be overstimulating for very little babies, I agree. Great tip! I’ll probably go with the color theme in her nursery (based on woodland creatures, so quite a neutral foundation), but the fabric selection might make that choice for me. It’s easy to get carried away with that part, isn’t it? Colorways are always so fun!

  14. I opted to make a Log Cabin quilt for my granddaughter because it allowed me to create both small-scale and large-scale interest for her. For the dark side I used semi-solid primaries and on the light side I found white background fabrics with primary and secondary color designs. So, the “logs” were interesting as was the secondary design I got from twisting the blocks to make zigzags through the overall quilt. The binding and backing was from an awesome rickrack fabric I found in primary and secondary colors.

    Oh, and I used my embroidery machine to quilt a big sunburst into each block after doing stitch in the ditch around and between the blocks. It was my first quilt.

    When she gets a little older I will make her a quilt that reflects what she shows interest in.

    1. Wonderful, Shelly! Contrasting colors makes quite a bit of sense for a baby and a Log Cabin quilt would be perfect for that. Sounds pretty adventurous for your first quilt. Impressive! I’m sure we’ll both be making a variety of quilts for these little ones as they grow. I can’t wait! 🙂

  15. Hello! I don’t have a favorite pattern for baby quilts but I do have some food for thought. What is the purpose of the quilt? Is it going to be used to throw on the floor and have toys strewn about, make a fort, or have a tea party on? Or is it to cuddle with in front of the tv, in the car, or story time, nap time and bedtime? The former can be bright and busy. Not too bright and busy or the toys will be lost in the sea of color and the baby will be on sensory overload. The latter should be soft and snuggly and calming.

    My grandson has dinosaurs on his bedroom walls. The quilt I made him has trucks and cars. He’s three and what is he “into”? Super heroes! Who knew? My guess is you’ll be making more than one quilt. Have fun!

    1. Thanks Marianne! I’m thinking that my daughter’s in the market for a snuggly quilt, so I’ll go with the soft and cuddly fabrics. Great advice! I’m sure I’ll be making several quilts for her as her preferences change over time. At 7 months, it seems like they change every day! ~Carrie

  16. All great ideas! I’ve made several flannel baby and kid quilts, and probably love them as much as the recipients. My dream has been to craft a great Ohio Star crib quilt, but my favorite actual quilt was a Trip Around the World in a soft color palette.

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