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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First year outfits turned flower quilt

I had outfits for my daughter months before she was even born. Before I ever got to snuggle her, I had developed attachments to those tiny clothes. During her (almost) first year of life, I packed up and sent to storage the new born onsies, the 0 to 3 month shirts and the 3 to 6 month pajamas one right after another as she outgrew them. Almost all of them that is. Some were too stained from leaky diapers and spit ups, others were monogrammed or held very specific memories making them too her for a future sister to wear as a hand me down. So, what of the clothes that weren't fit for storage but too dear to throw away? I decided to quilt them. And yes, I cut around the stains.

I've never sewn a quilt before, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. And, the best part is that each flower holds a special story like the one made from the onesie she wore to her Uncles high school graduation, or the pajamas she wore when she first learned to crawl.

The quilt ended up being 60 inches long and 54 inches wide, made up of four rows each with five flower squares in it. Here is how I made it:

In addition to the normal sewing necessities (scissors, thread...) you will need

1. One and a half yards of 60 inch soft fabric for the back of the quilt
2. Fleece material cut into 20 squares that measure 11 inches x 11 inches
3. Baby flannel material for the boarders cut into five strips 4 inches by 64 inches, and 24 strips 3 inches by 11 inches (you can use any material, but I was going for cozy and soft when I chose to use flannel.)
4. Fabric for the flowers. Mostly, I used baby clothes here. I made twenty flowers with five petals each, so you will need to cut 100 football shaped petals that measure no more than 5 1/2 inches long. I also cut out twenty circles about the size of a 50 cent piece for the flower centers. Just grab a piece of paper and sketch out a petal, cut it out and use it to make all your fabric petals the same size. Don't be scared, there is no right or wrong petal shape!
*Wash and dry all fabric prior to starting this quilt.
These strips will form the borders around the quilts squares

Fabric flower petals and center
First, pin the flower petals onto the fleece squares right side up (one pin will do per petal; the fleece keeps the petals from sliding around)

Sew them in place a quarter inch from the edges. Also, sew on the flower centers.This is the most time consuming part, once you make all twenty flowers you are just about done!

Next, arrange the squares how you will want them to look in your finished quilt and start pinning and sewing the short strips of flannel on the top and bottom of the squares. Allow for a half inch seam.
Make sure to end up with four rows of five squares. (Pin the strips in place by laying them on top of the fleece squares right sides together. Look at the yellow square in the top right of the following picture for clarification. This way, you won't see your hems as the quilt goes together.)
3 of the 4 rows, each with five squares, are shown here
If you need to, trim the edges so that everything is straight for you to pin the long strips of flannel to the edges of the rows. Again, right sides together and then sew allowing for a half inch seam.

ah- lovely borders
After creating all of these lovely borders, but before you attach the back to the quilt, wash the quilt. I know it isn't dirty, and I know you pre shrunk all fabric... Washing and drying it now (even in a light, gentle cycle without soap and the low heat dryer setting) will allow for the flower edges to fray ever so wonderfully. The reason I did this now and not after I attached the quilt back was in case something frayed too much and I needed to do some fixing. This way I could get to the area without having to first remove the back. Don't worry though, nothing needed fixing. Like I said, just in case...
Notice the shaggy edges?
Spread your quilt out on the floor with the backing fabric laid on top, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Pin the perimeter and sew all edges together. I chose to pin one side, sew, pin another side, sew... Just remember to leave about ten inches open so you can turn your quilt right side out.

Pinning the perimeter

Ok, now turn your quilt right side out through the opening that you left on one of the edges. Hand stitch the opening shut. And, ta-da! Smile.


  1. I'm glad I saw this because I was thinking of buying you a cutting board for your birthday! Guess I'll have to think of something else..great job and really, really cute!

  2. I made John a quilt when he was in high school out of his old denim jeans. Turned out cute and warm!!!! Just squares with some of them with pockets...not nearly as time consuming as yours or a cute.....Good Job!!!!

  3. That is beautiful! I wish I had saved more of Anna's clothes! I gave them away a long time ago:(. It looks great! She will love to have that when she is older too!

  4. Amazing. You are incredible and this is the cutest idea ever!!

  5. This is beautiful, Jessica and something you will always treasure!!! I love the flowers and the fact that you've made them a good size. I've pinned this one...

  6. Beautiful and something you both can always treasure! What a great way to keep those sweet baby memories!

  7. What an adorable idea!!!

    Thanks for linking it up @ Creatively Living!


  8. Oh, WOW! This is the sweetest idea! I have the same kind of attachment to my son's baby clothes! I wonder what I could do in lieu of flowers for him...I really love how your quilt turned out. Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!

  9. absolutely beautiful...i want to be able to sew like you when i grow up! :) c'mon by for a visit & join in the fun - our LINKY PARTY IS OPEN NOW!


  10. I'm featuring this tonight on Tell it to Me Tuesday @ Creatively Living!


  11. You did a great job! I want to do something similar with my kids' jammies that I have saved.

  12. Great job! I featured you tonight!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. This is so beautiful! What a special thing for her to have. I love it! I just packed away all of our 0-3 months clothes, but I just might have to pull them out at the end of the year to do the same thing. So sweet!

    Thanks for swinging by my blog!

    ♥ Bethany


    p.s. We have the same giraffe onesie outfit :) I love the way you were able to keep the giraffe's head on there!

  15. I am making one of these right now for a lady. I love it!

  16. I am making one of these right now for a lady! Super cute!!