Quilted Baby Blocks with Bag

One of the pleasures of getting older is watching your family grow. This year we welcome three new babies; two sweet girls born to my nieces in December, and another niece is due to have a boy in July! I wanted to make something decorative, yet useful, so I came up with these quilted baby blocks since others in my family are already making baby quilts.
(pssst...click on any of the pictures to enlarge)

The blocks are cuddly soft and can be played with or set on a shelf in the nursery to spell out his name. Yes, his name is "Caleb."

Other sides of the blocks have numbers. I was able to make five blocks and the matching bag in three evenings after work. I believe them to be an intermediate sewer/quilter level project.

Here's a summary of how they were made...

For 1 block:
  1. Cut six 4 1/2" square pieces each of fabric in various colors and patterns, muslin and batting 
  2. Cut letters and numbers to applique. (I printed a computer font as a pattern)
  3. Applique letters and numbers to squares. (I used iron-on fusible web and finished the edges with machine zig-zag stitching)
  4. Sew sides of four squares together to make a line with 1/4" seam allowance. (right sides together) Do same with four muslin squares.
  5. Layer muslin and batting with squares. Quilt. I outlined the letters and then stippled the rest.
  6. Sew the top and bottom squares to the line of four to make a block, right sides together. One side will be left open to turn.
  7. Turn block to the finished side. Stuff with thick polyester batting.
  8. Hand sew open seam with hidden whip stitches.
  9. Wash in warm water, dry on medium in drier

I also made a lined bag to place them in. The bag can be used as a small pillow case or any number of other uses. Remember that the tie should be removed if it is placed close to a toddler or baby (hazard!) I placed a note to remove the tie, along with washing instructions, onto the bag with a cute baby diaper pin.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want more extensive directions.

Amish Handmade Quilts

King Gold Red Moss and Black Compass Reflections Quilt Photo 2I've been blessed with meeting some extraordinary quilters this past year as I write my upcoming book, "Every Quilt Has a Story." One story in this book is of an Amish quilter named Hannah. I met Hannah through a wonderful shop owner in Lancaster, PA, who sells original, handmade Amish quilts.

All of these quilts, and many more, can be purchased at the Amish Country Quilt Shop in Lancaster, PA. The quilts are hand quilted right in Lancaster County. I am not a marketer, but when I find something of such quality that is hand made with love here in the USA, I want to show it off. I'm proud of our American quilting heritage. I hope you enjoy, and get inspired, from these pictures of beautiful Amish quilts.
King Gold Red Moss and Black Compass Reflections Quilt Photo 4
"Compass Reflections" quilt pieced by Dolores Yoder and
quilted by an Amish friend. To purchase this, or read more about
this quilt, click here.
Green and Tan Giant Dahlia Quilt Photo 4
Beautiful, high quality hand quilting.

Amish Sunshine Diamond Quilt Photo 3
A combination of "Center Diamond" and "Sunshine and Shadow"
patterns. More info here!
The Sunshine and Shadow is a traditional Amish pattern, and a favorite of my new quilting friend, Hannah. The colors and fabric in this quilt are typical of quilts made in the Amish community for their own use.
All-Quilted Pineapple Quilt Photo 1
Hand quilted Pineapple design. More info here.
Whole cloth quilts are my all-time favorites. Add to that one of my favorite patterns, the pineapple, and I'm in love with this quilt! Imagine the hours to intricately stitch this by hand!

Plum and Gold Lightning Strikes Quilt Photo 3
Lightening Strikes quilt by C. Jean Horst. More info here!
If you are a quilter, as I am, you know the work that goes into these quilts. Ouch, my fingers cramp and neck muscles tighten at the thought!

King Blue Violet and Yellow Heart of Roses Quilt Photo 3

C. Jean Horst has also written a book with her unique quilt patterns, called "The Heart of Roses Quilt." It can be purchased here.
This is another one of her beautiful quilts...the Heart of Roses.

To all of you quilters out there...