In December and January, I made a few dozen baby / toddler quilts and blankets in my spare time. During visits for treatment, Jolee and her mama and daddy took them to Vanderbilt University Children's Hospital to be given to children on 6A, where Jolee spent 5 months last year. When Jolee was in the hospital, she clung to her own blanket, along with her Lambie, so we wanted to do something to bring comfort to the kids. I hope these quilts help those little ones, even though it's such a small thing in the scheme of things. By the way, you can read the latest update about Jolee here.
As for the actual quiltmaking, I went with a simple whole cloth quilt. It was quicker and I could get more made in a short time. My Juki sewing machine is super fast, although I don't go as fast as its capabilities... I'd like to keep my fingers free of needle holes!
My sewing area is in the corner of my workroom, and sometimes I work late at night, so I definitely need plenty of lighting. I have two OttLite lamps for sewing. These make a huge difference!
I prefer to hand stitch the binding, but again, it was quicker to machine stitch it. I'm not that great at keeping it perfectly in line, but it looked ok and once the quilts are washed and dried, little imperfections weren't as obvious. These quilts were the first time I tried attaching the binding completely by machine.
The labels were made from fabric I had printed at Spoonflower. Care instructions are on the other side of the label.
I did straight line quilting using a walking foot. This type of foot is also good when attaching the binding.
I tried masking tape for marking quilting lines. I found that I couldn't sew right next to the tape because the tape interfered with the walking foot moving across the quilt. It worked ok staying a walking foot width away from the tape.
Then I remembered I had a Clover Hera Marker, and that's all I've been using to mark my quilting lines... well, the marker and my Omnigrid acrylic ruler.
I very seldom use pre-made binding and instead, make my own. Polka dot fabric is my favorite for binding!
After making several quilts, I found some fleece fabric at Walmart for $1.50 per yard! I bought several yards of My Little Pony, Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse, and Olaf. These were "no sew" blankets! Trim the selvedges, cut a square out of each corner, cut 1" strips for fringe, tie knots at the top of each strip, and it's done!
I will probably make more, but I'll pace myself. Maybe do a few a month or try to send several quarterly.
If you'd like to donate quilts and blankets to children and teens in hospitals, I'm sure you could contact a hospital and get details of how to go about it. Maybe this will inspire someone else to help out.
Take care and God bless,