A baby's clothes acquire history so quickly: There is the blanket she came home from the hospital in, the overalls she wore while learning to crawl, the flannel pajamas she fell asleep in at night. For those items too precious to give away, or too stained to pass along, there is a solution more creative and less cluttering than a box in the attic -- a baby memory quilt that is sure to become an heirloom.
Don't worry about piecing together fancy shapes; the simplest patchwork is an easy-to-assemble checkerboard of four-inch squares. Find an interesting part of your baby's cast-off clothing, and use that as a patch: Include smocking, a bit of embroidery, a section with ribbons. You can also use vintage fabrics, hand towels, sheets, children's pillowcases, textured fabric like dotted Swiss, or a bit of a flannel sleeper. In general, stick to 100-percent cotton fabrics of similar weight. Avoid knits, stretchy material, and thick textiles that will pull and wear differently than other pieces.
Tools and Materials
Rotary fabric cutter (optional)
Self-healing cutting mat (optional)
Clear acrylic quilter's ruler
Clothing and fabric for quilt squares
A steam iron
Preshrunk 100-percent cotton batting
Safety pins; 1/2-inch-wide double-fold bias tape
Prewashed cotton fabric for backing (we used a vintage piece of matelasse bedspread, but flannel or another woven fabric will do)
Yarn or embroidery floss