Baby Quilt Patterns
Baby Quilt Patterns
A baby quilt is a quilt specially designed and sized for a baby. A quilt is a bedspread or blanket made of two layers that is filled with a material, such as cotton, wool, feathers, or down, and is stitched together, usually in a decorative design. It is believed that quilts originated out of need, as they provide warmth, rather than as an art. Early patchwork quilts were made of left-over scraps of fabric, often times not following a quilt pattern. Baby quilts followed this trend and like full sized quilts, eventually evolved into the quilts that we know and love today.
Quilt making as a form of arts and crafts only evolved in America in the 19th century, and this is when quilt patterns began to take on new importance amongst quilters. County Fairs began to appear where quilt makers could receive prizes for their valuable quilts and designs, and to compare and share different quilt patterns. Amongst these patterns were baby quilt patterns. Quilting Guilds and Quilting Bees were formed, again emphasizing the social structure of quilters and allowing for the trading and creation of quilt patterns. During this period, new quilt patterns were introduced; in fact, most patterns found in today's quilts were developed during this period.
Baby quilt patterns, as their name implies, are a type of a template to guide the quilter in making the quilt blocks, which are the smaller units that make up the quilt top of the baby quilt. Some baby quilt pattens are more difficult than others, requiring more steps and materials.
Sunbonnet Sue, one of the most widely recognized baby quilt block patterns, began to appear in baby quilts in 1910. Sunbonnet Sue depicts a playful girl with a big bonnet covering her face, appearing everywhere from children's clothing to quilts. Other significant highlights in the development of baby quilt patterns include the first known pattern with a juvenile theme. Until this time, baby quilts resembled normal adult quilts in every facet, such as color, fabric, and patterns, except they were much smaller. Marie Webster, a famous quilter who sparked a revolution in quilt design, changed this in 1912 when she created patterns specifically for young children and babies.
Baby quilt patterns range in styles from pinwheels and log cabin patterns, to 4-patch patterns using blue and white for boys, or pink and white for girls. Some baby quilt patterns modify traditional quilt patterns, such as the log cabin pattern, and adapt it for a baby quilt pattern by using a fabric with baby motifs on it. For example, you could make a log cabin quilt block with a teddy bear in the middle of the block. Most manufacturers of quilt fabric have special fabrics for baby quilts, which feature cute drawings of different animals or children.
Story Book Quilts
Baby quilt patterns depicting popular children's books and stories are known as "story book quilts". This type of baby quilt pattern was introduced by Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton in 1940. Since then, story book quilts have grown in popularity. Stories such as "Alice in Wonderland" and "Cat 'n the Fiddle" are popular story book quilt patterns that any baby is sure to love.
Where to Find Baby Quilt Patterns
The internet is a great place to find baby quilt patterns. With thousands of web sites dedicated to quilting, and particularly to quilt patterns, you will have your choice of hundreds of different baby quilt patterns to try. Adapting a regular quilt pattern for a baby quilt is also a great way to make a baby quilt. You can begin your search of online free baby quilt patterns by visiting http://www.freequilt.com/baby.html, which has links to twelve different sites featuring baby quilt patterns.
Another great option for finding baby quilt patterns is books. There is a multitude of books written on quilt patterns, many of these dedicating sections of their book to baby quilt patterns. There are also entire books devoted to baby quilt patterns, such as "Wonderful Baby Quilts to Make" by Pat Richards, and "Alex Anderson's Baby Quilts With Love: 12 Timeless Projects for Today's Nursery".
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| February 19, 2018
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