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Baby Quilts

Baby Quilts History

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.

Antique baby quilts are rare because it was common for one baby quilt to be made for the first-born child, and used thereafter to bundle all future children. Because of this, these baby quilts were often worn down, making it rare for a baby quilt to be preserved intact. One of the oldest known baby quilts is dated 1880. In the case of this baby quilt, given to Fanny Wike of Pennsylvania, the quilt was preserved because she never had children.

Sunbonnet Sue, one of the most widely recognized 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 quilts 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 quilts have only gained in popularity since the 1900's. Baby quilts make an ideal gift for a grandmother to give to her new grandchild, not only keeping the baby warm, but also passing down a precious heirloom. Just as in the early days of quilt making, modern quilts keep babies warm and bundled. Using fabrics with baby motifs, such as teddy bears and dolls, many of the same patterns that are used to make regular quilts are also used to make baby quilts. Therefore, baby quilts can be made or purchased in many different styles or colors, and with many different motifs, making a beautiful addition to your baby's crib set.

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RSS | August 23, 2019

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