Neonatal/Preemie Quilts with a Free Pattern

Neonatal Preemie Quilt

The Riverside Raincross Quilt Guild, to which I belong, has many community service projects, one of which is their making and donating neonatal, or preemie, quilts to the County hospital’s NICU.  I sat across from Mary last guild meeting, as she patted the stack of little quilts, and told us the story about how her friend, who is a nurse, lays them all around the layettes when she gets a new stack from us, and how she loves looking at them.  All those little quilts made with love.

Neonatal Preemie Quilt_1

They are 30″ square, lightly quilted (at least all the ones in the stack were, for that makes them more huggable and drapable).  I had some fabric I’d ordered last year that I wasn’t that fond of (the hazards of online-ordering, although the fabric itself was very popular and cute and I thought it would be good for a boy), plus I had a block I wanted to try out, which first surfaced in the 1940s.  Here is a PDF pattern for that block, a 15″ square Twin Darts: Twin Dart 15%22 block.  (Click on the link to download.) Make sure your printer settings are set to 100% and it should come out okay.  You’ll be making four large blocks.

It’s an easy pattern, but there are a lot of bias edges, so my advice (in hindsight) would be to give them a good shot of spray starch before piecing.  All the quilts are pre-washed before they go to the babies, so it will be washed out.

Then I wanted to try a Pillowcase Binding.  I liked Susan B. Katz’s excellent tutorial, found *here.*

But I ended up going the tutorial from Rita, of Red Pepper Quilts (found *here*), as it was not for an art quilt (which Susan’s is) and yes, I did baste the quilt top to the batting in a couple of places before sandwiching them all together, then turning.

I then top-stitched around all the outside edges to close up the opening, then quilted around all the arrows (or darts) and other main seams.  Done!  I have another one in the works, which I’ll post about, too, as well as give you the free pattern.  I put this up on Instagram, and many people had the same response I did–a good way to winnow down the stash as well as doing good.

While looking through the web for guidelines about batting (apparently polyester or cotton, no wool), I found this document and modified it to post here: neonatal_quilt_guide  Please check with your local guild as to size and other requirements, as they are obtained from your local hospitals.

Sew Together Bag, et al.

Sew Together Bag_4

I present to you: THE SEW-TOGETHER BAG!!  If you are from my quilt guild and are looking for the link to buy the pattern, it is *here.*  Yes, you have to sign into Craftsy and make up a name and a pin number.  But there are a lot of great things on Craftsy.  Then open up your computer and link to The Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long for the pattern.  They go together.

Sew Together Bag

I have seen about eight million of these online and on Instagram and get putting it off because, my-gosh-oh-golly, it has four zippers.  And binding!

Sew Together Bag1

And all those pockets!  Okay, I’m here to tell you that you will survive to sew another day.  And that Michelle, of Sew Demented, has figured out easy ways to construct pockets.

Sew Together Bag_3

Sew Together Bag_2

The binding was No Big Deal–easy if you’ve done quilt binding, and if you follow The Quilt Barn’s directions.

Sew Together Bag_1

Sew Together Bag_5

So, jump in!  The water’s fine.

Weather 108

And now I have to talk about the weather.  We’ve been having a heat wave.  This is after the crazy rain storm that took out lots of trees in my neighborhood, and ruined concrete drainage ditches in my park.

Riverside Clouds

Tuesday, coming home, I saw these beautiful clouds, a rarity in our area.  Then it got all dark and my phone had this screen:

Weather 106

The power went out…no sewing.  So I did non-electrical quilting things.  And when the power came back on, all the little machines in our house started beeping and whirring and clicking, like they were all talking to each other.

Talenti Gelato

And because this heat wave has broken records, we are glad that they carry my father’s favorite gelato in our local grocery store.  I can vouch for the deliciousness of Tahitian Vanilla Bean, and the jars are very cool for storing stuff once they are emptied.

Circle 5 reject

Then I tried out the pattern for Circles Block #5.  Fail.  Total fail.  Not the pattern, just what I had chosen.  Back to the cutting table.

Block Books

And then some of my favorite books arrived: the BLOCK magazine from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Simple and easy and not complicated reading.

Cotton Couture Colors

Almost finished with this post of trivia, hang in there with me.  I chose a few colors to go with my incoming stack of Couture Cottons, which is part of a QuiltCon challenge.  I hope this heat wave lifts soon, as it’s killing my productivity.

Raincross Guild_LisaBut Lisa has been productive, finishing up her French fabrics quilt for her daughter who has been on a church mission for 18 months and comes home in November.  Lisa will tell you this with a giant smile on her face.  Here the quilt is being shown at the Raincross Quilt Guild last night–a great event.  We both had fun!

And last. . .

Tractor at Sunset

Yes, this is a tractor at sunset.  Actually it’s parked in my front yard, and yes, the demolition on our front yard is going nicely.

Keep quilting: I wish you many happy sunsets too.