Thursday, March 1, 2012

The First Cut is the Deepest: Baby Clothes Memory Quilt, part 1

I get emotionally attached to clothes.  It's a fact.  Ask my mom's basement.  Actually, it's pretty well cleared out now, although that wasn't entirely my choice.  I guess a 30 year old mom and wife doesn't really need to keep clothes from high school that haven't fit in ten years though.  And if you can say to yourself, "But I love these bright pink pants!  I can fit my shoes in the pocket!" then it is REALLY time to learn to let go.  The rave pants days are over.

But I digress.

If I thought I got emotionally attached to my clothes, I could never have imagined how emotionally attached I would get to my babies' clothes.  Seriously.  Can't get rid of those memories.  So what's a girl to do?  Stash 25 bins of little pink things in the attic for the rest of my life, hoping that some day my grandaughters would wear them?  Move them from place to place, just hoping?  Hubby says no :).  So back when Raina was a baby, and I was teary eyed over putting away another stack of outgrown clothes, I decided that when the time came that I knew I was done with baby clothes, I would make memory quilts.  Lovingly stitched, filled with stories.

And now I'm doing just that.

Or, starting to anyway.  Don't expect to see the finished result next week.  :)  This is a project that I want to take my time on and really make special.  But I started.  I started CUTTING.  I thought I might get teary eyed while doing this.  I was sure of it.  Cutting into tiny baby clothes, and in doing so really acknowledging that we are probably not having more babies? (Sadface)  Tears.  But no!  No tears!  Because then I had a realization.

If I didn't cut the tiny baby clothes, I would have to give them away.  If I did cut them, I got to keep them!  FOREVER!  Husband looked at me like I was the craziest person alive when I said this out loud.  I know it.  Whatevs.

So, the cutting.  Yes, the first cut was hard.  Seriously.  Cut out the elephant?  Snip off the little jammie leg?!  But then I got into it.  Going through each piece, I got to remember them being worn.  I got to touch them all again, smell them even.  (Weird?  I don't think so.)  It was fun looking at each one and deciding what to cut, which details to save.  And I even set aside some things to give away.  Some things that were hand me downs, some things that never got worn (it happens), some things that are neutral and can be worn by baby cousin coming this July!

I started to bags, one for Lucca and one for Raina... each one has squares and some pretty bits that I plan on adding to the quilt when I start piecing it:  pretty trim, decorative feet, cute pockets.  Each square is 4.5," which is really big enough for baby clothes.  I'm going to have tons of squares by the time I'm done, plenty for 2 quilts, and maybe even a pillow for me.

Two bags of tiny cut up baby girl clothes!  Weird to see them this way!

Selection of Raina's squares

"Cutie, one of a kind" I couldn't put this one on Raina often enough.

fleecey pocket

two squares from one pair of jammies, complete with cut out animals and letters

adding trim back in, keeping buttons and patches

Using embroidery.  Raina wore this to her first pedi appointment.

EVERY TIME I put Raina in these jammies, she immediately spit up.  She wore them often, but never for very long :)

Raina's "coming home" outfit!

A little summery romper... probably the outfit I am most sad about Lucca never having the chance to wear.  (Completely wrong season!)

Selection of Lucca's squares

Berry Sweet!

Pleating detail, with bow

Neck trim added back into te square

Bunny!  I wish I had bought this one in every size.

A gift from Yaya!

Bright fleecey sleeper, with fleece dots from another sleeper


As I go through this process, I'll keep you updated.  I've got big plans for these quilts, and can't wait to see them finished... but I'm in no rush to get there!


  1. I did this with my two oldest's baby clothes. My family thought I was crazy cutting up perfectly good baby clothes that someone could have used, but I didn't care. I wasn't willing to part with those memories! I can't wait until my littlest guy (who's 9 weeks old) starts to grow out of things so I can start his!

    1. I'm so glad to hear from someone else who's done this!! Do you have any pictures of your finished quilt? Congrats on the new little guy, too :)

  2. What a sweet way to keep memories!!! Would like to invite you to share this with us at Sharing Saturday here..

    Thanks so much and have a great weekend,

    1. Thanks!! I'll head over and share for sure :) Thanks for visiting!

  3. Aw! My little girl is only 5 months but it makes me teary eyed already thinking about being able to do this one day :-)

  4. I look forward to seeing the finished product!! I would love to have someone do this for my little girl, as I do. no. sew! : )

  5. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing at Etcetorize~

  6. How fun!! I can't wait to see how it comes out. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you will share with us again this week!

  7. I have wanted to do this for such a long time!!! Can't wait to see it all put together!