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A baby quilt 9 years in the making

A baby quilt 9 years in the making

by Clare Mansell

The story of this baby quilt goes back to 2009 or there abouts, when I was working in Canada with a good friend of mine. There was a quilt class running in our village (where I first learned to quilt) and my friend came along too. If I recall things correctly, this class lead to her making a quilt for her niece, but also more importantly to the purchase of a couple of Moda charm packs and some meterage.

I’d forgotten all about her fabric purchase, until after announcing her first pregnancy a few months ago, she brought the fabric to our house and asked if I could turn it in to a quilt for her – but of course!

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T-shirt memory quilt

T-shirt memory quilt

by Clare Mansell

T-shirt quilts are something I have always loved the concept of, but I’ve struggled a bit with their style. One of the things that appeals to me about quilts is their graphic simplicity and regular shapes and t-shirt quilts are very often composed of irregular blocks and a higgildy piggedly design.

My turning point with memory quilts came when I made Alice’s one using clothes from her first year, I kept it simple, used regular sized blocks, complimentary colours and mixed in some plain squares. I surprised myself by loving it so much when it was complete, so I decided to try it again on a much bigger scale with Theo’s t-shirts.

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Making a quilt from baby clothes

Making a quilt from baby clothes

by Clare Mansell

Being a quilter, an upcycler and a mum, it’s probably a little surprising that it has taken me this long to try my hand at making a memory quilt, but I have good reasons. The first is that I really like structured simple quilts with some sort of design and colour scheme which most of the memory quilts I’d seen lacked. Secondly because of the raw materials you are using, making a memory quilt nearly always involves stepping outside my comfort zone of constructing quilts with fabrics that are not 100% cotton.

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Starting Alice’s memory quilt

Starting Alice’s memory quilt

by Clare Mansell

At this time of year I always find myself turning back to quilting after the summer and a couple of weeks ago I started work on Alice’s first quilt and my first quilting project since the spring. I’ve done the odd bit of sewing over the last few months, but its obvious I’ve not been around in the cabin much as both my pairs of fabric scissors had gone walkabout when I went looking for them!

This project is a little different from any I’ve done before because I’m making the blocks out of old baby clothes. There’s a couple of reasons why I decided to take this route, firstly because (obviously) it’s nice to be able to look back on, but secondly because it has proved to be surprisingly tricky to find a home for Alice’s old clothes.

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A healing quilt

A healing quilt

by Clare Mansell

Last month a week before the school holidays started, we received some devastating news. One of my son’s reception classmates had been involved in a freak accident which had left him badly burned and facing a lengthy hospital stay. His father who stepped in to help him was also badly injured.

As soon as news spread in the local community people wanted to help. Fundraising begun immediately to try and help the family in a practical way with the costs of travelling to and from the hospital, but the parents of reception class also felt they wanted to do something to show our support.

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