Quilt Archive

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Linus Project Flannel Quilts

Through the years, I have made many flannel quilts as gifts to people I knew who had babies.  Each of my own grandchildren all have a quilt, and some are on their second one, having worn their baby quilt out!  These were simple in design, basic 5" blocks in various colors and prints, sewn in columns and rows.  I'd arrange the different colors in any number of patterns.  Sometimes I would add a gathered eyelet edging.  I would usually sew the back to the front, turn, and use yarn ties.  I did very little quilting on it, since I didn't have a walking foot for my machine.  I had a hand-me-down Viking from my mother.  It worked well, but was very out of date, and I couldn't get a walking foot for it anymore.  The quilts went together well, and those who received one were very appreciative.  My daughters always knew that what their shower gift would be:  a flannel baby quilt and matching pillow.   Here is a sample of one of these quilts:
Each time I purchased fabric for a quilt, I always bought extra flannel.  Over the years, the left-overs accumulated into quite a stash of flannels, in all colors and printed patterns.  Some pieces were a yard or more.  I have wanted to do something with the fabric, and in December of 2009, I happened upon a website with a link to the Linus Project.  I researched the Project further, and decided that it would be the perfect outlet to use all the flannel, and also to give something comforting to a needy child.  I was correct when I estimated that I had fabric to make at least 10 blankets.  (I had quite a few extra cut 5" squares, as you will see).
I chose my mother as my collaborator on this project, and she was willing agreed to help me.  Together we planned the patterns, as well as the fabric choices for each quilt.  Tuesday (my day off each week) became our sewing day, and we met, planned, cut fabric, and sewed each week from January to March (2010).  We divided the sewing duties…Mom did most of the piecing of the tops, and I worked on the backs and binding.  We used a combination of machine quilting and yarn ties for each quilt.  Most of our quilts are suitable for babies and young children. We needed to purchase a few yards that we were lacking, but with the luck of good sales at local fabric stores, we were able to complete our quilts with minimal extra cost.
This project gave Mom and I a chance to work together for the first time.  For most of my adult life, Mom has lived in another state, and our visits were few and far between, and we didn’t have a chance to work on anything together.  As we sewed, we talked and became acquainted in a way we haven’t been able to before this.  This chance to work with my mother was an unexpected but treasured surprise.  It is a time I will cherish always.
We gave each of our quilts tender loving care as we assembled them, and gave them a name once we completed them.  We sent them forward to help ease the lives of young children with the hope that he or she loves them as much as we did.  Our work was done, we have both moved on to other projects, but still retain fond memories of the quilts (and the bond) we created.  Here we are with our finished pile of quilts:

Here are a couple of our favorites:
 Lotsa Dots (these are all fabrics with dot patterns, even the backing!)
 Tiny Trains (the patterned fabric is as the name suggest, tiny train motifs.)
Flower Power II (note the flying geese pieces in the inner border.  Not easy with flannels.)


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