Monday, October 20, 2014

Sewing for Preemie People

flannel baby quilts

Diana and Diane are in Nevada sewing flannel quilts for premature babies in record time. To date they have a stack of nearly 3 dozen quilts ready to deliver to the hospital for itty bitty newborns in need of warmth and cuddles.

flannel baby quilts

These industrious gals make a simple top from 3 different flannels and then back them with Minky fleece.*  The blankets are soft enough that no batting is needed. Quilting is "stitch in the ditch" (sewing straight lines in the "ditches" where the fabrics meet).  If you inspect them closely, you can see their techniques require no hand work at all. It's done entirely on the sewing machine. 

The majority of the flannel quilts are approximately 25 inches square. They cut most of the pieced squares to 5 1/2 inches. That means you would cut 25 squares to make an approximately 25 inch square quilt. Use your favorite method of binding to finish the quilt.

For the quilts with the smaller four patch squares, they cut the big squares 6 inches and then cut smaller squares to 3  1/4 inches of contrasting fabrics. This would result in a finished quilt of about 27 inches square.

my samples made with scraps of 100% cotton (not flannel) 

They did a couple of blankets with triangle squares but told me those were more time-consuming so they preferred to stick mostly to the simpler patterns in order to get more quilts made.

My family has kept me busy sewing more traditionally-constructed baby quilts this year (2 down, 2 more to go).  But once I'm past those projects, I'm thinking these flannel quilts are a lot faster to produce than the ones with batting.  What wonderful last-minute baby shower gifts they would make! And of course, to follow the example of Diana and Diane, these quilts are a wonderful way to bless hospital maternity wards.

Thank you, girls, for this inspiration!

*Minky fleece is a soft, cuddly fabric with a smooth minky surface with dimple-like embossing, 3mm pile and is perfect for creating blankets, baby accessories, plush toys, quilt backings, and more.

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful, worthwhile project!! My church women's group does blankets for shut-ins and they are prayed over before they are distributed, so prayers are going with the blankets. The recipients are double blessed. Your friends are doing great work (you too!).