Loading... Please wait...


Personalized Baby Quilts

Our favorite personalized baby quilts are created by Grandma Kay, an adorable energetic women who started out in design and fashion in the 50's in New York and now works out of her home in the Berkshires. Entering her workshop is a time trip to the past, where squares of fabric are collected in bags and boxes from her years of quilting. Every imaginable color and pattern is available as well as samples of old quilts and hand stitched stuffed animals and dolls. Her shelves are filled with ballerina dolls and hand painted Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Ann replicas.  Any quilt design is possible. Kay doesn't work from stock patterns, but creates her own designs and loves customizing a pattern. Our staff has sent her sketches and ideas from customers and she whips up a custom quilt to their specifications. 

The history of quilting in America is a long one. The word comes from the Latin "culcit" which means a stuffed sack. The word can be used as a verb which means stitching together through layers of fabric or as a noun to describe a three layered bed covering.

We take for granted modern heating, but generations ago only rooms that had a fireplace or the kitchen which had a stove were warm. Even in wealthy homes families needed heavy bed covers to make their beds comfortable enough to guarantee a good night's sleep. Quilts were the practical solution because several layers of fabric could be stitched together to keep out the cold.

Life was hard for early settlers who had to weave their own fabrics. In today's world, we replace damaged blankets and even ones that are simply too old or out of style. Years ago, people could not afford to discard blankets when they became worn out, so they patched them and combined several blankets together in layers and these patched coverings became quilts. Originally, these patched blankets were not artistic works of beauty but simply practical items used solely for keeping people warm. Only in later years, when fabrics were being manufactured in America and were more affordable, did the more artistic type of quilting become popular. 

There are two main types of Quilts: Applique or Patchwork. 
1.The  applique quilt or "laid-on" quilt, is defined as having a top made of whole cloth with smaller pieces of contrasting fabrics cut into shapes or forms that are applied or stitched down. Only the wealthy could afford the expensive imported fabric for this type of quilt making that displayed the fine needlework of the maker. These were often called show quilts.
2. The patchwork or pieced quilt was more common. Although some of them had detailed patterns, generally they were designed to be made quickly for every day use out of scraps of fabric and usable portions of worn garments for every member of the family.
Early settlers had no fancy tools so they had to settle for simple functional quilting. The block-style pieced quilt was an example of this functional approach to design.
During the 1800's in many parts of the country there was a custom that a young girl make a baker's dozen of quilt tops before she became engaged. This collection consisted of 12 utility quilts, undoubtedly pieced, and 1 great quilt, which was either a pieced or applique for her bridal bed. After her engagement, she would take the final steps to turn her tops into finished quilts. Another custom was for mothers to make several quilts for each of her children to have when they left home to start life as adults.
In the mid 1800s the introduction of the sewing machine somewhat altered the dependence on hand-sewing. Long before electricity became common, quilters could power a sewing machine with a foot treadle or hand crank. The invention of a separate quilting attachment for the sewing machine by Henry Davis of Chicago brought change but not as rapidly as you would think because hand quilting remained the favored method for nearly a century.
As the frontier was conquered, living conditions improved and sewing standards changed. With prosperity and the availability of more materials, quilts became less austere. Patchwork quilts were more likely to be made of new and finer fabrics. Appliqué quilts, which require more fabric, began to emerge and developed a body of traditional patterns. More and more women, particularly those in the upper-classes, had the time and money to pursue more "genteel" arts.  By the early 1900's, quilting was changed from a necessity to a luxury that could showcase artistic talent.
When the United States entered World War 1 in 1917, quiltmaking became more important than ever. The U.S. government urged citizens to “Make Quilts – Save the Blankets for our Boys over There.” Quilts were made for fundraising. The government took all the wool produced for commercial use in 1918 and instituted “heatless Mondays.” Following the war interest in quilting as an art was renewed.
During the Great Depression, people simply did not have the money to buy blankets so once again women relied on their own skills and resources to keep their families warm. Saving bits and pieces of material from clothing and other blankets, using material from feedsacks, and "making do" were common practices for frugal quilters during those difficult years.
During World War II, quilting was used to raise money to support the Red Cross. The signature quilt was especially popular. In a signature quilt, business people, store owners, and citizens of a community would pay a small fee to have their names embroidered on quilt blocks. The blocks were sewn together and quilted, and the finished quilt was raffled off with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. These quilts are now fascinating community records.

Through the 1950's and 1960's, there was less general interest in quilting than at any other time in American history. To many, the quilt was associated with lean times and “making do". Then in the 1970s and 1980s, the granddaughters of these older women began to revive interest in quiltmaking. Then in the last quarter of the century, came the Aids epidemic and once again quilts had a social message and were made to commemorate loved ones who had died and museum exhibitions of these magnificent creations travelled the country. This year a quilt show "Piecing Together A Changing Planet "will travel to ten national parks exploring provocative themes of including "global warming".
The history of our country can be traced through the evolution of quilting styles. Now it is practiced as an art form and a means of relaxation rather than out of necessity. A modern quilt is as meaningful as one of long ago because it is represents the tradition of our country. Just because you don't have the time or skill to quilt, does not mean you cannot experience the joy of passing down a work of art to the children in your family.
All of our personalized custom baby quilts are lovingly handcrafted in America by dedicated and talented crafters like Kay who use 100% cotton fabric with hypoallergenic batting.  These quilts tell a story in fabric with needle and thread in the same way a writer crafts a story with ink and pen. They are a starting place to engage in a meaningful conversation with your little one where you can share a story about their birth and family history at bed time or make up a story that is illustrated in the quilt.

These handcrafted keepsakes can be used in the crib to cover baby or as a wall hanging like a piece of art  to decorate the nursery. Available in traditional designs like ABC and rocking horses and modern designs like hearts and  airplanes; lovingly quilted and stitched together, these bright cotton squares are transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors and designs by dedicated women who sew in their homes the old -fashioned way so that your child can enjoy the beauty of a hand made gift. Quilts can be completely customized with your colors, designs, child's name and birthdate to complement any nursery. If you have an idea or dream, it can be created by one of our quilters even using your own fabrics  to make this a one of a kind treasure.

Baby quilts make incredible presents for baby showers, newborn gifts and baby birthday gifts. Years ago family and friends would gather at quilting bees spending many hours to create a birth quilt for the newborn. Quilting was a respected tradition and a way to connect family and friends in a creative activitiy for the good of the community. In our fast paced modern world, quilting has almost become a lost art. There is something fun and festive about a handcrafted baby gift, especially when given by a grandparent or family friend to someone as important as a newborn. Even though most of us don't have the time or skill to quilt or sew, you can still be part of this honored tradition and send your love through one of our exquisite custom handcrafted works of art. You will be remembered for your thoughtfulness and your gift will be a treasured keepsake and sure to become a family heirloom.