Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quilts for Han Thomas and Hunter

My latest quilt project turned into two baby quilts, almost overnight. With the birth of my grand nephew, Han Thomas in Beijing, China, just before Christmas came the desire to make a special quilt to honor his dual heritage. And, we soon discovered another baby--grandson Hunter--would be born in May of this year. He made his debut last night at a whopping 9 pounds 11 ounces. I can't wait to see the little (big) guy! But I digress.

The inspiration for Han's quilt came from a sweet little doll quilt I bought years ago in an antique shop. The block is a simple one--somewhere I think I saw it named as Mr. Lincoln's Platform--but I'm not completely sure that it's accurate. Need to check it out.

It's really easy to make lots of these blocks in any size--just cut and piece two light or white strips to opposite sides of a colored strip and then crosscut into blocks. I used 2"-wide strips for my block and cut them from fat quarters of blue prints that I had in my stash. After stitching the 3 strips together with 1/4" seams. I cut the strip units into 5" squares that finish to 4 1/2" in the quilt.

I chose blue prints for the quilts--blue for boys, after all. For Han's quilt, I wanted to honor his bicultural heritage. His mom, Cindy, is Chinese and his dad, my nephew Tom, met her when he moved to China to teach English to toddlers. So, I used red sashing and to border Han's quilt, I chose a yellow-background juvenile print so that the red, white, and blue of the American flag and the red and yellow of the Chinese quilt would be represented in the finished quilt.

For the backing on Han's quilt, I used a blue-and-white ticking stripe, also from my stash,  and then made a really special label for the back with my favorite baby pictures of Han, plus an American and a Chinese flag. I arranged all of these photos in a Word document on my computer and then printed the page onto a piece of fabric prepared for Inkjet printing. Just follow the package directions to print and set the inks before using the printed fabric in your quilt. You can find lots of inkjet printing supplies at

When I finished Han's quilt, I wrapped it inside out with the label showing so that it was the first thing Tom and Cindy would see when they opened the gift. When I machine-quilted the quilt, I stitched in the ditch of all of the seams and did a serpentine stitch in the sashing and borders. Even though I was careful to prepare the quilt for machine quilting, I had a few unwanted "tucks" in the lining. I covered up the worst of them with the large page-size label! Clever me! I didn't take time to "fix" the others. They just weren't that noticeable.
I had good intentions of finishing Han's quilt after Christmas, but with work on our house taking priority, I didn't get back to it until early April. Han's quilt has a hanging sleeve on the back so that it can be used as a wall hanging.

Finishing Han's quilt and sending it off was just the encouragement I needed to make Hunter's quilt so it would be ready to welcome him when he was born. I had many blue-and-white strip units left over from making Han's quilt--more than enough to make an "all-American red-white-and-blue quilt for Hunter. (It was easy to get carried away sewing my blue strips to the white-on-white prints I had in my stash when I started Han's quilt, so most of the work was already done!)

Although the blocks were the same, I used a blue print for the sashing. I varied the border treatment and quilting.

 I made a special label for Hunter's quilt, too, using clipart for the visuals since I couldn't incorporate any photos. I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Here's a shot of both quilts together. I used the same fabric for the binding on both quilts but I cut it on the bias for Han's quilt and on the straight grain for Hunter's. Hunter's doesn't show well in this shot, but it looks just like the red-white-and-blue inner border that you see in the photo.

I'm happy to report that with the exception of the yellow print on Han's quilt and the backing for Hunter's quilt, I used only fabrics already in my stash!

I hope you're enjoying a sewing project today. If you are looking for other quilt patterns appropriate for a baby, check out my quilt patterns at  

Keep smiling and sewing!

1 comment:

Carylanne said...

I must say I am so surprised that after nearly two years there are no comments about these lovingly made quilts. I see your pattern today in my email from QCA newsletter. First congratulations on a couple of 2 year olds, LOL and I find the rail fence a fantastic first quilt pattern. I am teaching a granddaughter to quilt & had already decided to use the RF pattern. Love the blog. Carylanne in TX