Choosing the baby clothes for your memory quilt

And here is where the fun starts for you !


So you have decided to bring the boxes from the loft or bags out from under the bed to have your child’s baby clothes transformed into a keepsake blanket, quilt, cushion or other memory item ? Have a good look through all those special baby clothes and we try and help you decide what’s best to use and why.

When you start pulling together all those cute clothes you may find that you have way too many and can’t quite decide which items you’d like to include. You might also be unsure if certain items can be included at all due to their size or texture.

Whether you are making your baby clothes keepsake quilt yourself, or commissioning it from someone else, selecting the clothes that are going to be included is a very important step.

Here are our top tips for making that selection:

Pick Out Any Baby Clothes Keepsake Items That You Don’t Want To Cut Into

Consider pulling out one or two items that are best kept whole (in a memory box, or to pass down to future generations). These might include a tiny baby-gro so you can remember just how small they were!

Put Aside Any Items That Aren’t Suitable For Patchwork

Most baby and children’s clothes will work well in a baby clothes keepsake quilt. The only fabrics I’d advise against using at all are:

  • anything slippy or shiny like pvc, leather, rubber, treated rain macs etc,
  • very lightweight fabric like netting or tulle unless it has backing or is part of a frilled skirt or similar
  • heavy fabrics like a wool coat
  • open knits or crochet (which unfortunately rules out most hand knitted items unless it’s a very tight knit)
  • anything that can’t be ironed
  • If you are making your own baby clothes keepsake quilt then you might have items that you are just not confident about using, so those will need taking out too. At this stage, it’s a good idea to pull out anything stained if you don’t want that included in your quilt. If you’re commissioning a memory keepsake quilt then it’s a good idea to attach a note so we know that you are happy for it to go in. You’ll also want to consider how washable different fabrics are. Most baby clothes will have been machine washed many times, meaning your whole quilt can be machine washed. If you include a dry clean only or hand wash only item this may restrict how you can clean the quilt.


Selecting From The Remaining Keepsake Baby Clothes

From your pile of suitable items, start picking out those items that are ‘must haves’ for your quilt. These are likely to be those with the most precious memories attached, or favourite prints/motifs etc.

When sorting through your children’s clothes you may find there are items that just jump out at you, that need to be  a firm ‘yes’ regardless of colour or style. There may the items that remind you of very particular moments, people or feelings. Or maybe you just love the pattern or details – reasons why you purchased them for your baby them in the first place.
Finally, supplement your ‘must have’ items with others that complement them. Don’t forget – you can also add in items like maternity clothing,grow bags, cot sheets, light weight curtains, nursery bedding or new fabrics.


Here are some things to consider:

  • A good mix of colour is helpful to give contrast to your finished quilt. If everything is a very similar colour palate then the quilt can look a bit flat, and if everything is very busy then it can be overwhelming.
  • The most pleasing quilts have items in different ‘colour values’ (dark, medium, light) and at least one highlight colour (e.g. a yellow or turquoise with pinks, a red with lots of pale blue).
  • If you have plenty of items to choose from, and you prefer a more coordinated look, then you might want to lean towards a particular colour combination or theme.
  • A mix of different scales of pattern gives texture, and some plains and spots/stripes are also great as fillers to help the more interesting pieces stand out.
  • Motifs, appliques and embroideries on the clothes add interest and detail which draws your eye. It’s generally these elements that make a keepsake baby clothes quilt into something really special to look at.


Over To You

How have you found looking through your children’s baby clothes? Are these observations helpful? Do you have any advice for other parents?  Leave a comment below – let us know what you think!

If you’ve ordered (or plan to order!) a Memory Quilt or Keepsake Cushion from us, then we are very happy to answer any questions you might have about the clothes you’d like including, and advise on suitability if you’re not sure. If there are items you’d like used in a particular way, then just let us know! We can do all sorts of clever things with your clothes to produce a beautiful keepsake.

Found this post useful? Know someone else who might? Then please do share it on Facebook, Twitter or send it to specific friends via email.

Thanks for reading!

Bianca @Bee My Memory