Baking, Babies, Quilts, Wine, Stew – Recipes For Life

in vino veritas walthamstow

Yesterday was a good day. I cooked lunch for three friends, including one who is pregnant with her first baby. I have lived on this planet for so long that I am now going through my second generation of friends who are having babies! It’s a lovely time.

Helpful, then, that In Vino Veritas had allowed some of us to indulge in the second bottle of wine in their Wine Club – the Carusu Etna from Sicily. Yummy, yum, yum. This is super-lovely and made us all wish we were sitting on little wooden chairs beneath the blazing Sicilian sunshine, shaded by olive trees, watching a donkey pull a cart down the dusty street. Instead, we had to settle for London Spring sunshine and Ella rolling around on the sofa – which wasn’t a bad compromise!

Carusu wine

Does red wine go with chocolate cake? Discuss. Someone on Instagram asked for the recipe and you can find it here.

chocolate cake

Anyway. Babies! This has made me think about quilts. Baby quilts. I’ve never sewn one, but I have two friends expecting right now. The cogs squeakily turned and I put a quilting call out on Twitter. Someone kindly recommended this book.

Any other tips? These coasters are pretty much the only quilting I’ve ever done. I don’t really know what I’m doing here, but I’m happy to give it a go. Me. Baby quilts. Did you ever believe you’d see such a thing?

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43 Responses to Baking, Babies, Quilts, Wine, Stew – Recipes For Life

  1. There’s always a new challenge. 🙂

  2. Wendy says:

    This site has some great easy baby things – I made one of the VERY easy quilts – see my Instagram feed for a pic of the one i made – @Goodtosew An easy sew, and if you make it with a poly wadding it can easily be thrown in the washing machine!

  3. Kate Whitaker says:

    Jelly roll books by Pam and Nicki Linott are great

  4. I made a blanket for my friend’s wedding. My main tip is use a walking foot!

    • Teresa says:

      I second the walking foot! Also for a baby quilt I have used the minky type fabric for the backing and also I’ve made them with tags (ribbons) on the sides as babies love the feel of ribbons etc. I love making them!

  5. Allison says:

    Baby quilts are fun!! Not too big or overwhelming for a first project. They can be as simple or complicated as you want. Just figure the size, figure how many squares you want, find some cute coordinating fabrics and away you go!!

  6. Katie M says:

    It’s not a quilt, but I made a couple of these for my sister-in-law who had twins recently.

    I also sewed one of these for my friend’s baby, and he loved it. It was super practical for when they had long plane journeys.

  7. Dominika says:

    You could check out the tutorials that Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Company has made at Youtube. I do believe she has a 4 segment video tutorial for a baby quilt for beginners.

  8. craftysurf says:

    Try fusible batting- you iron it in place, and it won’t move around while you quilt. Makes life a lot easier.
    Use appliqués to hide any blocking line-up mistakes 😂👍

  9. Karen S says:

    I’ve made quilts as gifts (baby and otherwise) but when I want/need a quick baby gift I make the ‘self-binding baby blanket’. I’ve seen it made in quilting cotton, flannel and other cuddly fabric. I use flannel. They’ve always been well received by the new moms. It’s become my go-to for a quick and easy baby gift. I usually by a little extra fabric and make a matching bib or two.

  10. Linda Pierce says:

    Here’s an easy quilt I made with a charm pack
    Good luck! Looking forward to seeing what you make! There are some really cute baby fabrics about.

  11. Andrea says:

    Red wine sounds like it would go well with chocolate … I’ll experiment with that hypothesis this weekend and report the results! 😉

  12. ellegeemakes says:

    Sounds like a Fun quilting project, especially if the wine stays in the glass:) I know from experience it can leap out onto fabric when you least expect it!

  13. Pauline says:

    Making clothes is hard – making a baby quilt is really easy by comparison. I’m still a real beginner sewer and I made the quilt on the cover of Nap and Nod by Myra Harder (book of baby quilts) and it looked really good! Go for it!

  14. Sford says:

    Handmade Jane has a baby blanket on her site. Not technically a quilt as such but I have make it 4-5 times for friends and its so quick to put together using a technique of sewing strips of fabric together then cutting the piece of material into strips the ‘other way’ – check out the website for a far clearer explanation!!! Backed in a lovely fleecy material before bias binding the edges makes it ideal for parents put throw on sofas, cots, floors and washing regularly too.

    • I have made many of both. A scrappy ‘quilt’ for the floor is a great idea and at least it gets used when one receives too many quilt gifts. Locked up in hospital for 6wks when my baby considered arriving at 26 wks I made a nappy change mat from squares and appliqué pictures on it. It became a family treasure. My Boy is almost 18 and we all love to get it out and look at it sometimes. As its smaller it was easy to make and an easier keepsake. Also made some for other mums since.

  15. auntiedini says:

    Quilting can be so much fun! For a first quilt I suggest that you choose a simple pattern and use beautiful fabrics. Baby quilts are the best because the prints are so cute. Quilts will (almost) always fit – no worries about ease or fba’s and you are creating an heirloom that the recipient(s) will cherish.

  16. Lydia says:

    I am a quilter turned dressmaker – my key piece of advice is use a 1/4 inch foot on your sewing machine- quilting is all about accuracy and this makes that process so much easier- that combine with a ruler and rotary cutter.

  17. Cherry says:

    Babies under one year aren’t to have duvets and so when my friends and I started having grandchildren we began making patchwork quilts which were designed to be playmats sewn for each child as a group project. These are great for babies to be put on the floor and can pack easily for visits to friends. The older children still have their quilts now used in dens, as sofa throws wall hangings and so on. We always use Quilters Dream Puff wadding which washes well. So far we have made 16!

  18. Jo says:

    You know your coasters, well just join lots of those together then sandwich with wadding and backing. Lastly bind with a spotty bias binding. I did read a blog somewhere about a quilter who made a baby quilt and the recipient questioned the wadding content so watch out for that one. Good Luck. I just finished a quilt for my bigger girl. It is made using jelly roll strips, they are awesome because it takes all the cutting and inaccuracy out of the quilt before you start,

  19. Charlotte says:

    I’d support Dominika’s suggestion to watch some early Missouri Star Quilt Co tutorials – they got me into quilting and Jenny’s explanations are good for beginners.

  20. Kathryn says:

    I love making baby quilts – not too big & you can pick lovely bright colours and patterns! The second quilt I made was this free pattern
    & it was clearly explained & easy to follow. Purl soho also have a great tutorial on attaching bias binding which I still refer to.

  21. Paola says:

    Baby quilts touched a nerve. I have an unfinished baby quilt in the cupboard. The “baby” in question has now finished university. 🙂

    • Juls says:

      haha I know that feeling… I bought a cross stitch kit to record my niece’s birthday details which I still have and still unmade….she too is at uni! Doh!

  22. Nope, as a follower of you since way back when you sewed on that old 2nd hand machine, I’d given up on the idea you’d make a quilt. Thought you are more of a clothes girl. But now the thought has entered you mind you should have a go. The change will be nice, maybe try something smaller as I suggested above…

  23. Sabs says:

    Hi Karen I started off making quilts before clothes. Have a look at the early entries on my blog as I made really simple ones (I never got the hang of the swirly wirly free motion quilting!) I would say top tip is to get a walking foot, makes everything much easier.

    In particular have a look at:


  24. Lorna Matty says:

    I made my first quilt last year which was a baby quilt for my great nephew! The nursery theme was safari and I found a free giraffe quilt pattern on Craftsy. Here’s my finished quilt I really enjoyed making it and it wasn’t too difficult. As per a previous comment, definitely use a walking foot. You may want to buy pre-cut squares rather than cutting your own although for mine I cut my own which was cheaper and meant I had greater control on the colours etc. The hardest part for me was putting it all together at the end when you have to sandwich the quilt, batting and backing. Found the best way was to tape the backing on the floor so it didn’t move and then layered the batting on top of this and then the top quilt. I tried motion quilting and couldn’t get the hang of it so mainly stitched in the ditch for my quilting with the odd diagonal patterns. Good luck. Have fun. Can’t wait to see the end result…

  25. Sally Dixon says:

    I’ve made several baby play quilts (i.e. not for the bed, but a bit smaller to put on the ground to roll around on). One thing I always do is make the underside fabric something that is pleasing to the mum/dad rather than the baby. It can get so overwhelming being surrounded by ‘baby aesthetic’, some days you just want a bit of your own style reflected back at you it all the new baby ‘stuff’. That might be a bold marimekko print, a calming nani iro or just anything without ducks on it. Also use a walking foot.

    • Yes, I think this is a really good point re aesthetic. I’m keen to make one that isn’t overweaningly ‘baby’.

    • Sford says:

      I agree, I have made bits in a ‘new England’ style to match the interiors – a mid colour denim and a blue material with white stars, completed with red bias binding – with white fleece on the reverse.

  26. Ann Marshall says:

    I’ve never made a quilt either Karen but I think red wine and chocolate of any sort go very well together. My treat when we’re away in our touring caravan sitting outside in the early evening sunshine.

  27. Gail says:

    Hello. I made my first quilt last year. While looking at quilting cotton my Mum said she’d love to be able to quilt. I stupidly said I didn’t think it would be too hard to learn so she bought the fabric – then handed it to me when we got outside!! But I managed to teach myself with a book, a free craftsy course and You Tube (Missouri star that others have mentioned). I found this free Craftsy course really helpful … There are a number of these free block of the month courses but I found this 2012 one the most useful.

  28. tammyhappyis says:

    I don’t think you need to buy a book if you can already sew, I’m self taught from the Internet from blogs mostly.

    You just need to learn –
    1. how to use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut accurately
    2. An Accurate and consistent 1/4 seam

    Sew mama sew blog has hundreds of sewing tutorials, but they did a nice series on beginners quilting a few years ago that I learnt from.

    Crazymom quilts is a modern quilting blog, she also has lots of great free tutorials.
    Quilting Fabric manufacturer Moda, have a fantastic blog with hundreds of free patterns, called “the mods bakeshop” although that area of their website seems to be down atm.

    Other modern quilt blogs I likke are “red pepper quilts” “cluck cluck sew” “oh fransson” “diary of a quilter”

    Good luck!

  29. i’ve made many baby quilts for cribs, play mats, strollers. always preshrink and i use the lightest batting i can find. i’ve made baby quilts from 2 layers of flannel and they’ve come out great. and yes, the ‘underside’ should be something parent-pleasing.

  30. Thank you all so much for your advice and tips!

  31. Anna says:

    You will be surprised by how much you learn in making a quilt. The quilters I rubbed elbows with many years ago taught me a lot about delicate and accurate piecing and, not to mention, the wonderful interaction of color and pattern easily translatable to clothing. Go for it!

  32. Ros says:

    Baby clothes are also so much fun to sew – really little and quick and you can pick all the crazy colours and fabrics you might hesitate to wear yourself.

  33. Pingback: Shopping And Wine (Maybe Some Sewing) | Did You Make That?

  34. Oh.. I would love to make a quilt for my little one. Thanks for the idea 😊

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