by Ardeana Hamlin

of The Weekly Staff

Two weeks before the date of the baby shower, I realized that if I wanted to put together a

crib quilt as a gift for the soon-to-be new parents, I’d better start foraging around in my fabric

stash for suitable material.

It didn’t occur to me, while I was pawing around for fabric, that I ought to look for a quilt

pattern, too. I knew from long experience that if I used a pattern, I would deviate from it before

anyone could say “rotary cutter” or “tumbling blocks.”

I have no idea if the baby is a boy or a girl, and neither do the parents, but that really didn’t

matter. I opted for fabrics featuring a range of blue hues — all because I found a rectangle

of material printed with puffy white clouds against a lovely blue sky. I didn’t have to dig too deeply

to find other fabric scraps in prints of blue that played well with the cloud material.

I cut a few squares and a few bands of fabric, stitched them together and at the end of the

afternoon, I had pieced the quilt top together.

But I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. I thought it needed a unifying element. I decided on bluebirds — of happiness — to applique here and there on the quilt top.

I sketched a sitting bird and a flying bird on printer paper, thinking of the symbolism — parents

sitting on the nest with a quilt-wrapped chick under their wings, a chick that one day will fly

the nest.

I cut eight bird bodies from the blue backing fabric and eight wing pieces from scraps of the blue print fabric I’d used in the quilt top.

As crib quilts go, it’s not over-the-top, but that’s OK. If the quilt is too pretty, the parents might  “save” it for special occasions, or not use it all.

My hope is that the quilt will be used on a daily basis — spread on the floor for the baby to lie

on, spit up on, drag around, love to shreds — so that by the time the child is 3 years old

it will be in tatters, testimony to the fact that is was used, enjoyed and was a part of the baby’s

Otherwise, why make a crib quilt?

I found out several weeks ago that the baby is a boy named Rowan Matthew.