A couple of months ago it looked like my good friend and neighbour was going to have her baby early - very early, so I put out a message on MIJ asking if anyone had any second hand preemie baby clothes that they were willing to donate. One of the replies I got was from Jennifer who runs Preemie Love, she had a little outfit to donate. (As it turned out, baby held on and was only 2 weeks early in the end and not so small! so the outfit was not needed, since then I have heard of another preemie baby on the list so I have sent the outfit to him instead).
Well, a few days later, Jennifer had seen the quilt I had made and so she mailed me and asked if I would be interested in designing some preemie blankets/quilts for her store, she sells a range of goods for those tiny babies that arrive early. As she was not in a big rush for the order I took on the challenge, initially I was going to make the quilts using cute Japanese prints but then decided that it wasn't a reliable option plus the making/sewing time would bump the price up too high. So I had a sit down and re-thought the plan and decided on printing a top sheet using Spoonflower then quilting the three layers together. Once I had got that idea settled I had a hard time settling on a design, we wanted them gender neutral and one of the reasons that Jennifer asked to get involved was because she liked my clean, fresh style So these are the two designs I settled on...
The first one is based on the bunting design and has a cute starry edge to it. They are smaller than a regular baby blanket so that they can be used in the hospital when the baby is still tiny, they are 50cm x61cm and 100% cotton. The ink used at Spoonflower is non toxic and all the fabric is washed before the quilts are sewn together.
The second one gave me a lot of headaches getting it just right! I wanted to stick to my favourite colour scheme of aqua, red and white and I went through many a page in the sketch book before settling on this design. Going through the design process I wanted the blanket to be something practical to be used at the start of the babies life and then either to be a keepsake or for the baby to use as they got older, as a play mat or a blanket for teddy, something that would get a lot of use.
If you know of a preemie baby that would like a handmade quilt then pop over to Preemie Love, the site is all in Japanese but there is a contact email address and I am sure Jennifer would be willing to help you out if you want to order anything. This is not the type of project I would have thought up so I was chuffed that Jennifer asked me, it was fun and challenging to work on.