Baby Quilts on a Budget

I have my favorite go-to patterns for baby quilts. Sometimes I like to mix things up and use a new-to-me pattern to keep things interesting. It’s time to start my quarterly donation quilt for a children’s charity, and I want a fresh pattern to use this time. As with the previous charity quilt, all materials must come from my stash. This time I added the additional challenge of using a “free/no cost to me” pattern, as well.

I searched online, visited the public library and went through my own pattern and book stash.

Here’s a sampling of some resources I found online:

Fat Quarter Shop


American Patchwork & Quilting

Other sources for free patterns:
Your public library, local quilt shop, local quilt guild or fellow quilters in your area.

Shop your own pattern & book stash:
I love my 3 yard quilt books from Fabric Cafe. Occasionally, I choose a different pattern just to see what it will look like in my chosen colorway. I often flip through my Lori Holt books for inspiration. I have even used blocks pulled from a magazine or book and set into a quilt setting found in one of Lori Holt’s books.

If you find a pattern you like online, bookmark or pin it. Use it as an inspiration for your own design. If’s a one block type quilt, can you identify the basic components of a single block? Squares, HSTs, Flying Geese, 4 patches, etc. Identify what drew you to that quilt and replicate that in your own design. Many baby quilts finish at 36″ x 45″ or 40″ x 48″ and are based on a 6″, 8″ or 9″ finished block. Borders are optional, but are an easy way to get a quilt to a needed size.

Let’s get real. If you’ve been sewing/quilting for a decent amount of time, you can probably look at a simple quilt and figure out how to make it on your own, or you already own a book with a similar pattern. No need to buy a new pattern. I’m not trying to deprive designers of income, but why would I pay again for something I already own or can figure out with a little math? $12 for a pdf pattern is a bit much for a quilt I’ll probably only make one time? Just sayin’.

My eyes were bigger than my stomach

Ever heard this old expression? Usually, it means you put more food on your plate than you can eat. For me it meant I had way too many activities in a short period of time, namely May & June. My calendar was in dire need of some serious editing.

How do you prioritize events when you need to cull some? For me, it’s generally (1) family, friends & volunteer commitments (2) prepaid events and (3) everything else. My Lori Holt Quilter’s Cottage quilt was accepted into the June Georgia Celebrates Quilts show, so I have to be available during the prescribed drop- off/pick-up times. With this in mind, I postponed my beach trip and chose not to sign-up for the ATL Quilt Study Group seminar at the SQTM. A bummer, yes, but these actions afford me some much needed time to decompress between the end of school and my trip to Pigeon Forge.

I think my scheduling conundrum is also a typical challenge experienced by many new retirees. We suddenly have an open calendar and want to do all the things. We pack the schedule in our excitement without thinking too much about it.

My Greenville trip was an absolute blast! It was so nice to be able to attend a regional quilt show in-person and take a class on a new-to-me technique. I look forward to being able to attend other shows in the future. Going forward, I’ll refrain from taking classes at a quilt show unless it’s from an instructor whose name I recognize. I’m finding that I can often get similar content in a class taught locally or found on YouTube at a fraction of the cost. I’m so looking forward to my class in Pigeon Forge with Edyta Sitar and the classes I’ll be taking at Garden of Quilts – Thanksgiving Pointe in September. Yes, my 2022 quilty bucket list trip has been booked – THREE solid days of quilty bliss with all kits included. Debating if I want to add-on a machine rental or schlep my little Elna STAR out there. Think I’d rather take my own machine. 🙂

Retirement Tip # 9999

(1) Verify your contact information with your employer is up-to-date especially YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER before you officially leave.

(2) If you have a 401(k), stock plan or anything else that you might need to rollover after you leave, make sure your usernames and passwords work for those accounts BEFORE you leave.

If you are the one who typically handles the money, verify these two things with your spouse 2-3 weeks before their departure date. Save yourself a huge headache. Do they use a company cell phone? With auto login and FACE ID, we often forget our user names and passwords to accounts that are infrequently used.

Ask me how I know…

Photo by Anna Shvets on

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