Quilter’s Name: LeAnn Korty from Avon, Indiana
Type of Quilt: Baby Quilt
Name of Pattern: Original Design
Featured Date: 12-27-23
Hi, I’m LeAnn. I’ve been sewing since I was about 5 years old – learning first from my Mom and my Grandmother and then developing my skills through 4-H and majoring in home economics at the University of Illinois. I started to quilt in 1987 and made 14 baby quilts that year as college friends started having babies. As a 4-H leader, I’ve helped many 4-H members, including our daughter, learn to sew and quilt. I’m a former director of the sewing area at our county 4-H fair in central Illinois. I love “all things fiber” and also knit and embroider. I’ve followed Nancy Zieman through the years and was so sad to hear of her death. We recently moved from Illinois to Indiana to be near our daughter and her family.
My daughter called and asked if I’d be interested in making a quilt for a friend of her from her son’s preemie clothes. I’d never done anything like that, but I said I’d give it a try. As I unpacked the box of adorable tiny outfits, I wondered how I could ever cut into them! I even called the baby’s mommy – twice – to be sure it was okay to cut into the outfits!
As I sorted, the aqua color emerged as primary so I found quilt fabric in those tones – I love how the adorable Moda print “Delivered With Love” brought all the colors together.
The baby’s mommy had identified favorite outfits and I wanted to feature those in the center of the quilt. I also wanted to have some of the snaps remain functional. I put a layer of fabric under those blocks so they could be opened. I tried to leave in zippers, but that created too much bulk.
Some of the outfits were mostly white and that blended in with the sashing, so I added piping around those quilt squares. I carried that idea forward and added piping to the binding. I added the baby’s first initial to one block.
The idea of hanging the adorable little socks on a clothesline (made from a shoelace) came to me in the middle of the night, as did keeping the little “feet” of the “My Best Friend has paws” outfit. As I finished laying it out, I noticed the matching hats still in the box. So, I tossed those across the top of the quilt.
The baby – who spent months in NICU – recently celebrated his first birthday and is doing very well! When I unfolded the quilt for the first time, his Mommy stopped mid-sentence and started to cry. Then, I started to cry and we hugged for a long time!
This was by far the most challenging quilt I’ve ever made. Even though I backed the squares with a woven stabilizer, they stretched a little. And some of the outfit fabrics were bulkier than others created a challenge.
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