Monday, 23 May 2011

What babies want!

Here is a sneak peek at something I am currently working on. Being on Etsy a week (no sales yet :( ) and having a proper snoop around showed me that large handmade (and therefore expensive) items don't sell so well. So I am thinking I need to start making baby quilts, because that seems to be the the way to go when it comes to quilts.

So I am currently making this baby quilt, and it is a handmade reversible quilt again, hoping I will stand out a bit from the masses of quilters on Etsy.

So now the question is of course "What do babies want?" or maybe it should be "What do new mums want?".

Should it be lots of cute fabrics with animals and toys etc.?

What about colours, very colourful and bright or rather muted baby pinks and blues?

I am also thinking of offering personalisation, an extra feature where buyers can let me know what name or word they want me to add to the quilt and I can applique it on by hand in large letters. If I do that should the fabric used for the letters be the same fabric used in the quilt or fabrics that are slightly different so the letters stand out?

Should I also add buttons and ribbons and other decorative object or not?

Any advice? What would you want? Sorry, of course I know you are not a baby :), but maybe you are a new mum, or a mum to be or you have friends who have a baby. What would they want? Or maybe you know what works well with babies and toddlers? What would a toddler like?

I am also currently working on some other projects, I had quite an exciting idea and am trying to develop some patterns, but that will have to wait until one of the next posts.

Take care.
Love, Nadine

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  1. Great idea!
    I'd personally stick with ribbons (babies like to suck on those - well ours does anyway) and steer away from buttons which can be more of a choking hazard. It would be nice to have various shades of blues and pinks with contrasting patterns. Choices of brights or muted (or both) would be great. I'd say personalisation would go down well (ideal if buying as a gift) and a stand out choice of fabric so the name could be easily seen would be wonderful.
    Hope some of that is at least helpful!

  2. Any quilt is always personal: people will like it or not. I mean, you never know, do you?
    I would never ever ever make any embellishments on a baby quilt, because a baby might get it in their mouth and choke on it. Or when they're older put it up their nose ...
    Never ever.
    The idea of adding applique (name of the baby) is great!
    But these are just my thoughts.

  3. Hi
    I love making baby quilts and the ones I have made seem to go over quite well with the moms.

    I try to stay away from anything to theme like and anything to sweet. I take my same style that I use for my other quilts into the baby world and it seems to work for me. I often make them a little larger so they can be used as a play mat as well. Some of my reasoning for all this is that I want the quilt to be used and loved as the child gets older.

    I would stay away from ribbons etc, pastels and buttons (to dangerous). I go with what I love and the result is I'm happier and I think my quilts turn out better.

    I probably gave you more advice than you wanted.

    Good luck with the baby quilts.

  4. Of course, duh, what was I thinking? BUTTONS? Of course you can't use those on a baby quilt.

    Thanks for all the great advice.
    Another question I didn't ask was,

    Do you think it is worthwhile making them by hand and obviously having to charge more?

    or do new mums maybe not care so much, do they rather want a nice (and fairly cheap) but machine made quilt?

  5. Re: the cost, i'd personally say that in regards to a baby quilt, Mum's wouldn't want to pay too much because of the risk of it getting ruined (i.e thrown up on, drawn on etc etc) and baby stuff has to be washed a whole lot more.

  6. Thanks Dawn, that is really useful to know. and it makes sense too. I think in terms of cost I could never sell a quilt for less than £50 - £75 if the cost of the material alone is about £35 (for a really small one) or more and the time invested can be between 2 weeks (machine made) and over a month (handsewn). So I need to find a way to produce cheap and fast for this sort of thing. That's good to know. I'll probably do it on the machine rather than by hand then. xx

  7. Hi
    I'm a beginner quilter so not too sure if you can use it in a quilt but what I would've loved in a quilt for my babies would've been a lovely soft backing like flannel. You could also add on some ribbon taggies - way back before Taggie blankets were invented my friends daughter went to bed every night with a t-shirt turned inside out so she could rub the label!

  8. Thanks Zoe, that's great advice. I'll have to experiment a bit with that idea and see how I can incorporate it in a reversible quilt. I am not entirely sure how to do the binding if there are supposed to be taggies sticking out. Will have to explore that. Thanks.

  9. I've used good quality flannel on the backs of baby quilts and love how soft it makes them. also if you are going for speed I would cut out enough blocks of one pattern to make more than one quilt. I've actually joined four tops with muslin strips and put them on the long arm and quilted them all in one session...that way you load the frame once and get four quilts....did I mention I'm sort of lazy??