Knitting Baby Hats for Charity—Tiny Hearts Pattern

Knitting Baby Hats for Charity—Tiny Hearts Pattern

When the winter months bring subzero winds chills and the snow is blowing outside, I love to have a knitting project next to my easy chair to work on while staying cozy warm watching a movie or catching up on a series. A wonderful quick and easy project to knit is a baby hat for charity.

I heard on our local news that the American Heart Association was sending out a call to all knitters and crocheters to join with them to celebrate National Heart Month by making red baby hats for them to deliver to newborns and preemies in our local hospitals this February. It touched my heart and I knew I needed to find some red yarn, knitting needles, and get to work.

I found lots of baby hat patterns online. I knew I loved the soft feel of the light yarns (#3). But they called for red hats, and it’s not easy to find light weight yarns in red! They’re mostly pastels for infants. But I was lucky in my search and found some red light weight yarn at my local Hobby Lobby (called “I Love This Yarn” Sport Weight), and was able to use their 40%off coupon (score)! Let the fun begin…

Next I found a basic pattern online. It wasn’t quite what I wanted (a little too plain), so I changed the pattern here and there…adding stripes of varying sizes. I made some of them in sizes for preemies and some for small newborns.

AVERAGE BABY HEAD MEASURMENTS BY SIZE

• Preemie head size: 9-inch circumference and 4 inches tall

• Newborn size: 11-inch circumference and 5 inches tall

• 0-3 month size: 13-inch circumference and 6 inches tall

Each time I made one, I changed the pattern a bit more. And finally, my favorite hat emerged…it was the one with the tiny hearts stripe. They’re cute, but they’re also oh so very easy to knit!

After all this experimentation, I came up with this basic knit pattern (shown below) that’s easy to make and features that sweet little stripe of tiny red hearts using “light” yarn (#3). The size was perfect for a preemie or small newborn (about 10 – 10-1/2 inch brim).

This second variation adds a stripe to the top and bottom of the hearts row.

By using knitting worsted, medium weight yarn (#4), this same pattern turned out to be newborn size (12-13 inch brim).

Heres a comparison photo below (left knitting worsted #4; right light yarn #3).

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Tiny Hearts Knit Baby Hat Pattern for Charity

Size: 10-1/2 inches around & 5-1/2 to 6 inches high (small newborn/large preemie)

Supplies 1 skein #3 Light yarn in main color red (A)

Several yds of yarn in contrasting color for hearts white (B)

Sz 5 needles (I like to start with round needles), but you could use dpn

Sz 7 dpn (then I switch to double point needles)

Basic Pattern With main color A & size 5 needles, CO 56 sts & join into a round

Rnds 1-8: k1, p1 (about 2”) ribbing

Switch to size 7 needles and continue

Rnds 9-10: k main color (A)

Rnds 11-12 k contrasting color (B)

Rnd 13: k1 (A), k1 (B), etc. around.

Rnd 14-15: k contrasting color (B)

Rnd 16-27: k each round (12 rows) about 4-1/2” from beginning

Decreasing Rnd 28:(k5, k2tog) around (48 st remain)

Rnd 29 (& all odd rows through end): k around Rnd 30:(k4, k2tog) around (40 st remain)

Rnd 32:(k3, k2tog) around (32 st remain)

Rnd 34:(k2, k2tog) around (24 st remain)

Rnd 36:(k1, k2tog) around (16 st remain)

Rnd 38:(k2tog) around (8 st remain)

Break yarn & weave in ends.

Try different variations: add a white stripe above and below the row of hearts.

Use the pattern above through row 8, then

Rnd 9-10: k A

Rnd 11-12: k B

Rnd 13-14: k A

Rnd 15-16: k B

Rnd 17: (k1 A, k1 B) repeat

Rnd 18-19: k B

Rnd 20-21: k A

Rnd 22-23: k B

Rnd 24-38: Continue same as above pattern in main color A

You’re done!

Experiment with different sizes of yarns and needles to make the size you want (according to the head size chart). Try adding more stripes, or several different colors.

All my little knitted red hats have been sent off to AHA. I hope some newborn little boys and girls and their families will be very happy with them and will enjoy getting them.

And I hope you’ll use this pattern to make baby hats for your favorite charity. Or maybe make one extra to give to your friend who’s a new mom or dad, or to a new grandma or grandpa.

Until next time.

Happy Quilting … and Happy Knitting!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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Quiltsy Team Charity a Day for National Quilt Month

Quiltsy Team Charity a Day for National Quilt Month

March is National Quilt month!
My Quiltsy Team (a group of quilting artists who sell their work on the Etsy.com website) is celebrating by featuring a different member each day and the charities they support.  So today I’d like to share photos of donations I’ve just finished up to give to Mikayla’s Grace.

Preemie9

Mikayla’s Grace is a local charity in my area that supports families with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals throughout Wisconsin by providing NICU care packages that offer both practical and emotional support for parents.  They also reach out to comfort women who experience miscarriages.

I’ve knitted quite a few preemie hats throughout this past year, but when a call came out for special small items, it was an opportunity for me to try a new technique…combining quilting with crochet!  I’ve seen quilts that were made up of squares with crocheted edgings and then put together like a granny square afghan.

So, starting with small squares of cotton and soft flannel, I made little tiny quilts by sewing them right sides together,

Squares1

with a quarter inch seam (leaving an opening to turn)

Squares2

And then turning the right side out and top stitching around the edges.

Squares3

I found yarn was too thick, but white pearl cotton was just the right size, to do a blanket stitch around the perimeter of the square.

Squares4

That gave me something to anchor my crochet edge stitching to.  And then it was a matter of crocheting whatever edge stitch I desired around the entire square for several rows.

Squares5

Here’s a few simple edgings done in green baby yarn (top) and blue cotton yarn (bottom). I liked using the soft baby (or sports weight) yarn the best.

Squares6

And here’s a few more in coral and mint green.  You can see I tried to use the yarn to do the blanket stitch (one on the right), and although I like the look of it better I found it very difficult to thread and poke through the edging, so I went back to using the pearl cotton.

Squares8

By folding, they make the cutest little wraps—you can see how small they are next to my hand…

Next I decided to make some little quilts for preemies out of some beautiful cotton fabrics and soft flannel.

Preemie1Preemie2

Squares put together and backed with soft flannel.

Preemie5apreemie6

Aren’t the chicks cute?  I love the bright, cheerful colors.  And here are a few more pieced in strips across the quilt with soft minky fabric on the back.

Preemie4aPreemie7

Last but not least, I added a couple of tiny knit afghans that I made out of soft yellow baby yarn with a blue crochet edging.  Can you see the “heart” created by the pattern? So fun.

Preemie8

I hope these small gifts bring love and comfort to the families they go to!

I’m so blessed to be a part of such  great Etsy Team.  Each member is not only creative, but so caring and generous.  Just this past month when one of our members found out about a need for quilts for victims of fires in Tennessee, our Quiltsy Team immediately went to work and made 67 quilts to donate to them–yup SIXTY SEVEN!!  An amazing group that I am so thankful for.

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

4 Baby Quilts in 4 Hours with 4 Fat Quarters +: Tutorial

4 Baby Quilts in 4 Hours with 4 Fat Quarters +: Tutorial

Make 4 baby quilts

Make 4 baby quilts

I wanted to make some soft and cuddly charity quilts for Mikayla’s Grace, and came up with this idea. I hope you’ll give it a try the next time you want to make a baby quilt for charity, or for a friend.  It’s easy to whip up all four in an afternoon of sewing, and are great for giving to charity, or to keep on hand for gifts for friends (new moms & grandmas).

Ok, so you’ll need a little more fabric than 4 fat quarters–you’ll need an additional 3/8 yd for the center strip on top, and some fabric for binding & backing–but it all starts with 4 coordinating fat quarters.

I happened to have purchased a packet of coordinating prints I found at “Pineapple Fabrics'” vendor booth at the Quilt Expo in Madison (“Over The Top – Bonus Quarter 5 Pack”, no longer available) and added a bit of yardage for the backs from my stash. It’s fun to use soft flannels and “minky” or “cuddle” fabrics as backing material. See if you can find fabrics from your stash to use, or purchase fabric from the list below.

Richard Blake's

Fat quarter fabrics from the pack

To make four quilts, here’s a list of the coordinating fabric you’ll need:

  • 4 fat quarters of coordinating cotton fabrics (for the fronts)
  • 3/8 yard of coordinating cotton fabric (for the fronts)
  • 1/4 yard (of 42-45″) cotton fabric (bindings)
  • 1-1/4 yard of cotton flannel (backings)

I like to wash & dry all my fabric before starting to be sure nothing bleeds or shrinks.  But many quilters opt not to wash it first.  It’s totally up to you.  However, I would advise that you wash the flannel–as flannel usually shrinks quite a bit.

Stack the 4 fat quarters one on top of the other (right sides up) on your cutting mat, and with your rotary cutter & ruler, cut:

  • Two 3-1/2″ strips, and
  • Two 4-1/2″ strips

From the extra yardage (3/8 yd), cut:

  • Two 6-1/2″ strips (WOF=width of fabric) & subcut these in half so you’ll have four 22 x 6-1/2″ strips.

Cut the binding out of the 1/4 yard:

  • Cut 1-1/2″ strips WOF (you’ll get about 6 strips)

Cut the 1-1/4 yd cotton flannel into 4 squares, each just a little LARGER than 20 x 20″

Cut strips through all layers

Cut strips through all layers

You'll have enough strips to make four quilts!

You’ll have enough strips to make four quilts!

Once the strips are cut, you’ll need one 6-1/2″, two 3-1/2″, and two 4-1/2″ strips for each quilt–so take some time to be sure you have “stacks” of the required strips–each pile of strips should contain 5 different fabrics.

On the backing, find the center mark on two opposites sides and place a pin or mark.  Find the center of the short ends of a 6-1/2″ strip and pin or mark.  Lay the backing on a flat surface wrong side up.  Then place the 6-1/2″ strip right side up on top of the backing, matching the center pins/markings.  (Yup, you’re right, you’re putting wrong sides together).

CharityQu3

Lay 3-1/2″ strip against one long edge of 6-1/2 RST & pin

Next lay a 3-1/2″ strip right side down (RST) along the raw edge of one long side of the 6-12″ strip you just laid down.  Pin and sew 1/4″ along.

CharityQu4

Sew through all layers with a 1/4″ seam

CharityQu5

Lay it back on your ironing board

CharityQu6

Flip open and press

Take it back to your ironing board and press it open.

Then take the remaining 4-1/2″ strip and lay it right sides together along the raw edge of the 3-1/2″ strip you just sewed and pin…and stitch.

CharityQu7

Repeat–working from the center strip out

Do the same on the opposite side of the center 6-1/2″ strip until the entire backing is covered.

CharityQu8

Until all the backing is covered

After a final press, take it to your cutting mat and square it up, making sure the backing and top align around the edges.

CharityQu9

Give it a final press, then trim/square up

Join the short ends of your 1-1/2″ binding strips together (as you normally would for a quilt) and fold over one edge 1/4″ to the wrong side and press.  Sew raw edge of binding to the quilt sewing it to the BACK first with a 1/4″ seam, using the same procedure as for any quilt.  Cut and join the edges together and finish sewing.

CharityQu9a

Cut binding 1-1/2″, press 1/4 on one side & sew to BACK

Now turn the binding to the RIGHT side (top) of the quilt and pin or clip to hold.  Using a serpentine stitch (or zig zag), top stitch the binding in place.

CharityQu9b

Topstitch from the front using serpentine stitch

See how the serpentine stitch allows it to “catch” on the back?

CharityQu9c

It looks good on both sides

Faster than hand stitching and it looks nice from the front or the back.

CharityQu9d

Four quilts! (Notice: I didn’t cut enough binding so 1 is different)

Repeat the process to make the other quilts, and TA-DAH!  You have FOUR beautiful 20×20″ baby quilts ready to go!

CharityQu9e

My backings are different colors because I used up 20″ scraps that I had on hand.

Aren’t they cute and cuddly?

I donated these to a charity called Mikayla’s Grace…  I’m hoping they’ll cheer some parents of newborn preemies.  Their mission is to support families with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals in Wisconsin by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes that offer both practical and emotional support for the parents.

What’s your favorite charity to send your quilts to?

I’d love to hear from you–

And if you make these, let me know if you have any questions.

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Blanket Wraps for Mikayla’s Grace, Ready to Go…

Blanket Wraps for Mikayla’s Grace, Ready to Go…

I found a tiny diaper pattern through Tiny Tears and decided to make matching diapers to go with each blanket wrap. Just email them and they’ll send you a pdf pattern with instructions.

After cutting & sewing the patter pieces right sides together, I found pinking the edges easier than just trimming.

Turn them right side out…

After topstitching, each one is folded and pinned.

So sweet, so tiny…

Set #1—with pieced blanket wraps.

Set #2—pink, soft and cuddly.

Set #3—baby blue

Set #4—aqua, soft and cuddly.

Ready to send off…

If you’re interested in making blanket wraps for Mikayla’s Grace, see my previous blog or go to their website here.

Next, I’m going to be doing some experimenting with rulers on my Tin Lizzie quilting machine!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Blanket Wraps for “Mikayla’s Grace”

Blanket Wraps for “Mikayla’s Grace”

I was watching an episode of “Nancy’s Notions” and found through their website Nancy’s Corner a link to “Mikayla’s Grace”.  After reading the more, I decided to set aside Sunday afternoon to sew “Blanket Wraps”.

Mikayla’s Grace, started by Mike and Melissa Terrill, was created with the mission of giving comfort and support to parents with a baby in the NICU (neonatal ICU) and those who experience the death of an infant or pregnancy loss at hospitals in Wisconsin…and they serve many of the hospitals right here in my city.   Did you know that 1 in 4 women experience a pregnancy loss?  Just this past year, over 10% of the babies born in Wisconsin were born premature.

Since 2011 Mikayla’s Grace has donated 431 Angel memory boxes, 420 NICU care packages, 50 Christmas NICU care packages, 310 Baby Loss Comfort Packages (for early pregnancy loss less than 16 weeks), 400 baby blankets, and 400 gowns with matching booties and hats to hospitals in Wisconsin.

After looking over their website of suggested handmade items requested—see website here—I decided to make several 10” Blanket Wraps.   Aren’t they sweet?

There’s a great PDF step-by-step guide and a YouTube video at the website provided through UtahShare.org.

I started looking through my soft flannel stash, added a few new pieces from the store, and ribbons.  They ask that you create two blanket wraps that are identical.  Here’s how I did mine…

To make two matching blanket wraps, all you need are four 10” squares (2 from the outer fabric; 2 from the inner lining).  Cut one lining square in half diagonally (use one and save the other for the 2nd).

Zig-zag or serge the cut diagonal edge, and fold over 1/4” and top stitch

With both pieces right side up, place the triangle on top of the matching square & baste the edges…this creates a pouch.

Then (with right sides together) join the outer square to the lining/pouch squares, leaving an opening to turn.  Trim the corners & turn right side out.

Press and top stitch around the outside, being sure to catch the edges that were open.

Repeat to make the second one, and you’re done!  So easy and so sweet.  Use a ribbon (attached to the back) to fold & close.

I’ve made 8 so far, and plan to make a few more before I sent them in.

I tried piecing the outside square of two of these (upper left above), using 30’s reproduction fabrics with white muslin (2” squares), but using soft flannel for the lining.  I’ll have to check with the organization to see if that’s acceptable…as a quilter, I really enjoyed trying it.  Otherwise, all the rest are done with two contrasting but complimentary pastel cotton flannel prints/solids.

Wouldn’t they be cute with a little lace around the edges? …a decorative stitch?  …or a different ribbon?  Each pair takes about 45 minutes to make—so they’re quick and easy.

If you love to sew, consider creating some of these blanket wraps—or other items on their list—for donation to Mikayla’s Grace, or similar organizations in your area.   They also have patterns to knit and crochet on their website.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts