Life Cycles Quilt

this quilt is for my niece aliyah... who was born less than a week ago!

my mom often refers to big events as "life cycle" moments
& since making quilts for big moments like this is a favorite thing of mine... i knew i wanted to make a new quilt as soon as i found out that i had a niece on the way!
this quilt would be great for births... weddings... anniversaries... or even holidays like mother's day!

come check out my blog to see the original quilt i made for my nephew that inspired this quilt!

1 Jelly Roll Basics in Milk
1 Make Life Honey Bun
1/4 yd Bias Cut Binding - Make Life Fun - Ocean 5425 23
Scrap or FQ - { I used  Earth Texture SKU# 5427-15 }
Scrap or FQ -  { I used Grass Shine SKU# 5424-21 }
1 1/8 yard backing
Scrap of fusible web

HB = Honey Bun
JR = Jelly Roll

1. Open HB.  Start with any colored strips that are in the HB twice.  If you are using make life you'll have 5.
Sew them as shown below on the right
HB strip - JR strip - HB strip
These will yield 9 blocks each

2. Take the rest of the colored HB strips and cut them in half.
Sew them as shown below on the left
HB strip - JR strip - HB strip
{ you can cut the JR strips in half... I just did it as shown below to save on cutting time }
These will yield 4 blocks of each color

3. Sub-cut strips into 4.5" blocks.  As noted above the full strips will yield 9 blocks and the half strips will yield 4 blocks.

4.  I used all of the strips in the HB that were colored and got about 97 blocks... which is enough for 2 quilts.

5. You'll need 46 blocks for one quilt.  I made more anticipating that people would make mistakes in signing them!  I had people start to sign them before the quilt was made.  Most people wanted to sign them horizontal, so I had to make it a point to ask some people to sign them vertical.  {thanks mom for all your help organizing this part!}

6. The next step is making the center block.
Print this PDF file and trace the letters needed onto fusible web.  Iron them onto the grey fabric & cut them out.

7.  Cut your background for the name at 12.5" x 4.5"
If your name is longer or shorter, you can have it take up more than 3 blocks of space or make the letters smaller or larger.  Iron the letters in place.  I sewed mine down with a machine blanket stitch to finish them.

8.  Lay out your blocks.
Sew blocks into rows.  Press towards the colored part of the blocks.
Sew rows together.

9. Add Border #1
Border #1 is made from 4 HB strips.  Add 2 to sides and then top & bottom.  I used the white strips with small stars.

10. Add Border #2
Border #2 is made from 4 JR strips.  Add 2 to sides and then top & bottom.  

11. Layer...Quilt...and Bind.
I quilted in the ditch to avoid the signatures & messages.

I also cut my binding on the bias to get this effect.  Binding instructions can be found here.

Lastly I added a sleeve to the back so that this can hang on the wall.

34" x 34" Quilt

happy mother's day!
all three generations!
just hours after aliyah was born!!

by Julie of jaybirdquilts!


Katie B. said...

What a wonderful idea!

Judy V said...

I can't wait to make this quilt for my new little niece/nephew.. The signed blocks is such a nice addition.

lari smiles said...

Adorable, and looks like it goes together so quickly! I LOVE the idea of signed blocks. I'll definitely be using this one soon!

KarrieLyne said...

**happy dance**
So cute and a fabulous idea!!! :)

Kari said...

I'm in love with the baby, but the quilt is cute too!

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Absolutely beautiful music today and absolutely beautiful and wonderful life cycle quilt.


traceyjay said...

So beautiful and so special! Those pictures are just too precious and bringing back lots of memories!

the Material Girls Quilts said...

I love this!! It is so cute and fun. I always love your creations!
I'll be making this for sure!

Jennifer said...

Very cute idea with the siggy blocks! I am loving this one. I can make great retirement gifts!

Thanks Julie!

Dani said...

I love this one Julie ... it turned out well :)

Trisha said...

Very cute!

Sandy said...

Beautiful,creative & a treasure for the future! Great job!!

lissa said...


That is such a wonderful heirloom and a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

prairiegirl said...

What a beautiful idea for a quilt to celebrate the momentous occasions of life!

Jeannie said...

That is just perfect!

Seams Sew Together said...

Fantastic Idea, I wish I knew about this before my daughters 21st.


sweettooth7 said...

Beautiful! I wanted to do something like this for my kids but never got to it. Now I'm on kid #2. Maybe for graduation...

Angie said...

My grandmother's 90th birthday is coming up soon. If I can wrangle all of the grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids into signing blocks, she would have quite a treasure. Thanks for the excellent idea!

Peris said...

What kind of pen do you use to have people sign with?

jaybird said...

I use a micron pen that is acid free and intended for use on fabric

Trisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trisha said...

ooops.. i accidentally removed my post! :D

anyways, i was saying that this is such a momentous picture. cute baby and a very lovely quilt... :D


Olivia said...

My mum made me one of these for my 21st birthday a few years ago, I love it, mine also has photos from birth up until my party on the quilt.

Marcia's Sewing Room said...

I just made a prayer quilt with this pattern for my friend who has been diagnosed with cancer. Her friends and family are signing it so she can be reminded that she is 'wrapped' in everyone's love.

Jeanette said...

I ended up having the quilt blocks for people to sign at my baby shower. Now I will be putting it together and quilting it to put it up in our little girl's room before she makes her arrival in February! Everyone thought that this was a wonderful idea and it will be a quick but memorable quilt! Thanks for the tutorial! said...

Lovely quilt and easy too!!

martha hale said...

This looks like a good & easy starter quilt for beginners, like me!! Can't wait to make this memory quilt for new little ones!