Baby Quilts

Baby quilts for Christmas 2020

Ruth has 36 fat quarters of Christmas fabrics for BQ members to make into baby quilts.  One fat quarter is just larger than 16 by 20 inches for the backing. Left overs can be mixed with other fabrics which can be in Christmas colours or on the Christmas theme, stars, pinwheels, squares etc.   Now that we are being limited in our movements yet again it is just the time to sew something simple for  someone else.

Please get in touch with me for fabric if you feel the urge to do some simple sewing.  I can hand the fabric over or deliver it, I am not very busy.  I also also have labels.

Message from Ruth on the Christmas Baby Quilts    

Many thanks to all who have made cot quilts, we now have 41 Christmas quilts and 11 others.   I will be taking them to Southmead in mid December so you still have time to make some.


I have 25 fat quarters in Christmas fabrics if you would like to collect or I can deliver them to you if you have time to make some cot quilts.  Please contact me on

Baby Quilts for Christmas 2018

In order to encourage members to make cot quilts Ruth now has a variety of Christmas fabrics in half metre strips.  These can be used as backings and on the front in simple designs.  Ruth has plain blue, red,  green and cream if you have made a front.  There is  also a robin, Father Christmas, small blue penguins and green trees.

Please get in touch with Ruth and let her know the amount you would need and she can deliver it or will bring it to the November meeting.

So far Ruth has 6 Christmas quilts  so only 30 to go.

Ruth Case is our Baby Quilts Co-ordinator and is responsible for collecting the quilts and other items made by members and then liaising with the St Michael’s and Southmead NITUs.  Details of what items are needed are below and if you need any further information you can contact Ruth directly

Quilters’ Support for NICU

Bristol Quilters support the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southmead Hospital by making various items for the 34 cots and 25 incubators. The baby quilts are most in demand as the parent or guardian of each baby is able to choose a quilt to keep which they can take home for use later or use whilst their baby in NICU and then take home. They brighten up the ward and they are well received and a good use for members’ left over fabrics.  (241 donated since September 2015)

In 2016 we began to support NICU  at St. Michael’s which also has 34 cots. Here the baby quilts are kept on the wards to add a homely feel and are a colourful addition to the cots. They are also used to cover the top of the incubators to reduce the light.  (137 donated since April 2016)

The matron, Kay Pullen, also requested some cushion covers to make the parents’ sitting and bedrooms more homely and we donated 3 in 2016.

Choosing fabrics and making up

Fabrics need to be capable of withstanding frequent washing at 60 degrees, preferably cotton.  No wadding is needed is in the baby quilts or cot covers, but recently we have been asked to add wadding to incubator covers to help deaden sound.  There is a laundry room within NICU and after washing, everything is tumble dried on a hot setting. As nothing is ironed, it is worth edge stitching to keep the layers tidily together, and a few lines of stitch within the quilt also helps. Please round the corners of the quilt if you wish, but this is not necessary. The quilts are not wadded and have a Bristol Quilters label sewn on the back.

Cot quilts

Used inside the cot, over the baby, 16 inches by 20 inches 100 per cent cotton, front and back. Front and back can be any pattern and applique is also fine to use, but on the front only and well secured with stitching as it needs to withstand repeated washing. The Bristol Quilters label should be attached (available on the information desk at evening meetings or ask Ruth to send them). Again, a couple of rows of stitching up and down and side to side at intervals will keep the quilt sitting nicely flat as it will not be ironed after washing.

Christmas baby quilts

Since 2015 we have donated each year around 40 Christmas themed quilts to Southmead NICU, so that each baby in the unit over Christmas is gifted one. We had more than enough in December 2017 and were able to give 14 Christmas quilts to St Michael’s to brighten the wards there. 

Baby sheets

We have also provided baby sheets for Southmead NICU, but Lisa has sufficient at present. Single sheet of hemmed fabric in 100 per cent cotton 16 inches wide by 20 inches long. These colourful cotton sheets are used under the smallest babies which are not clothed so that their skin can be easily checked. Older babies that are dressed have the sheets over them. (125 donated since October 2015)

Incubator covers

Quilts for fully enclosed incubators are much needed, these can now be wadded (Mary Jane is able to supply wadding that can stand the 60 degree wash). The size for these is approx. 60 inches by 48 inches  so that the quilt completely blocks out light at the sides and back but leaves the baby still visible from the front for observation. The fabric underneath must be completely plain and dark black, dark blue, brown etc. (please ask Ruth for navy backing material.)  This is not just to block light, but also because the babies can see the patterns and this may disturb them.  The incubators are mainly visible from the doorways or while walking along the ward so if there are directional prints, these may be best placed so that that they are upright on the 60 inch length of the quilt. Lines of straight stitching (or use one of the many embroidery stitches on your machines) down and across the quilt at intervals will ensure it stays looking nice even if not ironed.
(6 donated since March 2016)

Cot covers 

A new sized cover 52 inches x 36 inches for babies who are well enough to be

transferred from incubators into cots. As shown in the photo, there is a bar over the cot which is used to suspend the covering to keep light from sleeping babies. The underneath should also be dark and plain. (10 donated since  March 2016)

Please can members attach a BQ label to the back of their quilt, it can be machine stitched on before making up.  Labels can be collected from the information table in the evening meeting hall.  If you can’t attend a meeting, but would like some labels, please e-mail Ruth at and she will get them to you.

A selection of baby quilts made by some of our members