We're four days into the "150 in 5" promotion, which you can read more about here. In the interests of brevity, I won't go through it all again, because we have a very interesting guest blogger with a great post! I'm so happy to welcome Michele from Quilts From My Crayon Box! As the adoptive mom of two adorable kids, Jammer and Sunshine, she's been a great source of info for me and has a great quilt-y post for us today. So without further ado, here's Michele!
Hi! I'm Michele and I blog over at Quilts From My Crayon Box. I'm thrilled and honored that Sarah asked me do a guest post today. I have a very unique type of quilt to tell you about. It is a Bai Jia Bie ( pronounced Buy Zhay Bee), more commonly known as a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. These specific quilts have significant meaning for me and have a special place in my heart, not only because I am a mom of 2 adopted children, but also because this tradition it is what introduced me to quilting and started me on the journey and lifelong passion that made quilting a huge part of my life.
A terrific 100 Good Wishes Quilt using a 4 Patch, cornerstones and a piano keys border.
This is a centuries old tradition in China, dating back hundreds of years, and were created to welcome a new child into a family, to surround that child with the love and protection of all the families represented. In Mandarin, it's 百家被, which literally means 100 Family Quilt, or a quilt united by 100 families. The tradition originated in the northern part of China in Tianjin, which sits within China's Hebei Province, just south of Beijing. There are some reports that this custom is also fairly common within Hunan Province. More than 20 years ago, adoptive parents of Chinese children embraced this tradition, creating quilts to not only welcome their child into their forever family but to also to help their child maintain a part of their heritage as well as a connection to their birth country.
This is just one of the page layouts in Jammer's wishes scrapbook. I grouped them together by coordinating color and kept the pages simple and basic so as to not distract from each wish, but you could certainly create the pages any way you wish.
This is the 100 Good Wishes Quilt that I had the pleasure of making for my friend Lisa's daughter Miss M. We chose a pale Butter Fairy Frost for the sashing and I found the perfect Pink floral fabric for the border based on her favorite colors of Pink and Green. This is a very typical style of layout for these quilts. To give you a size reference, the focus fabrics are 5 1/2" finished.
Here are a few more examples of quilts that were constructed in a similar fashion. As you can see, the sashing color choice is made to simply frame the focus blocks and not complete with them. Some quilts are made with borders, others are not.
White is a popular choice for the sashing. This quilt also contains some half square triangle blocks. I assume this was done to accommodate the number of fabrics received but still maintain a desired finished size.
Pink is another popular sashing color choice.
The black narrow sashing and border on this version is striking.
I also made this quilt but this time it was for this special young boy who is battling a terminal and rare form of renal cancer. Though he is not an adopted child, his family is Chinese and truly embraces the significance of the fabrics sent for this quilt by their friends and also sent by my blog readers from all over the US.
If you count, you'll realize that the quilt above contains more than 100 squares. There is no hard fast rule that there must be exactly 100. Sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less, all dependent on how many are contributed.
I've also seen many checkerboard layouts and they work especially well for those quilts that don't have a large number of contributed fabrics to use. Red is a very significant color in Chinese society so it is used a great deal in these quilts.
This is another quilt that I made for a friend's daughter. She requested that the squares just be sewn to each other with no sashing between and the squares to be large (they are 7" finished) She also sent me the fabrics used for the borders, the backing and the binding.
Though the layout for this quilt was challenging due to the various colors and prints, they were thrilled with the results. Here is another example of this style of layout but this one also added some Chinese calligraphy embroidered squares in each of the 4 corners.
These are the most common patterns used but there are many other patterns that work well for these unique quilts. This is my son Jammer's 100 Good Wishes Quilt, before it was quilted. It contains 128 squares because I didn't want to leave out any of the fabrics that we received. This is only the 3rd quilt I had ever made and it is really huge (116" x 130").
The design was based on this Square in a Square 50 Good Wishes Quilt made by a friend for her granddaughter. Why are there only 50 squares you may ask? Because this family actually adopted twin girls and each grandmother was given half of the pile to make into a quilt for each granddaughter.
For this quilt, the maker included a large ladybug in the center, which is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. As you can see, each quilt takes on a different feel based on the design selected and the other fabrics used in its construction.
Here is a gorgeous Snowball pattern 100 Good Wishes Quilt.
This one is different from so many others and the 1st diamond version I've come across.
Since becoming a quilter I look at many patterns with a different eye, looking at new ones and seeing if they would make a good option for a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. This adorable pattern by Amy Smart of Diary of A Quilter is just one great example. Though this sample only contains 72 focus squares, the overall size can easily be easily adjusted to accommodate the number of squares you have to use.
This Baubles and Beads pattern from McCalls Quilting: American Quilts for the Home, Spring 2011would be another fabulous layout option for a 100 Good Wishes Quilt. This quilt could look dramatically different depending on your color choice for the areas of White and Yellow.
One of my favorite patterns for these quilts is this from the Moda Bakeshop: Geese in the Park, designed by Karrielyne of Freckled Whimsy. The size and the layout of the quilt can be altered based on the number of fabrics received from friends and family.
Just imagine what a 100 Good Wishes Quilt would look like if you used Darlene Zimmerman's Hanky Panky pattern. The fabrics used in the center could be those from family and friends closest to you.
Another option with a different vibe is this Circa Charmer from the October/November 2010 issue of The Quilter. As mentioned above, the fabrics used for the Card Trick blocks could be from those near and dear and the rest of the fabrics you receive could be used for the 16 patch blocks.
And the last pattern idea that I'm sharing with you today (the list of possibilities could go on and on) is this Nara's Garden pattern by Nancy Mahoney and available from her website as a free download.
I hope that these examples give you some ideas of the many varied ways that you could make a 100 Good Wishes Quilt besides the typical sashed or checkerboard versions that are so prevalent. It just takes a little imagination, perhaps some adjustment in the size of the blocks and a little reconfiguring to include all the fabrics received. It can most definitely be done well and will result in a quilt that you would be proud of and that the new child will cherish for many years to come. I have been honored to make four 100 Good Wishes Quilts so far and I'm happy to say that there are 4 more in process for later this year.
One last tidbit I want to mention is that a few years ago an adorable book was published about this tradition. A Quilt of Wishes tells the story in a slightly different but totally heartwarming and tear jerking way. Be ready with the tissues. This is one book that every owner and maker of a 100 Good Wishes Quilt should have.
Since I first learned of this ancient tradition when we started our journey to bring our daughter home I have come to truly believe in my heart that it is a fantastic keepsake to make for any new child joining a family, whether by birth or adoption and no matter in what country they were born. That is why I made the quilt for my son who was born in Vietnam. It is terrific for a child to know that they were waited for by so many and with their 100 Good Wishes Quilt they will always be surrounded by the love and protection of all of those around them.
Wow! So many great ideas and now I can't wait to make one of these quilts for our little Nathanael! And I'd love for my extended "quilt-y" family to be part of it too - so if you'd like to send a "squish and a wish" I'd really love that! Mention in a comment if you want to send one and I'll give you my mailing address. Be sure to leave your email address just in case you are a no-reply blogger!
Thank you so much, Michele, for being such a wonderful advocate for 100 Good Wishes Quilts - I think it's a great idea that every child should receive one!
Be sure to stop back by tomorrow for the final day of the 150 in 5 event - we'll be whooping it up as usual, and I have a special quilt to share!
And here's a reminder about how the 150 in 5 works - I hope you'll check out her necklaces - they're just beautiful!!