Dear Family and Friends,
I recently ran across the tradition of the “Bai Jia Bei” or “100 Good Wishes Quilt.” To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a custom in Northern China, to make a Bai Jia Bei. When a baby was born, family and friends would give the child's mother fabric scraps from old clothing with a wish for the baby. She would make a quilt for the child from the scraps. It is said that the luck, energy and good wishes from all of the families and friends who contributed the fabric surrounds the child when she is wrapped in the quilt. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.
There are so many wonderful reasons to make this quilt for our daughter-to-be, tradition being one of them. We are hoping to find many ways to keep her connected to her Chinese heritage. Another great reason is that our daughter will someday be able to see how much she was loved, wanted and thought of even before she came into our family.
We would love for you to participate in our goal to make a Bai Jei Bei. If you would like to join us in creating this very special keepsake for our child, please send a piece of fabric, at least 9”x9”. On a separate piece of paper or cardstock, please write/print your good wish for this child.
Ideas for selecting fabric squares:
Select a fabric that is meaningful to you
100% cotton fabric is best, as it washes and wears better
Please avoid stretchy material (such as tee-shirt material) as it harder to work with
and this will be my first ever attempt at making a quilt!
Collecting 100 squares is going to be a challenge, but we think it is a fun project and a very worthwhile one. (I have already signed up for beginner's quilting classes and am quite excited.) For the good wishes, some ideas that come to mind are good health, perseverance, compassion, and sense of humor. Use that as a guide for your good wish note. A few good wish examples (silly is okay):
May you always have shelter
May you have an abundance of hugs and kisses
May you pass your driver's test on the first try
The good wishes will be incorporated a memory book that I will make for us to keep, and read, as a family. I will happily share pictures of the completed quilt. I have already been involved in a couple of “swaps” with other adoptive moms-to-be.
Our log in date with the Chinese government is November 23, 2005. With our anniversary date now past, we are hoping to receive our baby daughter's referral sometime this spring (most likely late spring) with travel in the summer to complete our adoption. However, the wait seems to speed up and slow down for no apparent reason
The miracle of this experience has been helped and nurtured by so many of you and this will be so incredibly meaningful for us, as well as our new baby.
Below are samples of "squishes" that we have already received. I thought that seeing samples would help, I know it helped me when I was first starting out! Some of the "swaps" that I have already been involved in (to help you with ideas for fabric): Asian Fabrics, Butterflies and Dragonflies, All Lavendar, Ladybugs, Pink/Purple Surprise, and Seeing Red.
I have also decided to try my hand at a flannel quilt as my first project. I have been told it is a perfect "starter" quilt and how totally cozy and sweet is a flannel blanket to wrap a child in on a cool winter's morning?! So, if you would like to send a pretty flannel, please do. One thing, with the way a flannel quilt is contructed, two matching pieces are used (back to back) with, usually, no batting in between. Also, the squares are larger (not sure exactly why, but I am sure I will learn that when I start working on this quilt!).
As always, if you have any questions please drop me a note (or email me!).
* These ended up needing to be larger than expected to show details.
I have placed the more scans on my Picture Trail Quilt page.
Link to my Picture Trail account is here.