While going through this adoption journey, we’ve learned about the 100 good wishes quilt tradition or bai jia bei. Stemming from northern China, the tradition is when a new baby comes into a home, friends and family shower the beautiful new life with pieces of cloth and their hopes, wishes, and prayers for blessings of prosperity, longevity, and happiness.
Although I’ve never quilted anything in my life . . . I’m willing to try to work on this project.
How beautiful to welcome our new daughter by wrapping her in the love and goodwill of a community of family and friends. Creating an heirloom of blessings that can be passed down to following generations, this is a project that envelopes a community. I LOVE this tradition!
Here’s a sample of the circle quilt I hope to create with fabric blocks. Isn’t it beautiful?
I’ll incorporate a theme of red that draws from the red silk cord that is prevalent throughout China in jewelry, apparel, and tied around the wrist of young babies and children.
In addition to the quilt, the wishes/prayers/messages are sent on note cards with a small scrap of the same fabric. Compiled into a “scrap” book, our daughter can match the quilt squares with the corresponding scraps and messages in the book to read the thoughtful words of love and strength from those who shared the fabric.
Again, I’m not a quilter, yet with fantastic tutorials from Diary of a Quilter, I feel like I could tackle a simple block quilt. . . with 100 squares. Oh, ok, maybe at least I can design the pattern of the squares, cut and sew those, and ask for some help with binding and edging and all that other quilting stuff (so unfamiliar with the vocabulary) from some of our veteran quilters and seamstresses in the family (ahem: Mimi and Vicky).
How to Participate:
You can send a 100% cotton square, sized 8″ x 8″ square of fabric (or a fat quarter, to give me some wiggle room for mistakes, since this is my FIRST quilting project EVER). The fabric square can be something you purchase new (washed and ironed) or pieces cut from clothing or another significant item. The fabric square may be something that represents you or it could be a print that you just happen to favor ! Fabric squares may be embroidered, adorned with fabric paint, (only in the middle, please, since we’ll be trimming down the squares.) or left perfectly plain.
If there are several members in your family, please feel free to send more than one fabric block and wishes scraps. It would be so special to include goodwill wishes from all members of your family.
Also, please include a “wish” for our daughter. A wish could be written on a card, stationary, index card, or scrap paper–what ever happens to be convenient. Examples of wishes could be a greeting, prayer, favorite bible verse, future advice, poem, preferred quote, song lyrics. If you’d like to explain the significance of the chosen fabric or print, or include a picture of who it is from, please do. Please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org with quilt wishes in the subject line.
Quilt Wishes Column
As part of the quilting project, I’m launching a new column on Traveling with Baby. As the fabric squares arrive, I’ll post photos of the fabric and wishes along with a link to the blogs (if applicable) of those who sent them. You’ll see pictures of the quilt as this project progresses…in addition to updated posts on our adoption journey.
Thank you for joining with us in creating a cherished and tangible symbol of love and warmth for our daughter–we can’t wait to hug her in this beautiful quilt.