Piece Corps: Welcome to the Family Little Man – Oliver’s Story

teri • March 29, 2017 • 1 Comment


My family was recently blessed with a fabulous adopted addition…..a little boy my daughter and son-in-law named Oliver James. In the proud tradition of obnoxious grandmothers everywhere, I set out to create a baby quilt to celebrate this precious child.

 Shortly after our grandson’s arrival I was introduced to the 100 Good Wishes Quilts by Marin Hanson, curator at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. She is working on her PhD dissertation and her research is focusing on quilts that have been made to celebrate the adoption of children from China. In the ancient Chinese tradition, members of the community each gifted a piece of cloth that were sewn together to protect the child. Our Chinese/American adoption community has built on this by creating quilts for the girls that are called 100 Good Wishes Quilts …..100 scraps of fabric from friends and family. You can read more about Marin’s fabulous work at http://piecedinchina.blogspot.com/

 I come from a long line of quilters and have been the fortunate recipient of deep scrapbags that span multiple generations. I chose to create a quilt that incorporated 100 pieces of family fabric….pieces from the scrap bags of 5 generations of quilters. I went through the stash and cut out 105 six inch squares of fabric (gotta have a couple extras!). I took this stack with grey cotton solid to a weekend sewing retreat and was forced to work with what I had. I auditioned dozens of layouts before deciding on bands of diagonal colors. Being away from my workroom meant I could not go searching for another “perfect piece”. By keeping the layout simple, I could focus on the fabulous collection of fabrics.

When the top was finished I sat down with my mother and together we documented where each scrap of fabric had come from. Included are feedsack scraps from my great-grandmother’s dresses, fabric from clothing made by my grandmother’s, my mother’s curtains, my father’s tie, and scraps from my recent quilts. The slate grey provided a modern feel. It was quilted by Donna James with Oliver’s name and birthdate. 

I loved creating Welcome to the Family Little Man. It is a simple yet striking quilt that makes my heart sing. .

As you can see from the pictures, he loved it!

other sites:



http://100goodwishesquilts.blogspot.com/ (Marin Hanson)

photo by Bonnie McCaffery

Mary Kerr
AQS Certified Appraiser
author, instructor, historian, curator of all things fun and quilty
Woodbridge, Virginia





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1 Comment

  • Pam Weeks • 3 years ago
    COMMENT #1

    Wonderful post and wonderful story. Thanks, Mary!

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