The road ends, but the journey continues...

18-inchers or…

…Cradle Quilts

When my quilter buddy Roseanne put out the call for quilt donations in her 9/18/23 post, I realized this was one I could do.

I am an admittedly sloooow quilter, so whenever a call for quilts is sounded, I pull myself away from the desire to make one UNLESS I see the requirements include a flexible timeline for completion.

Comfort Quilts Needed for Uvalde, Texas was the first call I was able to respond to in that respect. I was honored to be a part of it, but saddened beyond measure for the reason behind the need.

In this case, the 18 inch size and the October 31st deadline looked doable. In fact, I challenged myself to make not one, but two 18-inchers.

To be precise, these are called Cradle Quilts and the original call for donations came from Carole of From My Carolina Home.  

What makes these intriguing to me is not only the fact that they are used to give to children as holiday gifts, but that they are one third of a triune gift drive. Carole’s Quilt Guild partners each year with local teddy bear makers and the Woodcrafters Guild. The woodcrafters create all-wood toys such as cradles, wagons, rocking chairs and such in which to place the hand-crafted teddy bears and quilts.

Using 100% fabrics and scraps from my stash, here they are – ready to be popped into the snail mail.

  • 18-incher #1
  • Howard's sample square
  • 18-incher Taz
  • 18-incher Taz & backing

Thank you to Roseanne & Carole for the opportunity to give in this manner.


  1. Khaya Ronkainen

    What thoughtful gifts, Laura! I can imagine the smiles on those faces…Really beautiful.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Imagining smiles on faces unknown to myself is a peaceful satisfaction! Thanks, Khaya.

  2. the hot goddess

    This is beautiful, in so many ways. An amazing skill too.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You are sweet to say, hot goddess!

  3. zippyquilts

    Sounds like a practical project. And besides, your quilts are cute!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks! It was fun, too!

  4. deborahbrasket

    How fun! The kids will love those. You are so talented. It’s wonderful you are able to share that with others.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Deborah.

  5. Carole @ From My Carolina Home

    Thank you so much for mentioning the Cradle Quilt drive. We are approaching 200, and hope to get over that milestone by the deadline of November 9. The woodworkers are amazing, and we never have enough little quilts to go with their toys. But we will certainly get closer this year!

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re very welcome.
      I’m honored to be but a small part of this effort, Carole.

  6. marissthequilter

    They are delightful and will bring comfort and joy to the children. I have so much respect for people who make donation quilts. Yes, there is a note of guilt in that statement. Well done, you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Mariss, you are too kind.
      For your consideration: you freely share your quilting expertise with others, so that’s a ‘donation’ of sorts.

      • marissthequilter

        You too are too kind ❤️

  7. Jennie

    My goodness, this is absolutely wonderful. It’s a hat trick, all three coming together for children. My heart is full!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, I thought the ‘hat trick’ aspect was/is pretty ingenious and generous, too!

  8. Janis @

    Your Cradle Quilts are wonderful. You may be a slow quilter, but you are one full of (he)art.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the kudos with reference to one of my fav words!
      I forgot how you and I do the pun thing (yes, I ‘got’ the one on the last post FYI). I’m happy you’re back, Janis!

  9. That is wonderful and someone you may never meet is going to be made very happy by your work 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Tierney! Once all is said and done, that is the hope, eh?

  10. Laura

    Love these, Laura! Two children are going to have some joy because you chose to take time to make these cradle quilts! 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Laura – coming from you that means a lot to me!

  11. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    My sister is an avid quilter, giving quilts to family, friends and organizations. I think it is her legacy, and makes her feel closer to our grandmother. She always wanted to be like Grandma when we were growing up, and she still does!

    I looked at all the quilt photos you posted. They are stunning works of art! <3

    Have a beautiful day, Laura. <3

    • laura bruno lilly

      Quilting with purpose, even if just for the sheer joy of doing so, does make one feel closer to those we love and ideas we care about. Thank you Cheryl for your vote of confidence in my two 18-inchers!

  12. rl2b2017

    Good morning, Laura! What fabulous finishes. Taz is fab and the backing of baseballs in quite apropos. Your first cradle quilt might be my favorite only because it looks as if a child drew that for you! I know they will be received with all the love that they were made. It just warms your heart, doesn’t it?! You got them finished with time to spare. {{Hugs}} a bunch, my friend! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, I did get them done with time to spare! 🙂 Thanks for noticing, pal!
      #1’s center block is from a drapery sample book I kept because it **does** look like some kiddo drew it just for me! And that drapery sample book? It was one of many a decorator neighbor dumped on my front stoop after I asked if he had any sample books that were outdated and he didn’t mind passing on to me. I thought – yay free scraps! That was in the 80s! After using a bunch over the years and after several purges, I still have a few ‘specials’ like this one in my ‘stash’!
      hugs back atchya – from your Laura.

  13. Ally Bean

    Beautiful. Great designs for kids. Such a worthwhile project.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Ms Bean!

  14. Chela

    There is such a need for spreading hope and light these days. Thank you for helping with this cause. The block you made is so colorful, bright, and fun. It will surely make someone smile.
    A local fabric shop is sponsoring a Sew-In next week to make small quilts for children who are in the hospital. We will be making Ghostie quilts and donating them along with a copy of the book, The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nelson.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh Chela, if not for your intervention, and the deep-hearted women involved with the Uvalde call for quilts, I would not have been able to finish & contribute my sole offering –
      These two 18-inchers were fun to make, as will your Ghostie quilts be when you stitch them up next week. The additional book is such a perfect match – adds to the educational (reading) aspect important to the both of us, too!
      Keep tooting that Kazoo!

  15. Jane's Heartsong

    A wonderful opportunity to give, and what an adorable gift: a teddy bear covered with a quilt in a wooden cradle. It will give a child joy to receive a special gift such as this that they can care for.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, Jane, that’s part of it too! **They** get to care for their teddy bear using their love, the quilty comfort and fun provided by the wooden toys!

  16. petespringerauthor

    I had a teaching buddy who did a class quilt each year. Every child had a square. She used to display them all on Open House. I don’t quilt, but I can appreciate the skill in others. Way to go, Laura! Sounds like a worthy cause.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Pete! Because you’re a teacher, I’ll venture to tell you the following which you may enjoy.
      At times I was the ‘quilter mom’ during my kids school years (many moons ago) in their classrooms. First one was the hardest as it entailed taking the kids artwork and making it into a class quilt (kindergarten project). The consequent others – there were 3 I think – were twin sized & done in conjunction with various social studies projects (a way of connecting with the culture) with 6th/7th graders. I helped each student with their own block, and then put them all together into the finished quilt. All 4 are still displayed in their respective schools/classrooms!

      • petespringerauthor

        Oh, boy! We teachers knew we’d had struck gold when we got ahold of parents like you.? Some teachers were resistant to having parents help, which made absolutely no sense to me. First, many parents have talents and interests that I didn’t possess. It would be silly not to take advantage of that. For example, I had a dairyman father who brought a cow to school who taught the kids all kinds of things they wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Second, parents that come into the class can save the teacher time. Next, students who need more individual help may receive it because of parent volunteers. Lastly, improved communication between school and home is such a critical component. Keeping parents in the loop is a necessity.

        • laura bruno lilly

          Wow, thanks for the pat on the back! I loved volunteering in the classroom – sometimes as the Music Mom, or Science Fair Project Mom, or Reading Mom or…well you get the idea. Mostly I was Hava/Michelle/Joey’s Mom depending….
          It worked both ways, I got to see how the teacher interacted, their teaching style and how the kids responded, etc…a win-win for all concerned. In fact, I often wondered how on some days (not many), Teacher didn’t just throw a hissy fit and leave – such fortitude!
          BTW: I’ve always wanted to milk a cow…just sayin’…

          • petespringerauthor

            The most frequent parent comment I got after volunteering: “I don’t know how you do this every day.” ?

          • laura bruno lilly

            Yep, I concur!

  17. L. Marie

    What a worthwhile cause, Laura! So glad you answered the call!!! This is such a great way to offer hope and light in a dark situation.

    • laura bruno lilly

      An offer of hope & light – what a perfect way of looking at my (and others who contributed) simple act of giving. Thank you for that, L.Marie.

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