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Is it me, or is the "cot quilt" competition category veering away from cot quilts? - Quilters

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September 29th, 2015

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12:47 pm - Is it me, or is the "cot quilt" competition category veering away from cot quilts?
I won two rosettes at the Scottish Quilt Championships! If you look at the top two projects here, the dinosaur quilt won second prize and the yellow wholecloth won Judge's Merit in the cot quilt category. I'm really thrilled.

That said, I was disappointed to see how few actual cot quilts were there. Half of them looked more like the quilters had put in wall hangings, because there's less competition than in the wall hangings category. It sounds like it's really common for half the cot quilt category to be made up of very small wholecloth quilts, the sort that you wouldn't use with a baby. Unless I'm missing something and lamé (can't be washed, feels metallic, apparently there may be issues with formaldehyde and safety) is suddenly the best fabric for a baby quilt. White silk didn't strike me as terribly practical either, and the woman who made that one admitted that there was no baby lined up to receive it. They were beautifully made, don't get me wrong, but they were wholecloth wall hangings. They weren't even big enough to be usable as a baby quilt, I think they were around 2 feet each side, and there was nothing about them that suggested usage as a cot quilt, including the quilting designs. Meanwhile, some real baby quilts will have been excluded by the size criteria (36" x 54"). I've just looked at the entry criteria for next year, and they say "A quilt or nursery hanging made for a baby or child".

I love making baby quilts and find them the most joyful quilts to make. They involve bright colours that cheer you up just to look at them. You get to make designs around animals and other things that children love. Lots of baby and child quilts say something about the family they will belong to, whether it's black and white fabrics with skulls for the kids of a Goth couple, or horses because the child really loves horses. Some of them involve flaps, textured bits or elements that make noise, to add more interest for the baby. Some are weighted to help children with sensory disorders such as autism. They are almost always soft, cuddly cotton, often with flannel or minky because they feel wonderful to cuddle, and the batting is chosen with a view to practicalities such as washing. Some quilts are made for children in hospital. Some quilts end up being buried with a baby who died at birth or in infancy. Giving my friends a quilt for their child feels like one of the most profound ways I can show my affection for them and to share their delight in their new family. My most treasured quilt photos are the grainy, oddly coloured ones showing the quilt with a young child on it. It's an emotional thing. It is not about hijacking a category because you don't want to put the time into a full-sized wholecloth and reckon this will be an easy win.

I'm planning to talk to Grosvenor about this. I'm thinking they could do with a wholecloth wallhanging category to funnel those ones into, and then perhaps stress the "made for a baby or child" part of things. I mean, one of mine was a wholecloth, but it had plenty of features which made it clearly a child's quilt: size, cotton fabric with poly batting for ease of washing, the baby's name was embroidered in the corners (in heart shapes to symbolise affection), a soft flannel backing with an owl print on it. It even had genuine marks from a child's marker pen that I didn't spot until it was too late!

How do you define a cot quilt? What have they been like in shows you've been to? Any idea how quilt judges conceptualise cot quilts?

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 29th, 2015 02:30 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your rosettes! The dinosaur quilt is still very cute, I love it every time I see it!
[User Picture]
Date:September 30th, 2015 12:21 am (UTC)
I've never heard the term cot quilt before (over here on the other side of the pond we call them baby quilts), but my definition agrees with yours.

I deliberately make mine (I've probably made several dozen of them over the years) to be used, cuddled with, spat upon, etc., and nothing drives me more crazy when I give a baby quilt than for the recipient's parents to say, "oh, isn't that beautiful! we'll hang it on the wall/put it away so it won't get ruined." If it gets ruined, let me know and I'll make another one. Plus, it's washable!

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