There is a tradition among some adoptive families, especially those adopting from China, to create a quilt for their new child. From what I understand of the tradition, it originated in the northern part of China. Families make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt, to welcome and celebrate a new life. It is customary to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth and a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth is sewn into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth goes into a scrapbook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the blessings from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric.
I am contemplating whether to make a quilt for our child’s homecoming. It would be a fun way to involve family and friends in our adoption journey. However, I am not a seamstress. . .in fact, if I need something hemmed, I take it to the tailor. The idea of putting together a quilt is a bit daunting. I have read on some websites that you can send the patches of material to a quilter who will make the quilt for you, but that can be expensive.
The other concern I have is whether our child would even enjoy or appreciate something like this. We do not know yet whether we will be adopting a boy or girl – we left that open to our agency and the orphanage to decide. Would a boy care about a quilt? I do plan to create a life book for our child to look back on as he or she grows up and wants to learn about his or her birth history and family.
If any of you are quilters, please leave a comment with suggestions on how to get started and learn about quilting. And I would love to hear, too, from any families who have adopted, any words of advice or wisdom in creating a keepsake for our new child.