During the Great Depression, a person sewed strips of fabric to newspaper to make what was called a “chronicle quilt”. A person’s local newspaper was often called the “chronicle”, thus the name “chronicle quilt”. But if you make a chronicle quilt you won’t sew newspaper. You’ll make a gorgeous quilt, which you design yourself, and it will chronicle your child’s life. Make the quilt and, over time, you can add highlights of his or her life. The chronicle quilt will become a cherished gift, and a family heirloom.
Make the quilt that you want but it’s a good idea to use large quilt blocks so that, later, you can write in key things from your child’s life. You can cut the quilt blocks yourself, or purchase them at a fabric store. Sew quilt blocks together to make the top of the quilt. Although many quilts are stunning because of the way that the blocks are cut and shaped, the chronicle quilt works out better if you do none of that. Just sew regular quilt blocks together. You can add interest to the quilt by making some of the blocks in other colors. Lay the batting on the right side of the quilt top, then lay the backing on it. Sew almost all the way around, leave an opening for turning, and turn it right-side-out. Stitch the opening shut.
A paint pen, which dispenses real paint, works just like a marker. You can purchase the pen at a craft store and you’ll find that it’s available in a fine tip for writing on the chronicle quilt. Choose from any number of colors and types, like metallic, pastel, or even neon. Use the pen – or a variety of them – to write notes about special happenings in your child’s life,directly on the quilt blocks.
Some things you can chronicle on the quilt include starting school, receiving a diploma, an accident resulting in a broken bone, receiving an award, or even the birth of a sibling. You can write a date or other details on each block to give further information.
Although you can list each happening, starting with the first square, and going from left to right, it can look odd on the quilt, since it takes years to finish the the blocks. Instead, you might want to write the first note on the center square, the next four notes on the four corners, and additional notes on other areas. You don’t necessarily have to write something on every square.
Your child will cherish the quilt that chronicles his or her life in blocks. Just use the paint pen, anytime you want, to add another note to another block. Over time, highlight of the child’s life becomes the beautiful and unusual quilt.