A Bai Jia Bei for Peter

I have a love of the handmade.  My mom has always loved to make things, and she instilled that love in my sister and me.  My mom’s very favorite is weaving, but through the years she’s tried her hand at many creative endeavors.

Some weavings from my mom.

Just the other day, I was looking at some quilted pillows she made when I  was younger, and they’re pretty amazing.  Whenever we went on a trip, my mom would take my sister and me to the craft store a few days before we left.  We would pick out a craft to do while on the trip, and over the years, we learned all sorts of things.  We did scherenschnitte (the art of cutting paper to make designs), tin punching, embroidery, painting wooden things, macrame, and so on.  We always loved picking out a new craft.  Consequently, I love to create things.  And so does my sister.  I get so much pleasure out of anything handmade, whether by me or someone else.  It’s splendid!

So when I read about the Chinese tradition of the bai jia bei, I knew I just had to make one for Peter.  The bai jia bei is also known as the 100 Good Wishes Quilt.  Here is what I discovered about it.

What is a 100 Good Wishes Quilt?  
To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth goes 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.
Would you like to participate in the quilt project for Peter?
WHAT TO DO:
1. Select a fabric that you like, or that is meaningful to you. It can be new or “used and meaningful” fabric.
2. Cut one 10″ x 10″ square and one 1″ x 1″ square. The smaller square should be attached to your “good wishes” message/card and is how your fabric will be identified within the quilt. If there are
several members in your family, please feel free to contribute more than one square and wish (just please be sure to include the 1″ x 1″ with each wish).
THE WISH:
1. Your wish and the way it is presented can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. The wish might be a prayer, a favorite poem, a bible verse, a thought or quote, or anything that strikes your fancy. Please remember to sign your wish.
2. If you would like, include why you chose the fabric (what it means to you). I will be making a scrapbook for him containing the wishes collected, so that when he gets older, he can see how much love went into his quilt.

Our first square and “good wish” for Peter’s quilt.

We would love to have lots of squares for Peter’s bai jia bei, so let me know or leave a comment if you would like to contribute!

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