100 Good Wishes

I realize it’s been a whole week since I’ve written anything to my blog; my apologies to those of you who are looking for new and exciting info.  Unfortunately, there’s no news this week, so I’ve decided to put in a little blurb about the 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 can go into a creative memory notebook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. 

I belong to several on-line adoption discussion groups, and one of the fun things we do to help pass the interminable wait for our children is participate in quilt square exchanges.  We each choose a fabric, cut it into 8 inch squares, and then compose a good wish, which we put onto a card with a sample of the fabric.  The recipient will use the fabrics to create a quilt, and can place the “good wishes” into a scrapbook so our little girls will be able to look through the book in the future, and match up the squares in her quilt with the good wishes people have sent her.

I’ve participated in one exchange already, with my April 2006 Date-to-China group, and I’ve just gotten my squares ready for the second exchange, which I’ll be mailing out today.  Here’s the good wish card that I’m sending along with the fabric: 

I collected about 40 squares in the first exchange, and there are roughly 20 people in the second exchange.  So, at the end of this one, I’ll have roughly 60 squares, which will leave me about 40 squares short of the titular 100 good wishes.  If anyone would like to participate, I’d love to have a few more squares!  Of course, knowing my schedule, unless I send these squares out for someone else to piece together and quilt, our little Anna will just have a shoe box full of little scraps of fabric to sort through and match up with her good wishes!

3 Responses to “100 Good Wishes”

  1. JJC says:

    And I thought this was annoying busywork ’til Billie told me we were having fun; that made me feel much better

  2. Nicki says:

    I would like to send a piece of fabric, but I have so many questions. Is the fabric supposed to mean something, or can it just be pretty? Does my wish card need to be clever? That would knock me out of the running right away. Should I cut the fabric with pinking shears, or hem the edges? Do I glue the wish card to the 2nd piece of fabric, or use pins? Help me!!

    I’ve been doing Sarbanes Oxley work for so long now that I can’t complete simple tasks without a detailed flow chart.

  3. Billie says:

    My goodness. I had no idea this quilt square thing could be so complicated.

    The fabric doesn’t have to be meaningful. I generally have just chosen fabric I like, with a small enough pattern that you can get a good representation of it in an 8″ square. I then try to make the “wish” relate to the fabric in some way, as in my example above. I cut my squares to 8-1/2 inches with a rotary cutter, but you could use pinking shears as well. The good wish card itself just has a little representative scrap of the fabric attached to it in some way. On my first cards, I simply glued a little piece of the fabric to the front. (It was a cat and dog pattern, so each little piece was a cut out of a cat or dog). For the fabric above, I actually scanned a piece of the fabric, then used it as the printed border for my good wish cards. That’s why it looks like the card is attached to a piece of fabric, but it’s actually printed right on the card itself. Because I’m usually preparing so many, I’m printing these out in bulk on computer post-cards.

    As far as clever goes, I think the rule of thumb is: you can provide one wish very clever, or two wishes not so clever, or three wishes very dull indeed. The trouble is in limiting yourself to only three very dull wishes. In case you don’t recognize that, it’s heavily paraphrased from Jane Austen’s “Emma”.