sewn stories: maternity dresses to baby quilt

We’re continuing our series, Sewn Stories, which is all about the garments or textiles that have meant the most in your life, either sewn by you or by someone else. Please join me in welcoming Maria Richards who lives in upstate NY and has been part of New Covenant Community for many years. She lives with her dog Ruby, with frequent visits from her three sons, daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. She worked with high-school students in an alternative therapeutic program for twenty years. Since her retirement, Maria has started a seamstress business, Lily of the Valleys, out of her home. Maria is thankful for the goodness and faithfulness of God throughout her life. Now I’ll hand it over to Maria.

Thirty-eight years ago I made this quilt for my first child. I was living with my boyfriend in a small college town, and getting ready to finish my senior year with a semester of student teaching. My pregnancy was a total mistake. We were irresponsible and self-indulgent as young people can often be. But somehow I knew that the life inside me was not to be trifled with. Only my mother was supportive of me. After the initial shock and disappointment, she said, “Mia, you will be a wonderful mother.” I still tear up, thinking about that phone call. It gave me such peace and a joy in what was to come, amidst the hardships.

I bought a maternity dress at a thrift shop, and some fabric to make another. At seven months, when those dresses became too small, I cut them up to make my baby a quilt. I had never made a quilt before, but I found a book that explained how to put a block together. I made all the blocks in different variations, not understanding the concept of an overall pattern.

Baby quilt made from maternity dresses

But I finished it in time for my baby’s birth and wrapped up the sweetest little baby boy.

Sewn Stories

Over the years, through many washings, the red roses on the vintage fabric disintegrated, but I always kept it. My little boy is now 38, and a husband and father himself. My granddaughters use the quilt for their baby dolls when they come over.

Baby quilt made from maternity dresses

We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did! And if you would like to contribute your own Sewn Story, here’s how to do it. We also encourage you to share your stories on Instagram with #sewnstories.




  1. María

    ❤️. ❤️

    1. Maria, thanks for letting us share your story!

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