Our First B4FI♥AR Quilt

We made our first Before Five in a Row memory quilt!

Since I am not an experienced quilter, I made a rag quilt. I made mistakes and lacked the patience to really do a good quality job, but my kids don't care. In fact, Elli kept saying, "Mom, it doesn't have to be perfect," so it isn't, but I'm happy with how it came out.

Row 1:
Play With Me
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
The Runaway Bunny
Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

Row 2:
Goodnight moon
Katy No-Pocket
The Snowy Day
Prayer for a Child

Row 3:
Caps for Sale
I am An Artist
My Big Green Pocketbook

Row 4:
Angus Lost
Blueberries for Sal
The Carrot Seed
The Yellow Ball

Row 5:
Ask Mr. Bear
The ABC Bunny
Play With Me
My Blue Boat

Row 6:
Caps for Sale
Angus Lost
The Red Carpet
If Jesus Came to My House

(All of these rows can be found under my Before Five in a Row tab on the blog.)

This is the first washing. I have washed it once more since and it looks even better. The edges have frayed more, and it is soft and cozy. I didn't follow a tutorial, but I had a general idea of how to make one.

The back is flannel and it is a rainbow of colors. Eliana picked the flannel out and helped me match up the squares, but we decided to give the quilt to Malachi for a memory of his B4 Kindergarten year.

The quilt is 4x6 for a total of 24 squares, but we did not row all 24 books so some squares are repeats of fabrics I bought before I participated in the FIAR Quilt Swap.

We spent several years shopping for fabric, and it was hard to find just the right fabric for each book. I only recently discovered the wonderful world of buying fabric online (oh what joy!), but it has been such a wonderful experience participating in the swap.

Want to make a B4FIAR memory quilt too?

A new B4 swap just opened up! You can request to join here. (You need a yahoo email account to join). Once you request to join, and are added, you can read a little more about how the swap works. Basically, you choose a book, pick out fabric for that book, cut into squares and then swap squares with other swappers to get a complete set back for each volume you participate in (2 books are required for B4). There are guidelines to follow, but anyone can participate - even inexperienced quilters like me! 

As my readers know, we recently finished rowing through this volume for the second time, and I'm sure I share the same sentiment as other rowers that these books will be on my shelf for when my kids have kids! We've made so many amazing memories with these books. How special that I (we!) will have a quilt to share with them as we read and reread these stories and delight in the memories we made rowing these books with Before Five in a Row!

I hope you will join us!

P.S. Volumes 1-4 swaps are in progress, but new swap groups will be opening up soon. :-)


  1. The quilt is beautiful Michelle!! What a wonderful idea to always have the memories cherished.

  2. Your quilt turned out so well! What a lovely way to preserve your families memories.

  3. Ok, that is just the coolest ever and totally makes me smile :) What fun memories :)!

  4. I love the Katy No Pocket Square! Great job!

  5. Yay! I am participating in all 4 Volumes going on right now (even though we just started Vol 1) and have my spots chosen for the BFIAR groups (which we've read all of!) I can't WAIT to get the squares! Since I will be starting BFIAR over with my 4 year old, and beginning FIAR with my 8 and 6 year olds, my plan is to pull out the fabric square each time we row a book and then eventually make a quilt. Yours turned out wonderfully!

  6. Oh, I love this. I will have to keep a lookout for fabric each book we row. I rowed with my now 12-year-old but I am starting up with my 5-year-old next week and I am so excited. So is my 12-year-old. He has such fond memories of our time and can't wait to share the books with his brother.

  7. Snuggling up with FIAR! Beauty FULL! I just saw that you have opened up comments (I'm a bit behind.) I still have piles of FIAR squares that are calling my attention. Maybe this winter?

    Thank you for your prayers and friendship.

  8. LOVE :)
    That Katy No Pocket square is something else!

  9. Thank you all! I'm so loving this quilt, but excited to make a regular quilt with the squares from our current swap. It will be hard to beat that Katy square - we've had some amazing quilters swap with us, but I was excited to try with one of my squares that I had professionally embroidered. I can't wait to share! I will have to start sewing though, haha!

  10. Are your quilt squares only flannel? I love the idea and would love to do this with my little one!

  11. Hello Judi, just the bottom squares are flannel. The top squares are 100% cotton. We have a few openings in the quilt swap if you’d like to join! https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FIARQuilts/conversations/messages?vm=r