Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Angel Wraps and Preemie Blankets

When a tiny baby is born before its time, and is too fragile to survive, usually during the second or early third trimester, there is still birth of the baby.. A loss of this kind is huge for the grieving parents to face, yet most of them still want to both see, and to hold, their tiny little infants. It is a very special part of that grieving process, of letting go of the dreams of what might have hold and to bond with their tiny little one.

What can be even harder is discovering that you have nothing to wrap or dress your tiny loved one in, as nothing will fit ,or is appropriate for the simplest of touches that are possible when holding, and saying goodbye. And so to have your little one passed to you in a rough, or not very attractive, piece of cloth only makes that awareness that much sharper and more painful.

Babies are wrapped up in simple tiny blanket like piece of cloth that most hospital provide. But if the hospital has them, a tiny little quilt or blanket.... made for this purpose by volunteers... can be wrapped around their little one for that holding, bonding, and saying goodbye, time.

I have just recently made all twelve of these tiny little angel wraps and preemie blankets for this very purpose. And it was a deeply moving process for me as I made each and every one of them.
Mine are quite simple. They range from as tiny as a 9" square to as large as a 14" one. But each is special and made with love.

Many websites offer a variety of ideas for extra tiny pouches, wraps, blankets, or simple quilts or garments for what is medically termed as 'fetal demise.' And while these words seem harsh to those who have never heard them before, they are simply what the end of life resulting in a still birth is often called.

The idea of a specially made little quiltlet created and made with love and compassion seemed like a wonderful gift to give to our local hospital, so I decided to spend a few days creating some in varying sizes and making a list of other ideas.

I found an assortment of links, files, and free downloadable patterns for a variety of blankets, quilts, pouches and wraps. But making a simple wrap can be as easy as making a simple 9"-12" blanket or quilt that can be tied to create a little pouch like shape for the tiniest of the tiny ones.Some can be tucked under at the bottom for the very tiniest and others can simply have a little half triangle pouch sewed into one corner or be left open to cradle the littlest of babies.

I simply cut two or there squares of fabric sized from 9" to 11". A third square can be folded in half and place as a triangle shape in one corner and sewn in a the same time, or it can be left open as an "Angel Cradle Wrap" as shown by mine, above. The one above is very small and I would add the corner pocket, or cut it more like 12".

I used very thin batting in between or a little piece of flannel, instead of batting. Several of mine are quilted, the others simply have a heart shape quilted on to bind the pieces together. Add some ribbons at the tying points and rosettes or other simple trims and you have sweet little wraps for the tiniest of little angels.

For those who like to use or simply view patterns here are links to free patterns, photos and clothing links for preemies of all stages and sizes. Mine are intended for little ones weighing about 1 lb and about 6" long...a truly sad and yet endearing thought filled with compassion for the losses that so many of us endure.

Free pattern links:

Angel Pocket Pattern

Fetal Demise Pouch Pattern

Crocheted Granny Square Pouch:

Sewn Pouch:

Sewn Pouch:

Washcloth pouch with crocheted edge:

Satin Burial Wrap: (size small and x-p)

fetal demise pouch

burial gown and bonnet PDF pattern
- pattern only

preemie burial gown PDF

angel's pocket
bereavement gowns PDF pattern
- pattern only

burial wrap PDF

boy’s internment outfit

nb/preemie bib PDF
- pattern only

preemie cuddler PDF - archived

positioning shapee or 'snake'

nb/preemie booties PDF

10 min booties PDF
- pattern only

30 min booties PDF
- pattern only

preemie kimono for ICU PDF

serger preemie gown PDF pattern - archived

preemie sleeper PDF pattern

preemie shirt PDF
- pattern only

isolette cover
preemie mittens PDF - archived - pattern only

bubble cover archived

preemie gown PDF pattern

extra small boy gown

diaper shirt PDF

hospital shirt PDF pattern

day gown instructions (pattern below)

day gown - pattern PDF
preemie hat PDF pattern

preemie cuddler 2

preemie fleece hat
Angel Wrap
Burial Gown

Burial Wrapper

Refer here for size guidelines


Angel Dress (c)
Ava Lynne Baby Hat (k)
Baby Bear Preemie Hat (k)
Baby Bowties Preemie Hat (k)
Basic Baby Hat (k)
Basic Knit Hat (k)
Basic Preemie Hat (c)
Basic Ribbed Baby Hat (k)
Button Flap Beanie - Preemie (c)
Crossed Texture Hat - Preemie (c)
Crossed Texture Row Beanie - Preemie (c)

 Easy Preemie Quilt from Project Linus

Half-Double Crochet Preemie Baby Cap (c)
Incredible Expanding Gnome Cap (k)
Joann's Preemie Hat (c)
Juliet Hat (k)
Lightning Fast NICU and Preemie Hats (k)
Melinda's Ruffled Preemie Hat (c)
Preemie Rainbow Beanies (c)
Preemie Ribbed Beanie (c)
Queen of Hearts Preemie Hat (k)
Sewn Knit Fabric Baby Hat (s)

Stretchy Knit Baby Cap (k)
Patriotic Preemie Hats (k)
Butterfly Hat - Preemie (c)
Preemie Pumpkin Hat (c)
Apple a Day (k)
Baby Elf Hat (k)
Christmas Tree Hat (k)
Christmas Hat (k)
Preemie Baby Santa Hat (k)

Baby Quilt Pattern (s)
Easy Baby Quilt Pattern (s)
Easy Baby Quilt Patterns (s)
Preemie Blankets (s)
Baby Blanket Pattern (c)
Four Square Preemie Afghan (c)
Snowflake Kisses Baby Blanket (k)
Teddy Bear Baby Blanket (k)
Teddy Bear Square (c)
Teddy Lovey (c)
Thermal Stitch Preemie Blanket (c)
Waffle Blanket (k)

Burial Wraps

Angel Pocket (k)
Angel's Pocket (s)
Angel Wrap (c)
Angel Wraps (s)
Burial Pouch Pattern (c)
Fetal Demise Pouch (s)
Knit Angel Wrap (k)
Receiving Blanket (s)Air Bear (k)

Basic Teddy Bear (c)
Bear Pair Teddy Bears (k)
Bertie Bear (k)
Better Bear (c)
Brenda's Bears (k)
Buttercup Bear (c)
Cashew Teddy Bear (k)
Curly Teddy Bear (c)
Heartfelt Bear (c)
Polar Bear (c)
Smart Teddy Bear (k)
Teddy Bear (k)
Teddy Lovey (c)
Two Tone Teddy (c)

Quilter's Anonymous in Lynnwood, WA.
Grecian Square
Ohio Star
Split Rail
Irish Twist Chain

Patterns from 

Bereavement Wraps

Bereavement/Christening Gowns & Sleepers

In Remembrance

Bereavement Patterns

Sewing Patterns

Knit Patterns

Crochet Patterns

Patterns from AZBlankets4kids:
Baby, Preemie, Double 4-Patch Quilt
Baby, Preemie, One Patch Quilt
Baby, Preemie Quilt, 1 Patch, 2 Borders
Block Party, Preemie to Teen
Baby, Preemie, 9-Patch Quilt, 18”
Baby, Preemie, Double 4-Patch Quilt, 18”
Block Party, Preemie to Teen
Charity Baby & Preemie Patterns
happy hearts quilt block...project linus

And from Project Linus:
Easy Preemie Quilt

My complete List of Preemie, Baby and Children's Quilts:
Free Babies, Child's, Preemies Quilt Patterns

Special Note:

If you would like to join in, online, with a group that does this special work,

 please check out this group and think about joining in and making some tiny little donations of your own:


Refer here for size guidelines
Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the little quilt at a time.Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!


  1. What a kind, caring heart you have to give so much to this project and also to search out and provide all these links for others to use. May God's blessings be upon you for doing this!

  2. Oh Michelle, this post really touched my heart. For many years I have crocheted little caps from premie to newborn size, made many quilts for newborns, one year my goal was 50. This project is do able, I am going to check out the web sites. Thank you for sharring your project.

  3. What a fantastic thing you are doing Michelle. I have so much baby flannel, I need to make some of these also. Thanks for touching my heart and giving me the incentive to make a dozen of these myself.

  4. OMG thank you so so so very much for your wonderful quilts and you taking the time to blog about them, you see i was one of these babies born 3 moths to early, My twin did not make it, we were 1 lb 11oz at birth. and my mother didn't have anything for us, my mom bought doll clothes that were still to big for me. i know my mom would have loved something to have to remember my sister other then the memories and pain, she's was with the ones she loved when my sister passed, but she still suffers from time to time all these years later.

    because of you and your blog post. I am going to quilt angel blankets and preemie blanket for our hospital.

    Thank you again
    God bless
    Adele in Colorado

  5. Michele... God bless you for the compassion you have for the wee ones. Thanks for sharing the patterns with us.

    God bless and keep you,

  6. This post brought me to tears! Something I never think about, but I love that you have and what a heart you have to make these little blankets. I have had two miscarriages, and have been blessed to have three healthy beautiful little girls...I cannot imagine the pain the parents of a stillborn child go through...and even though it still hurts, this is just such an amazing thing to do.

  7. You make this world of ours such a brighter, warmer place just because you, an angel, exist here on earth. sharing your love and beauty with even the tiniest of spirits. Thank you, Michele, for being you. I count my life richer for having you share my daily world.

  8. How lovely of you! My heart wept as I read your post and looked at the tiny blankets.

    May God bless you as you reach out in love to others you don't even know.

  9. You are truly an angel.

  10. YOU are my favorite angel for sharing your thoughts and patterns for wrapping the littlest ones amongst us. Bless your heart.

  11. a very difficult thing to think about but you are so right and your generousity is a shining star for all of us to follow.


  12. I can't tell you how much these tiny homemade pieces will help a mom and baby. Those babies that do make it and grow strong can also benefit from snuggling in something that fits them well in the NICU. It's a joyous occasion when you get to hold your preemie for the first time! My 1st son was 1 lb 3 oz at 30 wks. We had to wait 4 wks to hold him for the first time and was wrapped in a giant towel - we could barely tell he was in there. This would have been amazing. Let me know if you have any connections in Arizona for hospitals needing these donated. I'd be happy to help.

  13. Anonymous12:28 PM

    You were just featured on Craft Gossip where I discovered your blog. LOVE your blog, and especially loved this post. So dear it brought tears to my eyes. You really do sew with your heart and with your hands!

  14. Anonymous9:03 AM

    I just want to say that those who perform this kind, angelic, and selfless act of service are to be blessed. My grandson was anencephalic and was very premature and not born alive. When I walked in the hospital room, and got to hold that sweet baby, he was dressed in a tiny, beautiful satin gown, a sweet delicate hood pulled up over his head, and wrapped in a beautiful small blanket. Oh, how grateful I was for those who made this for my angel grandson. They kept our grandson’s body covered and protected, and gave us time to hold him, and mourn his loss. Thank you thank you thank you!

  15. Hi Michele!

    I just had to tell you…this is such a beautiful idea and such a beautiful quilt! I absolutely adore the name “Angel Wrap” so wonderfully appropriate:)

    Best of Luck “Wrapping little Angels!”

    Sandy Newhart via craft

  16. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Hi Michele,
    This is a very nice and beautiful gesture by sharing these quilting sites with us.Iknow it must have taken you a few years to accomplish.
    Thank you again for all your dedication to other quilters around the world.P.S. Here is a web site all quilters may-be interrested in.
    Shelia Taylor from WV

  17. Anonymous2:02 PM

    A truly a caring person and generous to all. Thank you, and God Bless You!!:)

  18. Thank you for making these quilts. You are really going to bless a baby-loss mom's heart. One of our twins died after he was born at 25 weeks. We would have loved to have something like this to wrap him up in. Thank you again for making these. I plan on making some to take to the hospital where our sons were born.

  19. God bless you for doing this. It is so important that we give back to these most helpless little ones. These are so needed. When I first discovered Care Wear, I read a newspaper article that said some hospitals just used paper bags and I thought "not on my watch". My own preemie was my impetus and he is 32 now and I have made a mission of providing for these most fragile of babies. (( ))

    1. Please check out Nancy's group for helping out these precious preemies at:
      and think about joining in and helping them out with some little quilts etc. of your own. It's such a blessing to help out these tiniest of little ones!

  20. Thank you for this. I lost my baby at 17 weeks. I delivered last Sunday and buried my angel Casey yesterday. I went searching for something I could do for others in my situation, and this is certainly it. And having 3 hospitals within an hour of where I live, I can keep myself busy and honor Casey. Thank you so much.

  21. Oh what a lovely thing to do for these precious babies and their families
    These little quilts are just beautiful
    You truly are one of God's angels on Earth
    Hugs x

  22. Wow! So many links, thank you. The quilts we make for babies "born asleep" are 24" square. The batting is flannelette instead of conventional wadding.

  23. Thank you, thank you so, so much for both your work and this page. As a mother who has gone through the "Born Still" nightmare, I cannot tell you how important these little gifts, mementos and blankies truly are to we who have lost. I was fortunate enough to have been given a bereavement blanket, outfit and booties when our Angel daughter, Kaitlyn Gillian, was born - it's been almost 21 years now, but on each anniversary of our great loss I still go to my cedar chest and bring out that blanet and other momentos to hold in my hands. They are the only tangible proof that my baby existed, and as such...priceless. I was never able to thank the person(s) who had been involved in making them, but I will forever be grateful to them for gifting us with our baby's "hello and goodbye" outfit.
    Gratefully and with kind regards,
    An Angel's Mother


Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon. Leave a comment and your blog will be visited, as well!