ListaLu Handmade Memories is the retail arm of Jelly Bean Quilts, and is owned by Jamie Wilson (that's me!) - the leading maker of custom baby clothes quilts known all over the world for modern designs and heirloom quality (not to toot my own horn or anything, but I really do have customers all over the world! I even had a family fly to Phoenix from Luxembourg to drop off 5 suitcases of clothing, and fly back in 6 months to pick up their quilts! They did get to see the Grand Canyon, so win-win.)

I started sewing when I was just a kid - I am an Iowa farm girl, after all, so obviously I was the president of my township's 4-H club! My high school was tiny, but it had (and still has!) a great home economics program, and I created my first quilt during my senior year in Textiles II.

I started creating baby clothes quilts back in 2004, when my little Jelly Bean was just a baby (he's 14 now - someone slow down time!) My husband was playing pro soccer and we had to move a lot - every 6 months, to be exact - and since the teams provided us with furnished apartments we liked to pack light and fit everything in our Honda Civic.

Packing light takes on a whole new meaning with a baby, but that plastic tote of adorable baby clothes that Erik had already grown out of was just not making the "need it" cut. I was up late one night with the Jelly Bean, rocking him to sleep, when I started watching a rerun of Martha Stewart. She was creating a blanket out of worn out wool suit coats, and I had an epiphany - why not cut apart Erik's clothes and sew them into a baby clothes quilt?

T-shirt quilts were not a new concept - they are pretty popular in Iowa, and are commonly created out of high school sports t-shirts, sorority t-shirts, camp t-shirts and the like. But the t-shirt quilts at that time were very traditional, with cotton sashing and borders, and I had never heard of anyone doing a quilt with baby clothes. As much as I loved to quilt, I personally lean towards a modern aesthetic, and I wanted Erik's quilt to be about the clothing and the cute little memories in that caterpillar onesie, not look like a traditional quilt.

So I started cutting. Literally, that night I cut apart all his clothes, and I had his quilt done by morning. Of course, I didn't use the right interfacing, and I didn't have any instructions or patterns so it looks a little rough, and I just used a receiving blanket as the back and hand-tied it with yarn instead of quilting it. But he loved it, and I loved it, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be - to this day, every time I look at it I don't see the stitches or the mistakes, I just see Erik in those cute little walrus jammies! He even still has it hanging on his wall at 14 years old!

One thing led to another, and I started making quilts for friends and family. Eventually my husband retired from pro soccer, and we finally were staying in one place. In 2008 I was pregnant with Kalista (my little Lista Lu), working for a web marketing company, and I decided it was time to turn my hobby into a business so I could stay at home full time. I put up, placed a few ads on Craigslist, and had my first order in just a few days!

My Jelly Bean & My Lista Lu!

Over the next decade my business grew quickly, and I've reached the point that my turnaround time for custom quilts is always at least 10-11 months. I actually have an entire room of my house that is just bin storage, because I have about 50 quilts in my line up, and 50 quilts= tons of clothes!!!

Which brings me all the way back here, to ListaLu! ListaLu was created after years of fielding daily emails about how fans might make their own baby clothes quilt at home, as well as after redoing countless projects started by customers or other quilters but not finished - mostly just because they just lacked the knowledge of what materials to use and how to put it all together. I knew there was a need in the marketplace for a comprehensive DIY kit and book, and I had the knowledge - why not create that product?

After a ton of research, product development, pattern design, writing, photography, videography, web design, sewing, sourcing, package design and coffee, I am finally here - my Create Your Own Baby Clothes Quilt Kit & Books are officially ready to roll!!

My customers have been so excited about this kit, and I am so excited for you to try it out! I can't wait to see what you create, so please tag #listalu in all your social media, or send me pics and I will shout them out!