A precious gift

Marshall woman has created more than 30 baby quilts throughout the years, including one that’s heading to Italy

: Quilter Danette Stoks displays her current project, a college T-shirt quilt for her cousin, which is the next project after having made 31 baby quilts for grand-nieces and grand-nephews.


Danette Stoks of Marshall has sewn 31 baby quilts for grand-nieces and grand-nephews over the past 14 years.

“I’ve been quilting since elementary school,” Stoks said. “I wanted to do something special for my nieces and nephews as they had babies.”

Stoks said it was sometimes difficult to pick colors when she didn’t know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl.

Other times it was easy. She recalls making a wild dinosaur patterned baby quilt for her nephew’s baby, “because he (nephew) was a wild child, himself.”

The newest quilt will be shipped to Italy to a nephew in the Navy in Naples and his wife who are expecting a baby this summer. Its bright colors will be a marked contrast to the grays and blacks Italians wear, Stoks said.

Many of the baby quilts were done in yellows and oranges. Most used a block pattern of sorts. Some were tied, and most were stitched.

Stoks said she used a regular sewing machine for the most part, and that it takes about three Saturdays to put one quilt together.

“I can piece it on a Saturday,” she said. “On the following weekend, bind it, and on the third, finish binding.”

The cost for the quilt material runs $75 to $100. Adding the value of labor makes the value of the quilt quite high. Adding the love and thoughtfulness into it, makes the baby quilts priceless.

“It just (makes a) unique gift, you know?” Stoks said. “When I’m sewing them, I’m thinking of the person I’m making it for.”

Stoks has also made a couple of quilts for a fundraiser.

“I made a couple for a golf tournament in Olivia,” Stoks said. “A 4-year-old girl died after a heart transplant. The funds raised go to support the Ronald McDonald House.”

May 27 will mark the 17th annual PGA Memorial Paige Glenn Altmann tournament and fundraiser. Altmann would have been 21 on May 8, Stoks said.

Sometimes Stoks’ family gets in on the act.

“My brother’s boy made a quilt in high school,” she said. “My two children and I made one on a snowy day and called it the blizzard quilt. Sometimes my husband, Mike, helps lay out and/or hold them.”

It is a year-round hobby for Stoks, though, not just a winter day project. She fits it in even though she has a full-time job outside of the home.

Even though there is currently a lull in baby quilt-making, Stoks is already onto the next project: A college T-shirt quilt for a cousin but promises to take up baby quilts again when the need arises.