Any parent knows the importance of a go-to baby blanket, because a baby blanket is never just a blanket; it’s a play mat, a changing pad, a lovie, a spot for tummy time and sometimes yes, a perfect cover for snuggling up and keeping warm. That’s a lot to live up to, but the mom who created handmade baby blankets called Little Balena Play Quilts has done just that.

While there are of course plenty of awesome blankets already out there, what I love about these is the combo of the materials coupled with a traditional preppy design. As in a whale motif, from the Preppy Handbook era!

The fabric is actually the same material as men’s shirts, with a striped pattern backing a neutral solid. The result is one soft, durable and beautifully classic cotton quilt. In fact, Liz saw them at the NY NOW gift show and came back gushing. Seriously, the pattern and texture remind me of my dad’s old work shirts. It’s a great combo of sophisticated and sweet.

Even more. I love the values of this company: each one is totally hand-cut and sewn by a small group of Nebraskan quilters who even set their own wages. And for every Play quilt, purchased, the company plants a tree through the Arbor Day foundation to help reforestation of US forests.Happy babies, happy planet.

Little Balena handmade baby blankets. Every purchase plants a tree.

Little Balena handmade baby blankets in soft, men's shirt fabrics for cozy, preppy styling

Little Balena Baby Quilt: Handmade baby blankets from soft men's shirt fabrics


The design of these blankets looks like Hampton or Nantucket style living and yet, I would totally rock one in our urban city lifestyle. What a cool company to support.

Check out Little Balena online to see the playmats and their super cute hand knitted baby booties as well.