I fear I have set a new precedent. As you probably know, I really enjoy sewing. And sewing for my kids always brings me joy. When there’s a new baby on the way, I usually make one for throw-on-the-floor use before the darling arrives, and then another more keepsake-y (though still sturdy) for after his or her arrival. (Of our 12 grandchildren, 6 were “wait until they’re born” before we knew if it was a boy or girl.) (Here’s a post about the last two I made!) Once we get past the baby stage, I do one twin size quilt after they move into a ‘big bed’. I started strong with our Ellie’s bed quilt – she got it for Christmas just before she turned 4.
The last one I completed was for Reis, who was 5 at the time.
Next up is Alexandra (who will be 7 in October!!). While I was waiting to find the opportunity to go shopping with Alex’s Mom, I decided to make a Graduation Quilt for Ellie (the recipient of all the ‘first’ quilts!). I didn’t want it to be a big deal (since once I started this route there would be 11 others following) so I decided to do it a in a smaller ‘throw’ size, with nice cuddly fleece on the back. I found a fabric line I thought she would like, picked up a ‘layer cake’ (forty 10″ squares) in that line, and went about making my first Graduation Quilt!
See the cozy fleece on the back?
So the sweet little girl holding the pillow in that first picture –
is all set with a snuggle blanket filled with Gram’s love as she heads off to college!
My youngest niece is having a baby boy next month (her first), and I was invited to my very first virtual shower. Since I had some nice grays hanging out in my stash (and I knew his room was done in gray), I was able to put together a little quilt for this newest member of our family in time for the party.
I loved the fun backing too!
(I think there are some matching pajama pants in someone’s drawer from a couple of Christmas’s ago!)
At any rate, it was a joy to send off a bit of Aunt Steph love to this sweet family about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
And finally – I did get a chance to hit a fabric store with Lara when we were in Ohio last month, and Alexandra’s quilt has officially been started!
It’s going to be bright and cheery – and hopefully will be on her bed by the time she turns seven!! I’ll keep you posted!
So the machine’s been out quite a bit lately – and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! It’s been good to get the quilting juices flowing again!
Thanks for reading through all this Show and Tell. I probably should’ve put a “Craft Warning” in the opening paragraph! =)
Since I feel like I’ve left a fair number of loose (blog) ends lately, I’m still moving in that backward direction! Let’s see if I can wrap-up our time at AIM (African Inland Mission Retirement Center) back in March. I think the last time I detailed just what kind of work we were doing there I had moved from cleaning houses and washing windows to figuring out how to redeem some well needed, but in pretty rough shape, chairs.
Of course the best solution would’ve been to totally re-cover them, but both the cost and the time involved in that endeavor was prohibitive. So we moved to plan B. Or maybe it was plan D. Make some chair covers out of Drop cloths. As the designated Sewing SOWERS, Diane and I set out to develop and implement a pattern that would be serviceable and (hopefully) a bit attractive.
It took us several hours to fine tune the pattern, but by the end of the project we had cranked out 23 chair covers!
And from the back –
I’m not going to tell you they were the swankiest of covers, but they fit the bill for the need at hand! We got the drop cloths at Harbor Freight (4′ x 12′) for $8.50/ea and were able to get 6 covers out of each cloth (less one that we needed for facings). Add in some sturdy twill for the ties (at about $.50/chair), and pretty much each chair cover cost about $2.00. AND, they are washable!
While I missed the fellowship of working with all of the other ladies, I’ll confess that I didn’t really miss all the opportunities for cleaning! We would all meet together for break, and we even had a lovely “Salad Luncheon” one day, so we were still able to connect nicely. There were 7 of us SOWER ladies, plus another 5+ volunteers that also worked and fellowshipped along side us.
Here’s our official March 2021 Group Picture –
When I look over these pictures it still surprises me that this was just two weeks ago. When we arrived at the project we only knew one other couple. By the time we left, we had enlarged our ‘family’ by many more than are even in that picture! I love how God knits us together over the course of just three short weeks and we treasure each of these new co-workers for Christ!
Starting with grandbaby number one (back in 2003!) I started making two crib quilts for each baby. One was pre-birth and was made with heavy duty wear in mind. It was the ‘throw on the floor’ quilt that I hoped would gets lots of use. The second was constructed after the baby’s arrival, usually with lots of input from Mom. I still hoped it would get lots of use, but (in my mind anyway) was a bit more special. This past year we’ve had two additions our family – Deacon Wood arrived a year ago October, and Everly Quinn joined the family in early June.
Here’s Deacon’s pre-birth quilt –
and here is Everly’s (we didn’t know she was a she until she was born, so I just went with bright!).
When we were together with the families at the end of the summer I was able to steal away with the Moms to pick out fabric and patterns, and then I was good to go! Since Deacon was oldest, his got first priority. Abigail picked out some great fabrics and this was really fun to put together!
So many triangles!!!
You are such a hoot, Deacon!
Once I had a good start on Deacon’s quilt it was time to get started on Everly’s. We’ve had a run on little boys lately, so it was especially fun to work with the pinks and greens and flowers….seemed like a while since I’d been working on those hues!
I was able to ship it up to Ohio several weeks ago, and it seems that Mom was pleased!
And little Everly seems to be enjoying it too!
What a little munchkin!!!
Making quilts for my grandbabies makes my heart happy! Each quilt goes to those little ones filled with love and prayers. But beyond the designing and sewing and quilting, what I truly treasure is the time I got to spend with my precious Daughters-in-love as we planned out and shopped for each quilt. With all the busyness of family life, those excursions are too few and too far between, so I never want to take them for granted. I don’t know if there are any more grandbaby quilts in my future, but I’m pretty sure my quilting days aren’t over. Alexandra, aren’t you next for a bed quilt?
I know, I know – we haven’t even made it to October yet so what on earth is this Merry Christmas stuff! Well, in our world it always pays to plan ahead (as much as you can in this crazy year of 2020!). Since we’d decided to change up Christmas this year and stay south, I wanted to try and ‘deliver Christmas’ to the kiddos when we visited each family in September. And as timing would have it – this was the Christmas Stocking Year.
Toby’s family already a good supply of GramMade Christmas stockings –
But the addition of Everly in June necessitated a new one. For once I was thankful I had kept the leftovers from that project years ago, and was able to complete the set!
It’s up to Toby to make a bigger hanging board!
Down in Waco, I’d also been staying on top of the Stocking situation. Josiah and Abigail had been gifted Christmas stockings as wedding gifts, so as each little boy was added, I was able to follow the style, even if the fabric choices were a bit different.
The green one was one of the original wedding gifts, the two red ones belong to Weston and Taran. (Although I can’t find a picture of Anderson’s I’m pretty sure it does exist!) This year I made one for Deacon (who unbelievably turns ONE next month) and also one for Georgeanne ( Abigail’s mom – aka MeeMah – who lives with them!)
To help tell them apart, I put a fancy ‘grown-up’ lining in MeeMahs!
I think (so they tell me) that completes the sets for that gang!
Meanwhile, in Gahanna, there were NO GramMade stockings at all!
Since I was starting from scratch with that household, it was fun make to each one a little different while keeping the basic style the same!
(They really are all the same size – it’s just a weird perspective!)
To complete my Christmas sewing, I even made a little Christmas Tree for us –
Now I just need to get it quilted and bound before December!
This year we also went with the Family Christmas Gift concept- and did our best to have them arrive while we were visiting.
The one in M-ville arrived after we left, but it looks like it will be put to good use.
We were able to work together to construct the one in Waco
and it’s been a great hit down there too!
In fact, according to a text I received yesterday, this is happening….
“All day, every day!”
I’m feeling all kinds of Christmas love!
Instead of looking back into the archives for a Memories post, it only seemed fitting to look back to just this past weekend where there was a lot of walking down memory lane! There is something very special about spending time with someone who shares your growing-up memories, and this past weekend was no exception!
We started the weekend by going through lots of old family pictures
…and giggling at the stylin’ folks we were!
(Please note our pet squirrel, Pierre, on my oldest sister’s arm. One of those favorite family memories!)
Little girls in their PJ’s –
And except for the degraded photo problem, this is a pretty sweet family photo – circa 1962 +/-.
We could’ve spent hours going through them, but there were other items on the agenda!
When we were downsizing into our RV, Joie took ownership of this folding screen that we’d had in our living room. And before we had it, it had been in my grandmother’s bedroom. We’d learned that my grandmother had done the crewel work and my grandfather had built the frame, so even though it was in pretty bad shape (though not as bad as the picture shows!) it was still precious to us. Joie was delighted when one of her granddaughters discovered this family treasure and asked if there was some way it could be redone so she could use it in her apartment. The two of them began hatching a plan, and then this weekend Joie and I took the plunge and actually cut into the almost 100 year old fabric.
While I can’t reveal all of details of the plan (oh, that we had all those details!), I can certainly share some of the beautiful crewel work that we’re trying to preserve –
I’d have loved to have stayed longer to help with the actual construction, but that was not to be this time. I’ll be sure to share the finished product once it’s completed and been gifted!
Of course, no sisters weekend would’ve been complete without a little bit of time with ALL the sisters, so we made sure to have a nice long video call with Elna. Besides, she was a huge help with identifying folks in all those old photos!
It was such a lovely weekend – it brought back so many wonderful memories and we made some new ones to boot! The older we get the more we value, no – treasure, each and every moment we get to be together. And the fact we had ice cream for lunch one day didn’t hurt one little bit!
Thanks for coming along as I walked down my memory lane…..