Years went by and I would search pattern after pattern, score shelves for the perfect yarn and painstakingly make blanket after blanket. I even made a few for the occasional special friend whom the stork graced with a bouncing bundle of joy. I started having children myself and knew my kids could not be left out of the joy of a blankie made especially for them either... so off I went to buy more yarn.
As time went by, I'd begun to realize that perhaps I'd gotten in a little over my head... as babies kept coming, and much of my time was now spent chasing little ones of my own! But never able to bear the thought of leaving a single one of these darling children out, I've continued this tradition. Now, 10 years later, I have a total of thirteen nieces and nephews, with two more on the way!!! Never in a million years would I have guessed, when I began working on the first of these blankets, that I'd have 15 or more to make! As you can imagine, cute patterns and interesting yarns have become a bit scarce when you've made that many blankets. Oh, and boys are especially hard - no pink, no frills, no bows!! ;-)
When, most recently, it was announced to us that Collin's youngest brother Stephen, and his dear wife Paige, were having a baby boy and very first son, I knew I would have some work to do. Admittedly, I put off the project (I still have my newest niece, Shiloh, whose baby blanket is in the works) until I had a bit more time. I perused patterns and kept my eye open for a cute blue pattern of sorts, but yet... Nada. I started to worry. Until one day recently it occurred to me, I'd always wanted to make one of those trendy cool rag quilts - and hey, with my newly acquired sewing skills maybe, just maybe, that'd be an option for little baby "Pete." With a vintage train theme for his nursery, what could be sweeter than a rustic quilt in blues and reds for bouncing baby boy to play on? Angels must've been watching over me in my plight to gift a special creation to each of these babies, for I stumbled upon this tutorial for "the easiest quilt ever!" Hoorah! I could do this - I was PUMPED!! Off I sped to the fabric store in search of the perfect flannel fabric, and three stores later, I finally found it. So excited was I in this new venture that I rushed home to get busy, and within 2 days, had a completed rag quilt for my littlest nephew!
As a child I had a baby-sized quilt that I literally loved to pieces. I still have the cherished, tattered patches of fabric lovingly tucked away in Moira's closet today. So, dear Paige, it's not perfect, but I do hope you and he enjoy this quilt. I hope your sweet bundle spends lots of time playing on it, snuggling it and wearing it down until nothing but bare threads and love remain.
I even found a very cool variegated quilting thread in red, white and blue! Fun stuff!
Unfortunately, time went by and I hadn't much touched the machine since the class, with all of the handbags I was furiously knitting away at and selling. I had a good thing going, selling all those custom bags, but was in definite need of a break - some "me" crafting time. Once I announced my handbag hiatus, I finally got to work on some other projects that needed my attention. First, I turned out a pair of dinosaur mittens for Ian, one triceratops and one T-Rex, complete with pointy teeth and red gaping mouth when he separates his thumb from his fingers(which he was WAY cute about). I also managed to knit about half way through a what-will-be lovely sweater for me in the most beautiful "moss" tweed you can imagine. I worked on a couple of projects for friends, a purse for Sheila's daughter and a poncho/hat set for Laura's Birthday Girl. I even bought the yarn for some cool felted slippers I've promised Collin, which will be really fun once the knitting bug bites again.
You may have learned by now, I tend to go through phases of crafting. I'll completely obsess over one medium for a while - eating, drinking and sleeping my current obsession, while hardly touching the others. So, when I finally found myself glancing longingly at my new, yet neglected, sewing machine, the embers of passion were once again fanned and I was ready to dive in!
It all started with the desire to recover the gliding rocker that would end up in Meghan's room. This chair was fairly cheap to begin with, and has mostly made it through Moira's and Ian's nursery years, but was in need of a little pick me up. So I managed to figure out how to recover all the cushions in a nice tan suede that should hopefully hold up as well as the original denim, as seen here. Then came the inspiration for a very special project for my soon-to-be born nephew, which is so special that I'll devote the entire next post to tell you about it. ;-) While working on the project for baby "Pete" (no - as far as I know, that is not going to be his name. It so happens that my co-Auntie, Suzann, on the McCann side of the family, loves nick-naming all of the not-yet-born babies until we have an actual name at the birth) I stumbled upon this tutorial by Leslie at a room somewhere. Go ahead and look... I'll wait... it's worth it, trust me.
Ooh la la! You mean, I can do that? Are you sure?! You do know I'm complete beginner, and - while, yes, fueled by the crazy that so often plagues other like-minded Crafties of my generation - I've never stitched anything that anyone would even remotely want to put on their body? Well, okay. I'll give it a go. So with great pride, I present to you, my first attempt at pillowcase dresses! Matching, or more appropriately, coordinating ones for my girls. Now, I'll have you realize that a large part of the adorableness of these is the wearers, for which I can claim very little credit, but THEY'RE PRETTY DARN CUTE, are they not?!?
The picture on the wall is a cross-stitch my dear friend, Leslie, made for Meghan. She's actually made a matching one for all our kids, just in different colors. Oh, and the rocking horse was a gift from our friend, Lynnea, whose father made it. I love the way it's short and squat - perfect for little ones. :)
Collin's masterful pumpkin carving.