Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Fun Tradition to Celebrate Grandbabies

I didn't quilt when our first grandchild, Caiden was born. When I started quilting, I began a tradition - one quilt for each grandbaby God blessed us with. Caiden's has retro cowboys with navys and blacks and deep reds and tans. Grayson's ended up being Noah's Ark with the same colors. When Addie came along I pulled out the pink / girly stash I'd purchased for 'our first granddaughter', whoever that might be. It has dragonflies and purses and shoes in pink and black and other fun colors with a soft, luxurious backing.

I'm tickled to say each grandchild is very attached to the quilt their Grammy made. (I'm convinced that backing is what endeared Addie to hers.)

Until recently Landon's quilt (the most recent grandchild til 6 days ago) was in the 'good intentions' pile. I'd purchased the perfect fabrics for him but somewhere in the past two years I lost my love of quilting and gotten too busy selling and buying and moving out of and into houses that there just wasn't time for such things. But I kept the fabric with me, at the condo, just in case I got the urge to get going with it, not really expecting it to happen.

Then Sarah started sewing. And taught herself to quilt. She took such a fun approach to it - learning enough of the rules to keep her honest but not enough to stifle her creative juices. She actually made quilting look fun again. Then Leslie asked me to teach basic sewing to a group of her friends, and I fell in love with sewing all over again. Then Santa brought me a new sewing machine. And God gave us another grandbaby, this time another little girl. So I needed to make another quilt.

But Landon's wasn't done. Three days ago I pulled out the fabrics for his quilt. I can stand to be one quilt behind, but not two! Baby Jae is next in line for her quilt, traditionally to be given at the one year birthday. Right now I have 359 days to finish hers (I'm thinking pink and chocolate brown toile), so I decided to take this week of being home and jump in.

First I cut up the themed panel I'd purchased over two years ago. Rustic is the way to go with Landon since he's bound to spend hours in the woods with his Dad when he grows up.

I already had plenty of good companion fabrics, some of them with trees or pinecones or rocks or sky.

I love the way all the earthy colors look together.

Closeups of the pinecone and tree fabric - aren't they great?
I chose Alex Anderson's Rail Fence pattern - it's nice and simple, easy to finish fast, and I won't be wasting time making stars or such that would never show up anyway in such a busy quilt. It was a good pattern to jump back into quilting with - not too intimidating.

I went with a pieced border too, using the fabrics I'd already cut for the blocks to save me more time. It ended up being a nice size to snuggle up with on the sofa, or an afternoon nap or car ride. All that's left is to back it, quilt it and bind it! I'm confident now I can get it done in January. Another quilt to give to a loved grandchild will be finished :-) I'm thinking this quilt will stay with him all the way through college. Not so sure his wife will let him leave it out in the living room someday, but hopefully by then it'll be worn out enough to have earned a spot at the hunting cabin at least!

So how about you - mamas or grammys - any traditional gifts you make or receive on the birth of a child?


secondofwett said...

I, also have been making quilts for my grandbabies.....unfortunately, I didn't start quilting til 3 years ago and my oldest grandson was born almost nine years ago..evryone has one but him so that's the one I'm working on now! I enjoy making something that, hopefully, in years to come my grandkids will cherish as something that their nana made just for them!

Becky said...

And you got a blog re-do too! It is so beautiful. I am particularly partial to that sweet little bird :)

The quilt is GREAT! Perfect for that whole family I think. Rustic, outdoorsy, down to earth. It is going to be very special to Landon.

And I can't wait to see the pink and chocolate too.

You should see my sewing closet in this townhouse. Oh. My. Goodness. As soon as I get a moment I am going to go sew in in that room. And post a picture. Soon.

Bev said...

So far our grandkids are good and attached to their quilts, dragging them around the house and, best of all, looking for them when it comes to bedtime. I'll be tickled if they all, someday, have frayed edges from being loved for years.

Robin said...

That is a great quilt Bev - I LOVE your fabric choices! I made quilts for my grandbabies when they were born - but my daughters love them so much and want to keep them special so they don't get to use them :(
Maybe I need to make them a second quilt that has orders that they have to be loved and dirtied!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Having only Emmy so far as a grandchild, I crocheted her a couple of baby afghans before she was hatched and I'm sure I'll crochet her some more as she gets big enough to give some input on her likes and dislikes.

I also kept one of the fancy dresses I sewed Jessica when she was about 7 years old that's a timeless pattern and fabric, so I hope she'll wear that someday.

I want to make her a quilt someday soon, but I take sewing by spells and right now I'm in a crocheting mood, not a sewing mood. Someday....

Love Landon's quilt, and I'll bet he will too. ;o)

Love and hugs,


Kelly said...

Oh Bev, I love those fabrics combined with the theme patches. So striking and cozy, he is sure to love it:-)

You are such a great Nana!

Karen said...

Oh I LOVE that quilt! It's just beautiful, and I especially love that it's one he can love on from now on!! I, too, can't wait to see the pink one!

You just may inspire me to learn to quilt...once I get MY new sewing machine! :o)

Love and blessings,

Gretchen said...

Would you like a near-41 year old granddaughter? I know that doesn't technically work, but I tend towards greediness when I see quilts.

So cute for Landon. BTW, a rail fence pattern (by Alex, of course) was my first quilt pattern, too. I made it for my BFFs baby boy (good thing he didn't notice all my mistakes). Her mom had passed on about 6 months before he was born, so I called the quilt "Amma Ann's Quilt". Since she'd have made him one if she could've.

Bridget said...

Hey, cute new template! Nice to spruce up every January, when everything outside is sad and gray!!

Landon's quilt makes me laugh--thank you for picking that fabric for him, not my boys! I just look at those sweet animals and picture his daddy shooting them dead. ;) Maybe if you do the back in a nice vintage fabric of beiges, etc, like the boys' bento box quilts, his wife will let it stay out, backside up!

Or maybe he'll marry a camo-wearing, deer-shooting woman who wants it on their bed! Wouldn't THAT be something :)

Either way, it's perfect for him, and I'm glad you're loving sewing again!!

Bridget said...

HA! I just realized I'd posted my comment as Bridget--sorry; it's from helping her with her template today! This is Sarah, of course! Off to go sign out as B . . .

Bev said...

Landon's fabrics ARE very boy! I had a hard time getting past the panel of animals but knew it's what he would like when he got older. Right now he just thinks deer are nice and doesn't realize he's going to be raised to shoot them. I tell myself in PA we have so many it's a problem so we need people like his Daddy to keep the population down some. I'm determined to make this quilt sweet because it is, after all, for a 3 year old!

Edith said...

Love the quilt...that is so cool. Nice easy looking pattern as well. I also received a sewing machine for Christmas...and have goals to make quilts for my boys - using parts of their dad's shirts as the centerpiece of each block. We will far I haven't had time to do much figuring it out. Maybe a snow day tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and your daughter's blog, Sarah. I got hooked some time ago and just cannot resist catching up every now and then. I do not know you except through your blog and pictures....LOVE the pictures!

The quilt.....this quilt is absolutely gorgeous. I read what you were doing...piecing it together...and thought the picture will be worth it. The final product is more than I was expecting. It is wonderful how you mixed the "scene squares" with the variety of other material. That final quilt is gorgeous. OH, and I disagree...unless that quilt is in shreds when Landon gets married, I would expect any wife to appreciate this handiwork!!
Thanks for sharing!!

Nanato3 said...

I've always made a crib quilt for my four grandbabies; I hand quilt, so I have to start before the sex is known ... so I use mostly yellows, purples and greens with just enough blues and pinks thrown in to work. I also make a twin-sized quilt for each of my grandbabies when they move out of the quilt to a regular bed -- a big-boy/big-girl quilt. I am in the middle of a big-boy quilt for grandchild #3; he's been out of the crib for ~6 months, but I'm behind on my quilting (had to take a break when mom went on bedrest with grandbaby #4 - for 7 weeks and I was spending every day helping her with the other 3 -- need to do a little getting back to quilting myself and get that finished up before it's time to start a big-girl quilt for #4. LOL

I tell each grandchild that Nana prayed for each of them as she made those quilts ... so that they're made by hand with love and prayers. ;-)

SentimentsbyDenise said...

You did a great job picking out the fabrics and pattern for this quilt - just perfect!