Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby Gifts

In the months before the Grand Boy was born, my dear friend LC sorted through her quilt making pile and brought me a bag of pieces to chose from for the baby's quilt. I went to the fabric store here in the burg and got a piece of flannel for the backing, the batting stuff and some more material for squares to tie it all together.

I took all the material to France with me and then plotted out the pattern in MS Excel. I do not lie Ladies, that is the kind of Gal I am. The kind who plans the quilt on the computer. Unlike LC, who is a free form artist in quilting and painting, I need to move the squares around and do the math in the virtual world in order to think it out.

What with coming home early for Martha's funeral and all, I didn't get to the cutting out of the squares. So, a couple of weeks ago, LC and I used the table in her studio to do the cutting and laying out of the material.

Then we had to have a break with a cup of the fabulous toffee tea from Paris in LC's heirloom teacups and a bite of strawberry rhubarb galette while the dogs rolled around at our feet. (See Emerson rolling...)

The next day, LC, being the sewing machine ace driver that she is, whipped together the strips of the quilt while I was off to the material store for more batting, embroidery thread and the material for the border. The day after that, we got together to iron out the top, judiciously apply a little ric rac, cut the border and zip that on. Then we needed another cuppa tea and some hot cross buns I'd brought for focus maintenance.

I didn't buy any for the dogs. (See Luna pouting on the bed.)

A few days later, we brought the fabric layers down to my house. We laid the quilt out on my living room rug and made "the sandwich" of layers, as LC the Quilt Mistress called it, pinning everything together with diaper pins. I fed her dinner and we tied together the layers with embroidery thread while we watched "To Kill a Mockingbird".

Such a great movie, which I hadn't watched in a coon's age. Now the quilt will forever have Scout, Atticus, Jem, Calpurnia and Boo Radley woven into its fabric.

I fed LC dessert too, poached Bartlett pears smeared with good melted chocolate and a cup of fresh mint tea.

Then that Grand Boy was born.

You knew I was going to have to work a picture of him into this story didn't you? *Sigh*
I'm already jonesin' for another fix of holding that little head in my hand. *Sigh*

So, anyway, back at the quilt...
With the baby already at hand, we had to bring in the reinforcements, so we recruited my dear neighbor Ren. LC finessed the turning of the edging and the three of us whip stitched it down.

LC and Ren started working a blanket stitch around the edge while I made spaghetti and salad for our dinner and Miss C, my 9 year-old friend and Ren's daughter, whipped out 10 or so drawings to welcome the new baby into the world. (I only got a picture of one of the drawings. Miss C is a very talented artist already at 9 years.)

On my first visit with the Dear Daughter, the Dad and the Grand Baby Boy, I brought food to cook them dinner, a spring bouquet from the garden, the drawings from Miss C and the quilt.

Quilt: a blanket for the baby to lie on top of on the floor, the bed or in the park.
Yes, it is simply that.

But it is also an assemblage of the morning, afternoon and evening gatherings during which it was dreamed up, laid out, stitched on machine and by hand; the conversation and laughter of the women in the room; the devotion in the eyes of the dogs on the floor; the lessons of integrity and courage that "To Kill a Mockingbird" holds; the chatter of the girl drawing pictures in the next room.... There is a message of love and welcome in every variation in the loops of the blanket stitch, every nuance in the twists of the thread that three different women brought to the task of hand sewing this baby's blanket.

This is the small gift that we brought to the baby boy and this is just one of the gifts that the baby boy has brought to us so far.

Love to you and yours.


Ms. Moon said...

To me, this post is all about what being a woman is. To nurture with creativity is ART. Not just "an" art. It is art.
Beautiful. All. But especially that boy.

Kori said...

My job, too, or gift, would be to provide sustenance for the quilters; I cannot sew, at all, and I envy those who can and do. And I love the meaning and thought and love that you invested into the quilt. And, of course, I love the picture of the boy!

N2 said...

Ms Moon - My grandma Buckner made quilts with her church group in Missouri. There were ten children in our family and we each got a hand made quilt from her. Making one for our newest family member felt like carrying on her legacy, helped by my dear friends.

Kori - Providing sustenance is a key job in the sewing circle. You would be welcome in ours any time.

Thanks for your sweet words on the Grand Boy, Dear Ladies. x0x0 N2

Kathleen Scott said...

Quilt-love. Wonderful! Momma and baby will treasure it. Hope you stick a copy of your post in the baby's book. He'll treasure it, knowing the karma it carries.

N2 said...

Thanks, Katleen. You seem a quiltin', or at least sewin', kind of Gal, too. Am i right? x0 N2

Bethany said...

Oh, this is such a treat for me, since I found LC's blog first and her amazing dogs. To see them through your eyes is so fun, and her buttercream yellow studio and her wonderful, artistic, spirit. And your little tea breaks. Loved all of this. The quilt is wonderful. The drawing too!
Wow wow wow.
Sweetness captured.

N2 said...

B - This was just like having you come by and join our tea parties. =o) N2

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