Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Gifting the Unknown (or, while I'll never be a Secret Pal)

While I was on blog-hiatus, my brother-in-law and his wife had their first child. During the pregnancy, I really wanted to make some gifts for the baby, but found myself unable to do anything more than buy patterns and supplies. After many false starts and lots of frustration, I finally figured out what was wrong: I hadn't met the child yet! I simply could not make a present for someone I didn't know.

So, instead, I made gifts for the people I did know - the parents.

For her, I knitted up my adaptation of two items from Louisa Harding's great book Natural Knits for Babies and Moms: Beautiful Designs Using Organic Yarns. I made the wrap from organic cotton chenille (to provide privacy while breastfeeding in public), and a no-hearts version of the organic cotton nursing sweater. No expense was spared (sorry Tom) - I got the yarns specified in the book. Both projects turned out really well, but of course I don't have photos (duh!).

In addition, I wanted to make a special quilt for the baby. Again, I ran into the same problem - we hadn't met yet. What I did in the end (and I think it was the right decision, based on how well the gifts were received) was make a lap sized quilt for each Mom and Dad, so they could snuggle with the baby with a quilt of their own.

Rhea's quilt is a split nine-patch, with a variety of colours setting out a central design. I chose the border fabric (the check) first, then collected the 12 other fabrics plus the border stripe afterward. This is the first quilt I've ever finished with a lot of different fabrics (14 is really high for me).

I quilted it with two patterns: my points and curls stipple in the center and the wide border, and a fine pebbled texture in both narrow striped borders.

Chris's quilt was made using only two fabrics (excluding backing flannel - the back of both quilts are the same moss green flannel, which goes very well with the colours in their living room). I chose mossy green/gold for him, as it was child-gender-neautral, and as he likes earthy tones. His is a two-block quilt, and was very straightforward to make.

I quilted a gentle curving line cluster filling stitch in the center, leaves in the wide border, and rope in the 1" narrow borders.

The baby was born healthy, happy, and male. He made his arrival at 1:52am on June 3rd, 2007, and weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce. Tom and I were there at the birth - not in the room but just outside, so we heard his first cries. He has his Dad's lungs (he's a talker!).

We fell in love immediately, and see him as often as possible. I hope to be a large part of his life, and enjoy just knowing he exists. Personally, I think he is the most beautiful child alive, but I may be a tad biased. Just a bit.

If I get permission from his parents, I will reference him by name, and maybe post his photo, but until then he will simply be referred to as Nephew. Auntie loves him!


Jane said...

Your quilting is just beautiful! What a lovely gift to give someone.

Angelika said...

Wow, I have to compliment you on your quilting too. Great stuff you are making.