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Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails….

August 31, 2010

Eight years ago, when our first grandchild celebrated his first birthday, I started the tradition of making him a quilt. A lap-size quilt, just big enough to curl up with at naptime, snuggle under on rainy days to read books with Mama, and maybe, just maybe drag off to college someday. At the very least it would hopefully be a reminder of how much his Grammy loved him.

Caiden’s quilt was a theme of cowboys with a five o’clock shadow, and bunking broncos. He quickly fell in love with it, and every time I see it on his bed it makes me smile.

Grandchild #2 came along. Grayson’s birthday quilt was a theme of Noah’s ark, with exotic animals, blacks and golds and such. He knew Brother had gotten a quilt, and was quite pleased to have one of his own. I spot it around the house, here and there, depending on where he’s dragged it to lately.

Grandchild #3 arrived on the scene. She was special in more ways than one. To begin with she was a long awaited G.I.R.L., and after a rough start with some health issues, she grew into a spunky little thing that melted all our hearts quickly. Miss Addie is of the belief pink is the proper color for just about everything in the world, and if it can’t be pink, please make it purple. So her quilt consisted of fabrics with shoes, and hats, and feather boas, shades and shades of pink with some purple and black thrown in here and there. She is firmly attached to it, and that may be as much for the velvety fabric I chose for the backing, as it is for the fact that her Grammy made it for her.

Then grandchild #4 came along, another boy, this one blonde and chunky. We got to spend the first three or so years of his life about a mile or two away, so he locked up our hearts and threw away the keys. Everything in me that missed the three grandkids 1200 miles south was soothed by having him nearby. Now the tables have turned, and he’s 1200 miles north of us 😦   Landon’s Daddy is a hard-core outdoorsman, so he’s destined to love the woods, and to hunt the animals that live there. He’s also usually attached to a teensy stuffed moose, named ‘Bull’, so I choose fabrics that had pine cones and moose and deer and elk and rocks and such – something that will appeal to him more and more as he gets older. I got a good start on the quilt but just never finished it.

Better late than never! Three years late, I finally finished it. Here’s what I started with:
Then I got busy cutting and arranging:

put it all togetherThen I put batting, backed it, machine quilted it, and called it done!
No fussing with attempts at perfection – just finish it! Four year old little boys don’t look at stitching. They just test it.

Add a label so he can remember when I gave it to him.

And another gift, sure to please any four year old boy. A dried alligator head.

He’ll grow to appreciate the quilt someday, but for now, I don’t want to forget what little boys are really made of.

Next I’ll get busy with a quilt for our newest granddaughter, Jae. She’ll celebrate her first birthday this Christmas, and I spotted some fabric at the quilt store with paper dolls, wreaths of holly and peppermint stripes – perfect for a Christmas baby. Maybe, just maybe I can get this one finished on time.

We’re so blessed by the grandchildren God has given us. I’m praying there might be a few more quilts in our family’s future.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Jackie permalink
    September 1, 2010 7:22 am

    What a wonderful gesture and a beautiful quilt. I have only made one quilt in my life so I know this was work, even though you said no fuss. Good work Grandma.

  2. September 1, 2010 7:53 am

    Mama, Landon has already fallen in love with his quilt! I think it is his favorite naptime comfort at the moment (other than Bull, of course). I would imagine that the big boy quilt will probably stick along longer than our stinky moose though! Thanks for making such a precious treasure for him! 🙂

    The quilt AND the alligator look great in his camping room!!

  3. September 1, 2010 7:58 am

    That last photo made me laugh. Gross! Janae has assured me she’s re-supplying us with three more alligator feet to replace the ones that have mysteriously disappeared. Hmm. You girls sure do know how to give gifts! 😉

  4. September 1, 2010 8:07 am

    Such precious gifts for each to treasure.

  5. September 1, 2010 8:39 am

    I just love this special tradition and I hope to use it someday for my own grandkids. I love how each quilt speaks to the interests of each child.

    And I cannot believe how big Landon is getting. He’s a big boy these days. And handsome as can be. I’m glad you got to spend some special time with him on your trip.

  6. September 1, 2010 9:01 am

    Love the “praying there are a few more quilts in our families future.” How sweet is that!? : ) Hope there are!

  7. Robin permalink
    September 1, 2010 11:33 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas Bev. My little grandaughter (16 mo.) is due for a quilt. The first one I made was gender neutral (before she was born) and now we need to bring on the PINK! Do you follow a pattern for the size or have the dimensions you could share? I want to make it lap size but wondered if you have found a size that works well for the little ones. Thanks!

    • September 1, 2010 10:36 pm

      Robin, Caiden and Grayson’s and Addie’s quilts are all shorter than a twin size, but about that wide. I used different patterns, but didn’t fuss much. Some of them had fabrics that I fussy cut, and that determined the block size. Landon’s is smaller – more of a snuggle up quilt, and I bought that animal print, so when I cut up the squares I just figured out what a block of three rectangles would be, and started cutting. That in itself determined how big it would end up. I don’t generally go too big so I can machine quilt it myself when I’m all done. Sarah has been hugely brave and machine quilted much larger quilts on her machine, but I tend to stay a bit smaller, knowing I’ll regret it when I get to the part where I’m dragging the entire thing across the bed of my machine! There are some good quilt books that are just for baby quilts and you might enjoy using one of them.

  8. September 1, 2010 9:17 pm

    Love, love the quilt! Homemade quilts just speak love and family and memories!!

  9. September 3, 2010 7:30 am

    I can’t wait for Jae’s quilt!!!!!! I have ALWAYS wanted a family member to make her a quilt-blanket—–and it won’t be THIS family member. haha. Thank you so much -we can’t wait!

    • September 3, 2010 9:17 am

      And I can’t wait to start sewing something pink again. It’ll be a Christmas quilt, as it should be in honor of her very special date of arrival, but surely it can have some pink sprinkled here and there. Soon as I buy the fabric I’ll bring it in to show it to you!

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