Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Story of A Birthday and a little bit more

This is the story of a birthday and it includes a cake, a quilt, 4 yards of pink dotted fabric, two brothers,  a huge, lively family and the high school student who is now my dear daughter-in-law.  That's right. It was Andrea's birthday.

My daughter-in-law is frugal and practical and as generous as they come. She is also full of surprises and on the last big family holiday, she and Joe surprised us with the news of their new baby expected this summer!

Mind you, dear reader, I had it on the strictest authority that Joe and Andrea were content with their two spunky and active boys and so their news was a breathtaking surprise to me! And as time and technology has revealed, their new baby is a little girl!

To tell this story properly, I have to back up a little. Right after Joe and Andrea's engagment, Andrea, her mother Barb and I drove to Lancaster County, PA because Barb and I each wanted to sew a quilt for the newlyweds. While shopping, I saw some pink dotted fabric (the perfect shade of creamy pink) and dreamed a daydream of a little granddaughter. So I bought four yards. Wouldn't you?

Years went by, but I kept the fabric because I had bought it for their daughter and didn't feel comfortable using it for another.  (Anyway, Val likes brighter colors). Two wonderful and incomparable sons were born to Joe and Andrea and I joyfully sewed blue things for them.
When Joey was expected I sewed was a dust ruffle for the crib. Andrea wanted "letters" as a theme and so I embroidered the alphabet along the bottom of the dust ruffle and finished it (because of course I measured wrong) with a blue gingham.

When Jack was coming along, I found a wonderful applique book

and made him a funny quilt, now well-worn

and wall hanging.

Just love these darling animals, don't you?

Just the other day, we were up in the "nursery" and Andrea dug out that old dust ruffle and said, "Could you make this somehow right for a girl?"
Could I?  Hmm... my imagination sparked! I thought of the pink fabric I'd bought so long ago for this little granddaughter soon coming my way. Yes, I could!

There were holes to be mended...
 which I did mend by trimming the frayed threads and making a patch of Heat 'n Bond and fabric. This substance glues the patch to the surrounding fabric.

Then I covered the patch with a flower (made from that same pink dot)...

or a bee.

stray threads to be fixed...

by adding birds and flowers with the same Heat 'n Bond and fabric "applique" technique.

And the general blueness I changed to pink with an edging of that pink dotted fabric.

Then she pulled the wall hanging off the wall and thrust it into my hands. "Is there anything you can do to make this more girl-y? I hate to throw it out."

Now, I would be more than thrilled to make all new things, but you see, I was touched that she valued the sewing I'd done enough to try to transform it and reuse it. I admire her frugality, her practicality.  Using that pink fabric, scraps from other projects, scraps from Andrea's grandmother's "given-away" sewing stash,

I added skirts and ruffles and changed the binding,

quilted some more and sewed on a row of the brightest rick-rack.

I did measure, but of course, I always measure wrong...

so when the rick rack's ends didn't meet, I covered the space with more flowers,
then added them all over!

I am making a new quilt though. That's the next part of the story...


  1. I love, love, love it! I am so glad you are reusing that wall hanging, I just think that applique quilt you made for Jack is so wonderfully perfect.

  2. What a great story and great quilt!

  3. Wow those were wonderful projects!!

  4. These projects turned out fabulously!! Jo-Ann

  5. I LOVE this story of life and quilts. You are a creative genius!

  6. Another person besides me who doesn't measure or doesn't measure well! I feel validated by the beauty you created even with bad measurements!

  7. ok... I Love that you don't measure... I don't either.. yet my creations never come close to the beauty that you produce... in fact, I rarely even finish my creations. But as always, you inspire and give hope. :-)

    And Andrea looks absolutely radiant in her birthday picture!