Monday, October 19, 2015

For The Birthday Girl

In our house, it can be hard to think of a first birthday gift since we have pretty much any toy an about-to-be-one-year-old could want.  Even with the addition of a little girl I was stumped.  She was already gifted a precious baby doll when she was born and the boys already have a play kitchen.  Aunt Courtney and Grandma Kazleman outfitted her for fall with a new coat and hat and some new dresses and bows.  What more does a little girl need?

More dresses and bows?

Well yes, but what does a girl need that doesn't cost any money but will nevertheless become a cherished keepsake that she will treasure for years and years to come and one day pass down to her own daughter with a misty look in her eye remembering how her mother lovingly made it for her all those years and years ago?  That's trickier.  No pressure Margaret.

Well, I have a little doll cradle that was mine when I was a girl with my name etched into the end.  It was the perfect size for Margaret's baby doll so obviously it's been living in her room and housing her baby since we moved here.  At some point it had a little mattress that went in it as well but that has long since disappeared, so the boys and I got to work making a new one with a matching pillow from some old sheets Grandma Reintjes gave us the last time we visited.  Goodness knows I can't say no to free fabric :)

I did the sewing and the boys did the stuffing.  I love that it turned into a team project, even if I did have to intervene and tell them that no, we would not be using the batting that they had shoved down their underpants to do a silly dance for the bedding and would they please stop because, gross.

Once we finished that, it was pretty obvious that what Margaret's baby really needed was a tiny doll quilt to keep it warm during these cold, cold Virginia winters.  So I spent a considerably longer time working on that.  I made it using scraps from her actual baby quilt as well as remnants I saved from some pillows that were made for me when I was born and some of my own baby I guess what I'm saying is that it's extra special.

This project has taught me that I am utterly incapable of sewing squares in straight lines and/or getting patchwork anything to line up correctly when I'm using a sewing machine.  I quilted it using pink embroidery thread which did a fairly good job at disguising the wonkiness of it all.  Mostly I'm hoping Margaret will grow up really appreciating things with that lovely "homemade" quality about them and not notice that mom is not a professional at this.

I also picked out this little hardback collection of Eloise Wilkin stories for her, because even the baby who has everything can always use another beautiful book, am I right? 

So far, David likes the book more than Margaret and John John has spent the most time tucking the baby in with the new quilt but I'm sure Margaret will really love and appreciate her presents.  You know, eventually.  
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