Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quilts

A few years ago I decided that I wanted to make a quilt for each of our grandchildren - not a full blown quilt that fits on your bed, but a personal sized quilt to cuddle up in while they watch TV or read a book.

In our church,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children can choose to be baptized & confirmed a member when they turn 8.  I attended a baptism once where the child's grandmother had made her a quilt & she compared the quilt to the Holy Ghost.  The spirit will protect you & comfort you & remind you that you are loved.  The quilt will protect you from the cold, keep you comfortable & help you feel safe, & when you remember that it was made with love, you will know how special you are to me.  Not all of our grandchildren are members, but the idea inspired me & we have had fun with it.

This May (2016), we will have 33 grandchildren!  So far I have completed 16 of these quilts & have started 4 more.  I feel confident that I can keep it going.  I try to make each quilt show their interests or use their favorite colors.  Some of the local grankids like to go with me to pick out the fabric so we make it a G'ma & me date.  Those that live farther away I will ask them over the phone what their favorite things are or if they have a favorite color.  Some have opinions while others don't, but they all seem to like having this special gift.

Here is a parade of quilts (so far)...

2008 - Adia was into horses at the time & really liked brown & blue - she even helped me tie her own quilt...



Our daughter, Rochelle, has four boys who are very athletic & play every sport there is, so it was easy to talk them into a sports themed blanket.  2009 - I asked Trevor what his favorite sport was & he told me football & that his favorite team was the Indianapolis Colts.  2010 - Ethan's favorite was football, too, & his favorite team was the 49ers...by the time Cade turned 8 (2012), he wanted a "football blanket" too & he chose the Packers.  Carson is already asking when he gets his "football blanket"...coming in 2016 - he's already chosen a 49ers print.



2010 - Luke likes basketball...so I chose the following teams; the Lakers because he lives near LA, the Kings because we live near Sacramento, the Warriors because his Deceuster grandparents live in the Bay Area, & the Jazz because G'ma Judy lives in Utah.


2011 - Avery wanted a soccer & piano quilt.  That presented a fun challenge, but we managed to find some fun fabric & she chose to frame them in bright colors.  Her Great Grandma helped me tie this one weekend when they were visiting...



2012 - Kenyon chose some interesting prints...he had some definite ideas about what fabrics he liked & didn't like.  I was worried when he chose 7 different fabrics, but I was quite pleased with how well the colors blended...


Cori's favorite color is turquoise.  I found this cute chevron pattern that was fun to do...it is one of my favorite patterns.



2013 - Alana's favorite colors are white & yellow but I was not able to find fabrics that I thought would work so I chose colors that I've seen her wear that I think look great on her.  It just so happened that they came to visit for a few days while I was making hers & she was thrilled to help.  She's going to be a great little seamstress!



2014 - Jake just wanted a black & white football blanket - nice & simple.  So I cut out the footballs & appliquéd them on a white block.  He was very happy with it...




Adison chose the same pattern that her sister Avery used, but Adison wanted it to be all different shades of pink!  It turned out adorable, perfectly reflects her cute little personality! She went with me to pick out the fabrics & the minute I showed her where the "fat quarters" were, she just started pulling what she liked & putting them in the cart.  Got to love a girl who knows what she wants!



When my daughter Jill was little, my mom & I made a little Dutch girl quilt for her & a super hero quilt for her brother, Ben.  When it came time to do her daughter Macy's quilt, she asked if I'd make a Dutch girl quilt for her, too.  I was thrilled! So I had her send me some of the girls old clothes & I actually used their clothes to create the Dutch girl's dresses.  I think it turned out super sweet & it adds to the sentimental value of it! I went ahead & made the same blocks for Penelope's quilt that I will finish in 2016.




Jill liked the super hero one, too, & asked if I'd make one for Roman's 3rd Bday in 2013...



2015 - I like that each quilt suits each child's personality.  It is also fun when they get a chance to help me work on them.  Many people have commented that I have taken on an ambitious project, but it is a labor of love for me - I truly enjoy making them & their smiles (like Jason's below) are totally worth it! He chose all the alligator fabric.


In 1977 I made a Mickey Mouse blanket when I was expecting Ben. Ben's nursery was decorated in Mickey Mouse characters & I made the quilt for his bed, but it hung on his wall for a long time, as shown in one of these old pics.  All of the kids wrapped up in it when they were little.  You can see Ben holding Cindi wrapped up in it & Ty is napping all wrapped up in it, too, & he's on top of the original super hero quilt my mom & I made Ben.


Sadly, the blanket accidentally got tossed while moving from Tennessee to California.  I was sick about it so I took these old photos & tried to recreate this little labor of love. I felt great nostalgia as my 1st baby was about to have his 1st baby & I enjoyed remembering my babies as I made the new quilt. The original quilt had hand embroidered Mickey faces on each corner, but when I went to recreate them, it took forever to do just one so I went to plan B & just appliquéd the faces as well as the center full body...


It was fun to present the quilt, along with Ben's vintage Mickey Mouse stuffed toy from his nursery & his baby book at Ryan's baby shower in 2015...



"Our lives are like quilts - bits & pieces,  joy & sorrow, stitched with love."


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Christmas Memory Advent

My daughter, Jill, sent us a wonderful Christmas gift this year...a Christmas Memory Advent...


Incase you can't read her note: "Our gift to you this year is a 'Memory Advent.'  We hope that you open an envelope each day until Christmas and think about how much you are loved.  This way, we almost get to spend the holiday with you.  You are wonderful grandparents to our children.  We appreciate all that you do for our family.  Have a Merry Christmas!"

Each day as we opened the next envelope, we found a photo memory (or two or three) of us with each of the kids through the years.  It was a sweet gift & a great way to remember loved ones who live far away...


By the time Christmas arrived, we had remembered some really great moments & it created a great family display...


The very last envelope, #25, contained an updated 5X10 photo of their little family that I hang in our hallway with the other family portraits & a couple of gift cards to our favorite stores.



Such a thoughtful gift of time.  One of my favorites!