Archives for posts with tag: softie

What does a quilter do when she gets invited to a baby shower just a few weeks away?

She reads the registry and improvises!

My friends chose not to learn their baby’s gender, so my gifts had to be husband-approved for a boy and sweet enough for a girl. These bandana-style bibs are so popular these days that I came up with a simple pattern and sized it on my toddler. I backed them in a flannel shirt, and I made sure they are adjustable without tricky snaps or Velcro.

And the front fabrics match…

A pair of pairs of baby pants! These are based on a pattern from Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings which, thankfully, is often in our local library. My husband suggested a little patch of contrasting fabric which I think turned out quite sweet!

And finally…

I didn’t have time to piece an elaborate kitty softie for the baby, but thankfully I had a panel from the Cotton + Steel line From Porto with Love, which includes a perfect little kitten ready to be sewn and stuffed. Mine I filled with cotton batting scraps and teeny fabric shavings, part of my effort to reduce textile waste.

Baby is due late this summer, and I can’t wait to see if it’s a boy or a girl! Hopefully these gifts will help him or her feel welcome no matter what!


My Grandmother came for a Christmas visit. Her house is filled with things we grandchildren have made – from childhood artwork to patchwork pillows and a free-motion quilt. This year, I was inspired by her mother, my Great Granny, who, if I remember correctly, loved cardinals in wintertime.  

I made a few quick sketches, then used scraps from the stockings I sewed this year and embroidered their faces. They don’t match exactly because the design evolved, but I think both are sweet. One went to my Grandmother, and the other to my mother (as I expected she would appreciate one, too!) We had an early celebration with some extended family, and Grandmother was pleased with her pin. Hopefully she can enjoy it all winter – something festive and cheerful, not overtly Christmassy but not out of place, either, and definitely one-of-a-kind, which may be her favorite part. That, or the ability to say, “Oh, this? Just a little something my granddaughter made for me.” 🙂

Oh my… This blog has not been touched in sooooo long! I have my reasons, of course:  intensity at work, pregnancy exhaustion, first year of marriage hiccups, life in general. But my favorite reason is because the projects I’ve been working on have been so time consuming, and having given myself a few months on each, I am only now beginning to complete them!

Meet Chocolate Milk. He is the constant companion and security object of a favorite little friend of mine. He’s been around for a bit, and the child’s parents have searched for years for a suitable backup, should anything ever happen to him. Sadly, he was purchased from a nondescript drug store, and his origins are completely untraceable. But Mom had an idea:  why not just make a duplicate? She went to great lengths to find the perfect fabric, finally locating it at a shop near her hometown in Canada (we live in the American South!) Only one problem:  Mom was way out of her depth in attempting the project.

Of course, when asking me, she offered to pay, but with an idea about the challenges ahead, I refused. Instead, I came over one evening to play, making a game out of taking measurements and notes, even a short video, noting the unexpectedly high number of seams and pieces visible only under closest inspection. Y. I. K. E. S. I didn’t count the seams or pieces. I didn’t want to psych myself out.


I am so thankful I did not count the hours of calculations, sketches, hand-stitches, fudges, declarations of “I am genetically gifted with my granddaddy’s engineering precision!” and moments of “I give up, so this will have to be good enough!” All that melted away when she opened the package to find her friend, holding it tight and snuggling her face into its neck.

This little summary really doesn’t do justice to the care, thought, and emotion of the project, but that’s okay. It’s the way with anything lovingly homemade. There is this sweetness and satisfaction and joy in pouring yourself into something while carrying a person in your heart, such that the making is part of the giving and the pleasure of the recipient is only part of that delight. I enjoyed the challenge, but my sweet little friend made the challenge worth it. I’m so thankful for her presence in my life, and so thankful to be able to give her what no one else could. What a tremendous honor and pleasure!
But NO! I will not be doing this again any time soon! 😉

Someone was nosing around the remnants of our woodpile…

He is a native of Tennessee river systems and quite friendly. He is an original design and made of repurposed cast off clothes. Little toes and webbing are quilted with batting scraps; that telltale tail is filled with Insul-Brite, delightfully crinkley to hear. I embroidered his face, hesitating over the teeth as they seem more prominent in illustrations than photographs. But I like how he turned out. He will make a sweet squishy friend for the bun-in-the-oven!

Once upon a time, years before I met my husband, I cut up a striped cashmere top and a thrift store silk necktie. Yesterday, thanks to the snow and ice, those pieces became a bunny! (Pattern and tutorial via the Purl Bee.) I’m proud of the way he turned out, especially as I had to navigate matching stripes, stretchy knit, and bias-cut, slippery silk!

After a romp in the snow, he warmed by the fire and wrapped in the baby’s quilt! He looks quite at home there, I think.

He is floppy and squishy in all the right places, and he is so very soft! His satiny ears remind me of the “slicky” appliqué blanket I rubbed raw as a baby. Later, I realized that the embroidery thread I used for his face is the same my mother used on the Raggedy Anne’s and Andy’s she made for my brother and me before we were born. I am so happy to be part of a line of mothers who demonstrates care and affection through the work of her hands.