Tradition: babies and blankets
This story is what I think to be the truth, the facts could be wrong, but such facts will not affect the actual story and tradition
All of my mom’s kids (except the last one) received a baby quilt from my grandmother. Mine was blue and white and it had an eyelet edging. I thought I had it somewhere, but it might still be at my mom’s house.
When my little sister was born I wanted to make something but as you will see below my sewing skills leave much to be desired. My mom, being the genius that she is, gave me a blanket that was all made up and just needed an edge. I think she gave two pieces of flannel to a friend and the friend added little eyelets along the perimeter. I then took the blanket and a ball of variegated crochet cotton over to “Oregon Grandma’s” house (story on this woman later). Oregon Grandma then taught me how to do a lovely crocheted edging anchored through the eyelets in the blanket. This blanket was my entire contribution to warming my baby sister.
I don’t recall it ever becoming a special blanket in any way, but she was given so many gifts that I don’t think any of them became her special blanket. There is nothing wrong with this. While I love the sentimentality of my own baby blanket I don’t think there is any need for a blanket to be anything more than a blanket.
When I found out that my older sister was expecting I knew I would make a blanket along with a few knitted hats, mitts and maybe even a sweater. So when I was home for my dad’s birthday I rifled through some fabric that my mom had. I tried to choose colors that were generic and a pattern that I just sort of made up out of half square triangles. I put it all together and quilted it. In the end the colors seem a touch girly to me and the quilting is pretty sad, but I am not going to rip out or redo anything. I had a fantastic time working with my baby sister to decide on the exact layout and pattern arrangements and see no need to destroy the evidence of such a good time
Positive things about the quilt:
My piecing has shown MAJOR improvement and my ¼” seams were relatively consistent. I love that the quilt has a center block that is different from the other 8. I also adore the edging pattern created with leftover half-square triangle blocks. The binding has pretty decent mitered corners (for my first attempt at such a thing). The pieced back is probably my favorite part of the whole thing. The blocks that were quilted with straight lines instead of free motion craziness actually turned out quite nice.
The free motion quilting was awful. I think some of this can be attributed to using a machine with no table so it was just a small area to really hold onto the quilt with any real pressure. Most of the wonkiness is really just my bad quilting skills. I didn’t do a real binding I just pulled the backing fabric around and tacked it down by hand. It looks ok, but will not wear as well as a real binding
Even with bad quilting some of the blocks have a very specific theme or story that will hopefully make sense when my sister sees it in person for the first time.
While I don’t particularly hope this becomes a baby blanket that is passed down for generations, I do hope that it fulfills the purpose in which it was created: to keep a baby warm.