Friday, March 11, 2011

Traditions with a Twist

Earlier this year, I visited the school where I worked to attend a baby shower for one of the teachers who had become a good friend.  She knew she was having a girl, and she and her husband had already chosen a name.
Although I have retired, I still think of myself as a librarian.  When you combine librarian + baby, you get books.  And of course, when you combine quilter + baby, you get quilts. 
Well, I upheld one tradition and purchased a few board books for Baby Shea (every baby needs Goodnight Moon  and Sandra Boynton's Going to Bed Book,  don't you think?)  but I deviated from  the traditional quilty gift and made a stuffed animal instead.
I used 1930's repro fabrics to make the toy elephant in Joelle Hoverson's lovely book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.
Here's a picture.  Isn't he cute?

 And to tie it all together, I made what my mother used to call a "ditty bag."  The dictionary says that a ditty bag is a bag that sailors use to carry small tools and personal items.  My mother used to make them for my daughter Emily to keep small toys in, and she made one for her to use to hold her "rest towel" for kindergarten. 
Here is one of Emily's that holds the letters from a long-forgotten Sesame Street magnetic board.

And here is Baby Shea's.

I used more '30's prints, and lined it with the fabric used for the elephant.

So now Baby Shea can cuddle up with her elephant while mommy or daddy reads to her, and she can carry her books, her elephant and her "personal items" in her ditty bag.

Thanks, Mom, for teaching me to sew and for starting traditions that I can continue.