Sentimentality is a quality I share with my eldest kid. He loves hearing stories about when he was little and really struggles with the idea that he would throw anything out. Which makes him a total joy to make things for. He loves the idea I am making them, loves receiving them and then wears them until they fall apart. And even then doesn't want to throw them out. He recently gave up a pair of shorts I made for him when he was three. He is now almost 9. They are the calico-coloured shorts you see below with little frogs all over them. I think the only reason he didn't get grief about them in school is he had been wearing them since they were all so small they didn't "see" them anymore. By the end they were a little on the short side of shorts which didn't seem to bother him at all. He tore a hole in the bum though, so it was time.
Last week I decided I'd better finally stop my procrastination and make his quilt to try to get it done by his birthday this weekend. I was planning on having it made by the end of the year but I realised that what I was really doing was avoiding starting it because I wanted it to be "special". The old "if you don't start it you can't muck it up" chestnut. Classic perfectionism bu*@sh*t.
I'd been happy with the design for a good few months so there was no reason not to start. I also downsized my (crazy) expectations that his quilt would be hand quilted, and decided machine quilting was probably best for a kid that will drag it around the house, make cubbies out of it, and take it camping.
So I cut! And I began to make it and I really love it so far. It is better than I thought it would be. You can see it's progress best on my instagram feed.
Anyway the love. I had this idea many years ago that when I made him a quilt it would include fabric scraps from many of the shorts and shirts I had made him over the years. But as I don't really like the "patch" element of patchwork I was trying to figure out how to do it. I was going to put them on the back but that felt a little sad. Instead I've come up with the (hopefully) genius idea of doing a strip binding with the scraps. I was planning on using the super worn short fabric alongside the unused scrap fabric but when it came time to cut up the super-torn well-loved shorts I found I couldn't do it.
Sentimental much? Yes! But if it's not about that, what is it about?? I love love the fact that he will be able to find fabrics he knows and loves in a small way in this quilt. Fabrics that will slowly fade, as did the shorts and shirts he has worn over the last few years until they are now soft and pale.
Some lovely person on instagram pointed out that it was a quilt that he could have into adulthood without it feeling kid-like. And without the binding that was totally true. I'm hoping however that with the binding it will actually be a bit of both. A piece of his childhood he can take into his adulthood - if he wants to obviously. But I think he just might!
If you feel like it, I'd love to hear about how you put "the love" in your projects....