Friday, April 23, 2010

A Year in the Making - Rogan's Baby Quilt

Well, it's done!  A labor of love for the sweetest little grandson! Benjamin Bunny is happily at the edge of the meadow, holding his carrot and waiting to be loved.

Rogan's Quilt

When I started the quilt, it didn't seem that it should take so long . . . but it has. My hands just don't tolerate much squeezing, pushing and pulling anymore. If I hadn’t decided to do a lot of embroidery, it would have been fine, but that’s how I “tied” the quilt and created the detail at the same time. I’m so glad I was able to finish it. It was sort of one of those things that took on a life of its own after I started planning it.

I knew the theme was going to be Beatrix Potter rabbits and such.  So my creative juices began thinking up all kinds of fun things I could do. My mom had made such beautiful bunnies and bears. She had a gift for creating her animals -- designed her own patterns, and worried them into being.  I have a lot of her fur cloth left, and thought how fun it would be to do something for Rogan like that. But I knew I never could. I watched in awe as she made her fur cloth come to life. What could I do with some of it to make Rogan something fun and memorable?
Ahhh -- a quilt. A quilt with a furry appliquéd rabbit. Fun!
Ahh - a scene around the rabbit. Of course that wouldn’t be too hard . . . .
What I envisioned was a quilt based on the theme. Benjamin Bunny in the midst of a forest path, at the edge of the meadow, with his onions and radishes, looking towards a basket into which I could put stuffed fabric  onions and carrots, etc. The process of designing the quilt and searching for the fabric to duplicate the mood I wanted was great fun. I had a blast finding bargain fabric that fit the scene and a wonderful time putting it all together.

Closeup of the center

The slow part . . .
 Ahh -- I think I’ll use the thickest batting I can find to make it nice and fluffy and comfy.  Oops . . .
That’s what slowed the whole process down. I couldn’t get my hand around the thick batting and bunch it up to do the fine embroidery nor did I have the strength to double the needle back through to make the tiny stitches.

Best laid plans - So I prayed my way through it. And finally, after a year, I have finished what was supposed to be a shower gift. I had the piecing/appliqué done for the shower, but not the rest. Finished it just a few short weeks before the year anniversary of the baby shower.

But it’s DONE!!

Benjamin Bunny

The wall and the gate - closeup

Closeup of the moth and one of the bees

 The four corners

Closeup of the basket

Removable carrot and onion.
Fun to put in the basket and take it back out again.

Happy Dreams Little Boy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 1 - The Happiest of Birthdays

April - New Beginnings

April has been a glorious month. It begins a new year for me in various ways.

-- April 1 -- The Day of my Birth. 
As a child, I shared this day with Brother Maynard Case. While poking my foot gently with his cane, he'd always say, "So how's my little April Fool?"  We'd stand together for the "Birthday Song" after Sunday School.  It's good to remember.

Now I share my birthday with another good brother in Christ, brother Bruce Haines.  

This year, April 1st fell on the Thursday before Conference. Although I enjoy celebrating quietly with my brothers and sisters at church, I must admit that it was fun to just spend the day with my family at home. And it was a joyful day indeed!

Dan and I spent some time outside digging in the dirt and cleaning up around the outside. It was such a beautiful day I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of the forsythia, which was in full bloom for the first time this year, the daffodils and the newly emerging plants - just barely above ground and being very brave to peek out so early - with the chance of cold still a possibility.

Daffodils with their heads bowed in the strong south wind.  
A little clean-up needed to drag the dead wood from 
around the plants.

 The daffodils on the other side of the house - all perky and 
upright. No wind to buffet them there.

  Chives and sage - just coming back from their long winter's sleep.

Part of my birthday fun was going with the family to the nursery and picking out some new things to add to the flower garden areas around the house. It was so much fun! Rogan seemed to enjoy just wheeling around in his stroller and soaking up the lovely air and looking at the colors.

 Alyssum, tabasco peppers, lemon thyme, regular thyme, a rose plant named 
"Teddy Bear." How appropriate!

Very funny -- the lady at the nursery was wanting to know if these plants were going to be cared for, or if we were talking about choosing something here that would have "severe neglect."  Ha ha. She looked at me with that knowing look and a raised eyebrow.  The term "severe neglect" will now be a permanent part of the Lawrence family "fun vocabulary with special significance" to be used and abused as the situation indicates.  :)

In the evening, my dear daughter-in-law fixed a lovely meal with a homemade cherry pie (my favorite) and Jesse grilled.

 Fun waiting for dinner.
 "The Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown  
Same author as "Goodnight Moon." 
I love it - maybe even better than GM . . . maybe.
Dinner Time
 Rogan LOVED grilled/smoked mushrooms. I can't believe how many he ate! 
Mama, can I have some more, PLEASE?

Plants and a beautiful box containing some very fun scrapbooking supplies, some much needed kitchen utensils and a precious card from Rogan, were the thoughtful and lovely gifts. The fun was to be extended later in the week with a wonderful shopping trip with Cynthia at Joann's. Scrapbooking paper is such a weakness of mine, and she knows it!

Rogan's little hand print. What a perfect card - gift!

 So pretty. I love pretty boxes.

I couldn't have had a more wonderful birthday.