Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Are Little Boys Made of?

A couple of years ago, when we were going through my mother's things after she died, my father found two items that had no identification on them. 

A very ordinary looking, well-worn flannel receiving blanket.  The flannel was thin, and the edging was coming unraveled.

And less mysteriously, a slightly stained flannel baby jacket with a hand-crocheted edge.

The jacket still had three of four ties attached - and the sewist had used blue thread - so this was a jacket made for a boy baby.   

I had several white flannel baby jackets of this same style, with crocheted edges and ribbons for my doll-babies, made by my mother's mother.  So, it's just my guess, the jacket was made by Grandma and the blanket in the cedar chest must have been one of the first Mom had for my big brother Jeff.  Now, they may also have been used by any number of the subsequent babies - at least my other two brothers, but I suspect they were saved because they were gifts for Brother Jeff, the "experimental model" as Brother Roger likes to call him.

As we divided up, and saved or gave away many of our mother's items, these two baby things, in their then nearly 60 year-old condition, had  no value other than sentimental.  I brought them back here with the idea that I might make something of them if Jeff's son, married the year before, ever had a son.  And since he is expecting one of those in August, it was time to make these over.  

Modern parents don't allow much of anything with ties around their infants, so I sewed a row of snaps to the jacket, and trimmed it with a bias strip of a green and blue striped fabric, which also became the binding for the newly lined blanket.  I hope Grandma would approve of my signalling the baby is a boy this way.

The blanket's new green lining fabric is a licensed Golden Books print - which goes both with the 60-year-old theme, and the shower invitation's suggestion for signed children's books for the baby in lieu of cards.   

Here's a closeup of Grandma's crochet - this would be the new baby's Great Great Grandmother's work.  I don't expect his Modern Mom Katy will take this baby out in the old-fashioned jacket, but perhaps when he's teething (it's not a new-born size) he can use it when he's drooled on everything else in his wardrobe, and he will feel the love of the previous generations.

(the greens of the stripe are not really olive and do not clash with the lining in real life, as they do in these photos)

I guess I have to call this quilting, but there's no batting. The flannel layer is just to preserve the blanket for a little while but the blanket is still thin. I chose to use a Patricia Ritter design called "Ribbit" because well -

"... frogs and snails and puppy dog tails".   And it was fun to trace out all those little toes!  The frog is maybe the size of my hand.  

Don't worry, this baby will be getting his own brand new quilt, the white one with blue and yellow zigzags. And now I get to go book shopping!


Sherrye said...

How special is that?!!! You are so clever!

Vicki W said...

There can't be a more special gift!

Marjorie said...

What a beautiful way to preserve these things for the newest generation. Very special and sweet for the new baby. I 'quilted' a couple of blankets with no batting when Ezri was born - they really are nice for the baby.

Dorry said...

These look lovely and I do admire the touches you have given them to make them useable for this new baby.Love that ribbit design!