Thursday, April 03, 2008

Just Can't Cut It!

Thanks to those of you who sent me emails to make sure that I hadn't been kidnapped once again. Things have been a little wild and crazy here at casa de la Happy Valley Quilter and I have had little time on the computer.

I did want to jump online for a minute and ask for a little input on a burning question that I have.....
See this fabric? Kinda "springy", huh? Don't you just love those little baby chicks and the pussy willow branches? Well, this is a picture of the original fabric from which my grandmother made my baby blanket.

I loved my "chickie blankie" and spent a good portion of my young life hiding under it, rubbing the yarn ties between my fingers, while I sucked my thumb. It was tattered and well worn around the edges at the end of its life. Nothing more than a rag, really. When our fox terrier, Nichols, passed away, he was wrapped in my beloved chickie blankie before he went into the grave. I was a teenager then, and to this day I have never forgotten my chickie blankie.

A few years back my mom and I found this fabric while sorting through some stuff at her home. Can you begin to imagine how excited I was?! I still get a smile on my face every time that I see this blue chickie fabric. My guess is that the fabric was manufactured in the late 1950's or early 1960's, since I was born in 1962. That was back in the day when fabric was 35/36" wide.

Now, I've never been one of "those" quilters who bought fabric and then just couldn't cut into it because it had become a favorite. As a matter of fact, I love cutting into favorite fabrics because then I can enjoy them every time I wrap up in a quilt. So, why is it that I just can't cut into my chickie fabric? The thought literally paralyzes me. On one hand, I don't want the fabric to sit on the shelf until I die, but on the other hand, I can't decide how I should use the remaining four yards of fabric. What's a girl to do?

Now I need your help. How do you think I would/could/should best use my special fabric? The two ideas that I have come up with (so far) is to 1) make a new (bigger) quilt for me OR 2) use the fabric to make four baby quilts to give to each of my children when they have their first child. I'm mostly leaning toward idea #2, as I'm probably a little too old for a baby blanket and I no longer suck my thumb. What do you think? Do you have any great suggestions?

29 comments:

~Joan said...

One yard per baby blanket isn't much. It really isn't enough for a backing for a quilt for YOU to use either. You could use it as alternate blocks in a quilt for yourself, or even as an alternate block for a baby blanket. Even a simple light yellow and this as a checkerboard would be cute.

I'm sure you'll think of something...curtains?? LOL.

We were born in the same year. What day's your birthday?? I'm still holding to the twins separated at birth theory.

~Joan

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I've been seriously wondering what you've been up to.

Heres my thought. The fabric does not mean to them what it means to you. They don't have the emotion tied to it. I'd make something for myself if I were you. I think I'd make several things. The first thing I'd make is a pillow case and crochet around the end of it or something to doll it up. It would give me pleasure to sleep with it even if I didn't suck my thumb anymore! Then I'd put it in a quilt somehow, as a random fabric. Then I'd keep some of it to look at on my shelf and then I'd think of more ways to use bits of it. But thats just me. Good luck Kairle.

Hedgehog said...

What a treasure! I think I'd be paralyzed, too. I agree, though, make something for yourself!

Spencer Family said...

I'm a lurker but thought I would post on this. I would use it in a baby blanket for each of your first grandkids. Then everytime you see them wrap up in it it will just melt you heart to share something you love with them. I think I would also save a little square and frame it and hang it in my creative space as a happy little reminder.

happy zombie said...

I have to agree... what a treasure! I've got this warm butterfly feeling in my tummy right now just thinking about you with your cherished fabric!

I too have a hard time cutting into fabric sometimes. Ok, A LOT of the time. But in this case, I would go with #2 in a heartbeat. I'd also use some of it for #1.

Here are my thoughts...

What if your grandmother never made you your blanket and she just held on to the fabric, stashed away? It would have been *just fabric*, though really cute fabric!

If one day my granddaughter made a quilt for her grandchildren with the fabric I had made for her quilt... ohmygosh... it makes me want to cry with joy just thinking about it.

You don't have to use it all, maybe even sparingly. And maybe even save a little so your grandchildren can use some for their grandchildren's quilts. Legacy quilts!

Cara said...

Hi Kairle!
Loved reading about your little treasure! It's beautiful! Love the colors. I agree with the above post that I think it would warm your heart to see your grandchildren use something that was so special to you! I would not use all of it for them though but maybe make it the middle of some star blocks and pair it with he yellow and/or green in the fabric as the points that way you can save a little for you to make something as a remembrance of the quilt and your grandmother.
Mabe a pin cushion or cut a square/rectangle and applique a pic of you with the original. Or your grandmaother and you in the middle . Then add some pretty borders and frame it.
I am looking forward to coming back to your blog and reading what you have finally done with t!
O what an exciting find! : )
Cara

Carin said...

I love the idea of framing a piece for your sewing room.
You could use 1 yard as the focus fabric in a baby quilt for your grands. I think that is what I would do.

By the way I am so glad you haven't been kidnapped. I was in your neck of Utah for Spring Break. I had a wonderful time at the Corn Wagon and the cute little fabric store in downtown Provo.

Thimbleanna said...

Well, I was all gung ho for #2, but then I started thinking about it. You have four children, but the quilt would be for each of their first children. Which would leave their other children out in the cold. So, now I'm voting for the pillowcase idea PLUS a remake of your baby quilt, nubbies (as we call those little ties in our family 'cause all of our babies LOVE to rub those little things) and all -- Just for you! What wonderful fabric!!!

Annette said...

I agree with the pillowcase idea, plus a 'grandma blankie' for your house--to be used when visiting grandma. Then you can cuddle up with it and grandbaby on the the couch and read books, and all teh grandkids will get to use it once or twice! A bit in a shadowbox or on a scrapbook page wouldn't be out order though either...blessings! Annette

SDQuilter said...

This fabric always makes you feel better. It makes you happy. I love the pillowcase idea, but to go along with that idea, I think you should make a quilt for you. A quilt you can cuddle up with when you are sick because it DOES make you feel good to look at it. You would have enough scraps left over to add to any baby quilts you make for your grandchildren. This fabric is all about your past. I think it should be part of your future, too.

Katie said...

I like the idea of making shadow boxes with the fabric and pics and other goodies from your grandmother and you in it. And the story of your quilt too, of course.

Jodi said...

Sheeeesss Baaack. ;o) Good to see you! Well your post anyway. LOL. I LOVE Nanette's idea for a pillowcase. And I totally think you should make a quilt for your home for when grandbabies come over. Perfect! Personally if I had something like that piece of fabric that meant so much to me and brought back such good memories, I'd be afraid it wouldn't be as much appreciated and you may never get to enjoy it again. Probably a little selfish on my part. It's adorable.

Jodi said...

P.S. I was just thinking the other day, I wish I had some pieces of fabric from the many clothes and curtains my mom sewed. Would be so totally cool!

Caryn said...

All of the above are great ideas.- especially the pillowcase. I like the idea of something for yourself, no matter how small. I also like the idea of at least a small piece being used in a quilt for each grandchild, not just the first born in each family. Even if it is just one block in an I Spy for example - or the frame around the label on the back of the quilt. Maybe you could find a new fabric that you love and buy a bolt to make baby quilts. Then each baby quilt would have "your" fabric and the baby's great-great grandmother's fabric also.

Kelly said...

I think that because it gives you so much joy and happiness you should use it to make something for yourself.

Emma said...

Did you know there's a book out with that very name? (Just Can't Cut It! Quilts from fabulous fabrics. by Pamela Mostek).

Here's my 2 cents' worth. I would use maybe half a yard or so as a feature fabric in something for YOU. Then use some in a cot/play quilt for any grandchildren. As a mother of 2 young children, I would certainly want BOTH my children to have part of such a special memory.

Whatever you do with it - ENJOY!

Julia said...

I like the idea of making a Grandma blankie to keep at your house and cuddle with each grandchild as they come along. I have a special blanket at my house that my grandchildren love to use when they come to Grammee's house. A small piece framed and put somewhere in your house is a nice idea. Whatever you do, I would just use bits of it here and there to get a lot of use out of it. Don't leave on your shelf though, you need to use and enjoy it.
Glad that you are back, you have been missed!

Libby said...

Well, I think I am squarely in the column for making quilts for grands. While it's true they may not have the original connection to that sweet fabric, the love you have for it and the love in each stitch will surely turn those quilts into treasures for future generations . . . oh but do save a little piece for yourself *S*

Blakely said...

What a hard decision to make. I think that I would go with option #2. But only after a saved a piece and framed it to hang in my sewing room. Just an idea.

Kelli Radmall said...

That fabric is adorable. I had a purple blankie with white strawberries. It was really very cute. My mom gave it to DI one day when I was at school. I was very sad! I think you should make baby blankets and save a little for something for you. Maybe it'll make your kids head towards grandkids sooner-but not too soon!

College Girl said...

Oh, Mom...that would be so amazing. I'm leaning towards option number 2!

quiltmom said...

HI Kairle,
I think I would make a blanket for each of your children- I don't think that it would matter if those quilts get shared with each of their children. They would have a little piece of your life that they could wrap their babies in at night-
I would keep a little piece that I would make something with- the shadow box sounds like an interesting idea...
No matter what you use it for it will probably give you a warm fuzzy feeling because it was part of your childhood. After my gran passed away the things I wanted from her farm were the following- a toy iron that plugged into the wall, a telephone that is now in two parts and a bent cash register that we played store with- anyone else who saw them would think that they should belong in the dump because they are totally battered- it doesn't matter to me- they were part of my childhood and my gran whom I adored. Its where they come from and the memories that they hold that is the important thing- just like your fabric- I am sure that you will figure out the way to use that fabric that will build on your memories and create new ones for your loved ones.
Regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
Anna

Marcie said...

Oh wow, you got lots of great ideas here! It might be fun to use a little of it in a small table topper for spring. Then you could set a pot of tulips or something on it and see it every day! Let us know what you decide to do.

Morah said...

Oh gosh! The idea of a baby blanket for grandchildren makes me all warm and fuzzy!

Eileen said...

WOW, Kairle, you have gotten some great ideas. Was fun just reading.
My first thought was the #2 and then again I think you should make something for yourself. Do you have one of your dolls and a bed? Make a doll blancet for you and your grandchildren can play with it. But the best Idea is a baby blanket to keep at grammies house and every time you wrap one of them in it and rock away you can tell them about that very special blanket. How wonderful that she had 4 more yards of that fabric. Cute that collage girl liked the idea of #2.

Nan said...

I am SO glad all is well with you! I was about to write to you if you hadn't posted soon! I can't tell you how your story and that sweet fabric just puts a smile on my face! You have gotten such wonderful ideas, but I would lean toward idea #2, as it would thrill me for my grandchildren to each have a blankie like the one I had. Carry on the family legacy. But, having said that, it's your fabric and your memory, so a quilt for you isn't a bad idea, either. Oh dear, I'm not helping at all, am I? Sorry...... ;-)

Kim said...

While I was reading the post, I was thinking along the lines of choice #2 but then I started reading the comments and now I'm just about as undecided as you are! LOL! All great ideas! I like the idea of you making a quilt to use and keep for the times when the grandkids come to visit you. At some point, you may have a spare bedroom to set up as a room for them to sleep in when they visit--I'd use that fabric in a quilt for them and in a few other things around the room. Darling stuff! Wonderful memories! Oh, and while you're at it, take the fabric down to Kinkos and get some colored copies made-if you have some photos of your grandmother, you could use the copies of the fabric as a background for a photo or a number of photos to make a collage. Or maybe a collage of things from your childhood--maybe even a shadow box? Tons of stuff you can do!

Beth said...

If you decide to make a quilt (for yourself or for your kids) I have a good pattern for fabric you dont' want to cut. It has a large piece in the center..with pieced blocks around it. The pieced blocks are an old fashioned pinwheel, but I discovered it is a 6 ½ in block. (how hard was that to discover!) I have replaced that block a couple times with different ones. I will see if I can find a picture of one I have made so you can see.

atet said...

I'm going to chime in here though I have a feeling I'm probably a bit late :0). I'd say option #2 with a bit of #1 thrown in -- why not use a small portion of it as a frame for a photograph of your grandmother? It would allow you to see it and be reminded of it while still allowing you to pass on those wonderful memories to your grandchildren. I think that way everyone would "win" :0).