We don't know our future grandchild's name; that is being kept a secret until he is born. However, we did find out mid-pregnancy that "it" was a "he", and so I've been able to crank out few things for the nursery which my daughter-in-law requested.
First on the list was a crib quilt. The nursery is painted grass green and the theme is monkeys, so I was pretty happy when I found the green, monkey print fabric at JoAnn's last summer. Normally, I'm not too excited about JoAnn's fabrics; the quality generally isn't as nice as the more expensive quilter's cottons. But the sweet, childlike look of the monkeys was exactly what my daughter-in-law was looking for, and it didn't feel too bad, so I bought it. I paired it with many, other, quality, cotton prints from my stash, introducing blues and browns, because I didn't want the entire thing to be just green.
The design pattern is my own; a simple nine-patch block alternating with snowball blocks. Each block is six inches square, and the entire quilt measures approximately 39" x 51".
I found the most wonderful fabric for the back--a deep brown flannel scattered with bananas! How perfect is that?
I have yet to learn how to do free-motion quilting (it is on my list of things to learn this year!), so the layers are quilted together in a simple, geometric design.
I am quite pleased with how it turned out. The colors are bright and cheery, just perfect for a little boy's nursery.
Next on my daughter-in-law's list was a ruffled crib skirt, which I just finished up today. Each ruffle is approximately five inches wide, but is overlapped one inch by the ruffle above. It is 19" tall and will hit the floor when the crib mattress is set at it's highest setting. Once the crib mattress is lowered, you will only see the bottom three ruffles. This was a simple enough project, but very time consuming! Gathering and ruffling all those fabric strips seemed to take forever! Luckily, I only had to do one side of the crib skirt. I could also have done the two, shorter ends, but since these would never be seen due to the crib having solid wood head and foot boards, it wasn't necessary. Phew!
Last on the list (at least for now!) my daughter-in-law requested a diaper bag. My first thought was "Why? Just go buy one!" I really had no desire to make one. But she really wanted one made with my son's Army fatigues, in a messenger bag style, and so I started looking for a pattern. I finally found a free tutorial on the internet, located here: http://amingledyarn.wordpress.com/gallery/tutorial-hip-mama-diaper-bag/ It gives all the dimensions for how to cut the fabric pieces, and the instructions were easy to understand. I pretty much followed them exactly, and I think it turned out well.
I used a quilter's cotton in brown with tiny white dots to coordinate with the camouflage fabric. The front flap closes with magnetic snaps at both bottom corners.
The neat thing about fatigues is that there are random little pockets everywhere! So I incorporated one of these pockets onto the back side of the bag.
Both sides of the bag have pockets that close with Velcro.
It's hard to tell from the photo, but the inside of the bag is lined with elasticized pockets along both long sides, so there is lots of room for storing smaller items. My daughter-in-law already has it packed and ready with the items she is taking to the hospital!
This is a nice pattern, and could be used for other things besides a diaper bag. My son is happy that he can carry it around and not have it look feminine. You know, no big, strong, Army fellow wants to look like he's carrying a purse!
I'm sure there will be more baby projects in the future...in fact, I have leftover fabric scraps from the quilt that would make darling bibs or burp cloths. So stay tuned!