Thursday, July 27, 2017

Projects for SHB#2

I made a whole host of things for SHB#1, most of which are still perfectly useable for SHB#2, so I didn't make a whole lot during this pregnancy. Also chasing a toddler kind of precludes having the time to sew and paint very much! But one thing I definitely wanted to do was to make SHB#2 a quilt; I wanted each child to have their own tangible piece of evidence that I was thinking about, dreaming about, and hoping lovely things for their lives. Since SHB#1's quilt was ocean animal themed, I decided that SHB#2's should be land animal themed, with a bit of a feline bent, because obviously cats are great. This decision was also helped by a dear friend bringing back a pink cat quilting cotton from Japan. Although I'm not a huge fan of pink, I decided to go ahead with a pink/red color scheme for this quilt, if only to set it apart from SHB#1's teal blue quilt. I managed to find fabrics with a lot of yellows and oranges as well, though, so it's not overwhelmingly pink in a froofy pastel princess way.

Back when I made SHB#1's quilt, I kind of just chose every single ocean animal quilting cotton I could find, and that's about all the thought that went into it. Maybe because SHB#2 is a girl, and I've been thinking a lot about the world she's coming into, and what my own experiences were like growing up as a quirky, nerdy girl who didn't come into her own until a quarter of a decade into life, but my fabric choices and sewing experience with this quilt were much more thought out and meditative.

I realize that a lot of this is going to sound overdramatic (and a lot like the made-up symbolism for my art class essays), but this is really what I was thinking about while sewing. I thought about back in the Laura Ingalls Wilder pioneer days when women would make quilts by hand with meaningful fabrics, and I tried to think of the whole process as sewing my love for this baby girl into a blanket that she could wrap herself up in. The pink cat fabric that started it all was from a long-time friend who helped me feel welcome and at ease when I felt particularly awkward in a new social situation, and despite living in different cities now, she remains someone I can look to to offer wise questions and compassionate understanding when I struggle with marriage, motherhood, and life. I want SHB#2 to have those kinds of uplifting friends in her life. The other small rectangles have different animals on them; I feel strongly that how we treat animals, who don't have a voice and represent the stewardship role that humans have, is indicative of our hearts. I want SHB#2 to have that kind of care and sense of responsibility for all the vulnerable and oppressed. The lion fabric in the middle features male lions with crowns, but I want SHB#2 to know that just because she is a female living in a male-dominated world, does not mean she can't rise up and still accomplish what she wants. The ombre-ish dot progression goes in both directions at the top and the bottom of the quilt; I hope that as she matures that she still maintains a childlike (but not childish) sense of wonder and openness and imagination. I hope that she has the courage to go in the opposite direction of those around her when necessary, and that she can see people and issues on a spectrum instead of as black and white, that things aren't always either-or, which is something that I struggle with personally. And lastly, the dotted backing fabric and striped binding fabric are echoes of her brother's quilt; I pray that instead of being jealous or rivals, they will enjoy a close relationship and love and support each other.

I thought it was fitting that as the little sister, she have little dots to his big polka dots. 

"I just trying it, Mom." Of course he would like her quilt more than his own.  

And then because I was on a quilt-making kick, and because the Warriors had just won the champeenship (Homestar Runner, anyone?) again and I still had leftover Warriors fabric, I figured that I might as well make a little blanket to match SHB#1's SF Giants one. That way, both kids will have a fleece blankie to commemorate the Bay Area sports team that won some big thing the year they were born!

I made it with remnants, hence the irregular logo distribution. At least all the squares made for easy quilting!

Bonus Warriors-related craft: I know this post's title says that this is supposed to be about projects for SHB#2, but here's a clock I made for Mr. Cation.

When Mr. Cation and I first started dating, I remember being really concerned about how much he liked sports (which is funny because now that I've met more husbands of friends, I realize he's not even that hardcore...he doesn't get depressed when his favorite sports team loses, nor does he spend a lot of time/money to watch/attend games). Sports and I have a terrible relationship, mostly stemming from the elementary school trauma of always being picked last for teams. But anyway, I was so worried about it that I actually talked to my wise older mentor teacher (who was also an awesome life mentor) about whether our relationship could even work. She advised me that he was a good guy who was worth holding on to despite our different interests, and pointed out that there would be different opportunities for me to show my support of his "fandom" with my crafts. She was so right of course, on both points, and while I'm still incapable of dribbling a basketball, I have enjoyed making these sport-themed projects for our children and for him. I'm so glad that our marriage has given me the chance to somewhat redeem my awful childhood PE experiences; I'm especially glad that with him as a dad, SHB#1 and #2 will have a better grounding in sports than I will, and hopefully won't have to suffer as I did!

This is pretty much what all sports sounds like to me. 


  1. Homestar Runner! All sports sound like that to me, too, and when Doug is talking hockey at me, I regularly have to remind him that I don't understand what he's talking about when using hockey language. We're getting a solid collection of hockey picture books, though, so maybe I can figure it out with the boys?

    I love all the thought you put into the quilt. It's something I think about a lot too as a strictly boy mom, mostly in terms of how to teach them to value and respect girls as equals while still supporting their dreams, too. (I'm probably in the minority, but it drives me bankers that Disney Junior has that great Dream Big Princess commercial that they run all the time, and nothing equivalent for the boys! They deserve to be told to follow their dreams, too, if the goal is truly gender equality.)

    1. Um, that was supposed to say bonkers. Silly phone autocorrect.

  2. As I've told them over and over again, I had two so they could turn to each other, point at me and say "No, she lives with you!" And also, like my sister and I, they could have someone to turn to when the shit really hits the fan. They might not think of it as a gift, but it is. And your kids will not always love each other all the time, but when it matters, they will.
    Oh yeah, and.....

  3. I agree: sportsing is boring and juvenile. Unlike quilting, which is imaginative, colourful and challenging! Great quilt, great colours and never boring.

  4. I love that lion fabric! My husband was only really into Nascar when I met him. 24 years later he watches A LOT of baseball, football and no Nascar.


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