Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cream Coloured Ponies

Can you spot the dun?  How about the palomino?

The last 4 mornings baby girl has been waking me up by clambering into bed, demanding, "Did you finish my pony quilt?"  Which partly explains why this particular project has progressed so quickly from conception (5 days ago) to its current state.  That, and her dragging me from other tasks to sit in front of the sewing machine, and perching on the sewing machine cover beside me, saying "I will stand over here and watch you."

We have been reconfiguring rooms, spreading 4 kids into 3 bedrooms and doing away with the toy room, and in the process baby girl has gotten her own room.  The sad loss of her roommate has been somewhat assuaged with the promise of a big girl bed with ponies (her current infatuation), and at the thought of a dedicated girl room, mom started having visions of pink and pale green.  A big girl bed needs twin sized bedding... I googled "pony quilt" (ok, I admit, then I added "pattern" to that search), and the rest, as they say, is history.

A project like this is really no more practical than, say, the man-of-the-house's current video game addiction.  (But because you get a tangible finished product that keeps your child warm, for crying out loud, so much more justifiable!  Never mind that we live in Florida and have no need for extra warmth.)  If I were practical, I'd have had a good look at all of the pre-made-in-China options out there, picked my favorite, and be done with it.  I can pretend it is somehow more economical, but by the time I have figured the cost of materials plus all the hours put in, even at minimum wage, I have just spent more than the price of anything Pottery Barn has to offer.

But.  There is value in the creative process for me.  (Admittedly, this was based on a pattern, so I don't get full points for creativity.  But look at the original pattern and tell me I don't get some credit for seeing the diamond in the rough.  After I got over being blinded by those colours, that is.)  Empowerment from being able to do things with my own two hands, which I hope gives my children that confidence, too.  And then the process, watched over by lots of little hands and eyes, which makes for memories that we would miss if this were store-bought.

Baby girl playing with her ponies
Mostly, though, I think the projects are about marking time.  Women for generations have been making crafts for their home, for function, yes, and for beauty, too.  But even when we don't aspire to any grand artistic endeavors, these creations are little milestones, visual reminders of achievement, of projects begun and completed, in an otherwise Sisyphean existence of meals and dishes and sweeping and laundry and the million other household tasks done each day, only to be undone with another turn around the clock. 

Of course that still doesn't explain the number of projects in my queue, nor the fact that I can finish a quilt top in 5 days but the master bed still has no bedskirt.  I'll have to find another rationalization for that.  (But who wants to make a plain white bedskirt when you can work with pink and green and ponies?)

The quilt top so far.
So here we are, at a resting point of sorts.  It still needs a pale pink border to bring it up to twin size, then there's the actual quilting and binding, terribly tedious tasks that I dread.  But to baby girl, this is a quilt, so for now she is satisfied.  Which means... it's time to add another project to the queue?


  1. Um, for some reason 'awesome' doesn't seem like a strong enough word for that super duper cute pony quilt!
    I am in awe of your many talents. I have to admit that I'm kind of scared to show M the quilt for fear she may want one. If I made one they would most likely look more like llamas than ponies....

  2. That quilt is amazing! Hopefully she likes ponies for a while :)

  3. Takes me back to the time we got together (am I remembering this right?) to help Heather make a quilt and bumpers for Jacob's crib which somehow I remember as being red gingham and ladybugs. This is definitely a step up in sophistication.

  4. AMEN to what you shared about creations being milestones and everything you wrote thereafter!!! It's so rewarding to create!!