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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Shoe box bed and quilt

New Year's Day is extra special in our house, as it is Elizabeth's birthday. And this year, she was two.

Christmas decorations make way for birthday bunting to go up on New Year's Day
She loves playing with her Dolly. Dolly gets carried around, usually naked (why do they love undressing them so much?!), and then, when its time, she gets taken to bed with her, too.

As Elizabeth's second birthday was the point we'd earmarked for putting her into a proper bed, I thought I'd mark the occasion by making a bed for her Dolly to go in as well.

For the quilt, I took inspiration from a tutorial I'd spotted about a year ago. I liked the prettiness of it, and thought it would gently introduce me to a spot of quilting (something on my mental list of things to try), and, perhaps best of all, uses lots of scraps (giving a satisfying "I knew they'd come in handy" moment). Oh, and scraps mean no need to spend money (always good, but especially so in January, right?). Perfect birthday project.

Okay, so time to come clean and share the New Year's Resolution I've set myself for January. Having had a bit of a clear out over the Christmas period, I'd decided in a bid to free up some space, I am going to ban myself from buying anything sewing related for the month.

(So, I most definitely will not be taking a look at this sale when it starts on Friday. I have deliberately stayed away from Milton Keynes, for obvious reasons. And I am going to try and avoid `just popping into Singers' on my way home from town.)

And so, instead, in January, concentrate any sewing efforts on finishing unfinished projects, and being creative and making things with what I already have. One month. That's all. (You didn't think I meant the full year, did you? Why, that would just be setting myself up for a fall.)

So, after much talk talk talk, here is the bed, quilt, and pillow. Made from stuff I had in the house - with the exception of a shoe box I shamelessly begged from the local shoe shop. Actually, I lie - I got my husband to beg it for me.
The bed came together very easily - ten minutes or so of cutting out felt and gluing it in place. I love fabric glue!
Quilt, made by the combined efforts of myself, Caitlin (aged 12), Ketan (aged 11) and Sophie (aged 5).
This toy was particularly fun to make. Not least because, as my nieces and nephew were staying with us at the time, they helped make it. It turns out children like playing with small bits of material as much as I do. They sat quite happily, choosing scraps and cutting them into squares and rectangles. And then, when the time came to get the machine out and sew them onto the quilt, it seemed a natural progression to let them each take a turn at using the sewing machine. A bit nervous at first, but with the foot pedal propped up higher for them, they soon got the hang of it. And, even better still, my eldest, Sophie, decided she wanted to have a go, too. Hooray!

Pillow, made by Caitlin (aged 12).
The birthday girl was very happy with her present. And in days to come, I'll be able to tell her how some of her favourite people in the world helped make it for her. She takes the shoebox bed up to bed with her, carefully tucks Dolly up in it, and then keeps it next to her pillow. Cute.

More birthday bunting. Time for the tree to come down, I suppose.
And, as for her own sleeping in a bed efforts - so far so good. Three nights on and no escape attempts. Yet.

All that's left for me to say is a very happy new year to everyone out there. A year ago, I wouldn't have predicted I'd be sitting here writing this, or, in fact teaching people to sew in my spare time. Here's to the year ahead - and may it be filled with more nice, unexpected things for you all. Thanks for reading! 

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