Designing With Toddler

toddler-design.jpg
 Western Prints

Western Prints

 Quilt Pattern

Quilt Pattern

 Fabric From Stash

Fabric From Stash

 Toddler Choices

Toddler Choices

 ~Angela :-)

~Angela :-)

I have been hanging onto these adorable retro Western prints for a couple of years now. Aren't they cute? My son's room has a vintage Western kind of thing going on (I refuse to say "theme") and I wanted to make a quilt for him with these fabrics. But I hadn't been able, as of yet, to come up with a pattern that would show off the fabrics well enough but still be interesting to look at. Until last weekend. (Insert angel ahhh chorus here.) This is the Big Dipper quilt from The Buggy Barn, on the cover of their book "Stir Crazy." It's hard to see from the picture, but the colors are coral & turqoise with some plums and browns. Anyway, I love it. And, I'm even (she says, heart pounding) planning to make it as written. Now, I know you don't all know me that well yet (welcome new bloggy friends!), but let me just say that somehow I have been installed with programming that says making something from a pattern will brand me as a creativeless hack with no inner life. Interestingly, when other people make things from a pattern I do not have this judgement about them. What I think of them is "Wow, isn't he/she crafty and that project is awesome!" (Usually followed by, "Where did you get that amazing fabric?") Whether or not said crafter has or has not used a pattern doesn't even enter my mind. I'm just awed by their fabulousness. But for some reason I apply a different set of rules to myself. I know this is irrational. But I can't shake it. So I'm taking a big (weirdly back-a**wards) leap of faith, and I'm going to make the quilt on the pattern. Without improvising. And show it on these very pages. The fact that this makes me break out in a cold sweat should not alarm you. And it gets worse. I asked my toddler if he wanted to sew some fabric with me. Actually, he's 3 1/2, pretty much not "toddling" anymore. I need to stop calling him that, but "kid" just doesn't convey the pain and suffering joys of parenting a 3 1/2 year old. He loves to sew "faberick" with me, so we went into my studio, and I showed him the pile I had pulled to make his quilt. He said, "No Mom. I don't want those fabericks. I want it like the picture. " Like the picture? Exactly like the picture? Not just from the pattern but a carbon copy duplicate of the quilt in the picture? (I think in real life most of that was just in my head. I do make an effort not to traumatize him influence his opinions too much.) Okay. Fine. I can do this. Breathe, breathe, breathe. So I hit the stash. I was surprised I didn't have more turqoise since it's one of my favorite colors. But most of what I have is really modern prints and I wanted to kind of go oldy-fashionedy with this quilt. It's not a perfect match, but it's not too bad, actually. And the good news is that I'm being soothed by the fabric, so the whole "making the pattern exactly down to the fabric" thing isn't bugging me. As much. Anyway, this is what I was able to pull together: I showed it to my boy, and he said, "Hmmmm. It's okaaaay." Me: You don't like it? Him: It's not quite right. (Yes, I think he picked this phrase up from me.) Me: Well, do you want to pick your own fabric? Him: Yeah! (I'm paraphrasing. I think what he actually said was, "You pick me up so I can get faberick up there for to make the blanket with you. Like the picture." The fabric shelf is out of his reach. This is by design.) This is what he picked. Well, at least he understands contrast. I tried one last time to show him the fabrics I had pulled, but he said, "But Moooom, I want pink circles! And dark stars!" What impresses me about this is not that he knows what he wants (he comes by that honestly) but that at the tender age of 3 1/2 he already knows how to say, "But Mooooooom..." in that kind of swoopy teenage "I can't believe you're actually trying to convince me your completely uncool idea is worth considering" tone. At least he hasn't learned how to roll his eyes yet. Meanwhile, apparently I need to go shopping. Darn.