There’s a beautiful public garden not far from us, surrounded by a stone wall. I have no idea why in all of my 30 years, I’ve never walked through it. It’s a beautiful property on the edge of Westboro, attached to an old stone house (built in the 1830’s) that is now an upscale restaurant. The garden itself is manicured in a traditional European style, with symmetrical pathways around lush, wild beds of classic flowers: peonies, roses, poppies. It is definitely worth a visit- you might even see a bunny rabbit nibbling on the greenery!
I promised a post about some of the handmade things I have put aside for the baby. From the beginning I decided to go with an “anything vintage” theme, since I already have several heirloom pieces that I wanted to use. They are all very colourful and nothing matches, in a crazy quilt kind of way, so when we chose fabric for the crib and bassinet sheets, I wanted something that would blend in with the old pieces as well as the new things people have given us. I found two blue and pink calico floral cottons that are just girly enough, and Emily, one of my best friends taught me how to sew them.
There are two antique quilts, from my grandmother’s house. I don’t know who made them; they were certainly made before her time, and I can imagine the hours that were spent hand-sewing all of those tiny stitches. One of them has a lilac satin as its main fabric, with some pretty crazy silk squares. Most of them are floral or geometric (there is even a tiger-striped square) in mostly soft hues. The second one is very bright, with mainly red and white striped squares with a multi-coloured cotton pieces in between.
Of the knitted and crocheted pieces, the granny-square blanket was made especially for me 30 years ago by my grandmother (it still has a “made with love” label on it). The striped blue, green and purple blanket is the first large-scale knitting project I finally finished, made with wool from my stepmother’s stash. The scalloped blanket was lovingly crocheted by my Emily, who chose a beautiful jewel-toned rainbow of yarn, with a crisp white edge to finish it off. I had requested vibrant colours instead of pastels, and she chose them perfectly.
It is a great feeling to have these pieces with such history and made with love. I know my grandmother would appreciate the fact that her work was not only still being admired but being put to good use- she was artistic but also a very practical woman. I can only hope the things we’ve made this year will be cherished by future generations.
Things have really changed around here, and now we are mostly ready for a new little person to move in. Hard to believe we have less than a few weeks left. Now I can focus my attention to more fun and leisurely activities like cooking, decorating, and crafting little things for baby. Until I need a nap, that is.
I’ve embroidered some motifs on some plain white onesies, and even got some sewing machine lessons from one of my best friends so that I could make crib sheets. What a huge help that was, and I am so glad to have crossed it off my list. Will post about those later…
We also found some really great deals on used baby items. There were a few things that were on my list that I was able to get for half the price online. Buying new is nice, but it is so satisfying to know you are giving something a second life- baby items are used for such a short time. Roxie seems happy with this purchase:
This is a glorious time of year for a few of my favourite flowers. Peonies are definitely one of them, and now is the time to enjoy them! The Experimental Farm has a “Peony Circle” and a long wide row featuring several luscious varieties. Single-petal, ruffled, jewel-toned, blush… sally forth before it’s too late!