Bringing up baby, the nerd way.
Our friends, Tom and Stella, have recently been blessed with two precious little boys, Tyler and Connor. Tom is a gamer, an RPG player, and all around great guy. When choosing gifts for his two babies, I had to make sure that they would help send these boys down the nerdly path right from the start.
Now, I love making quilts, especially baby quilts. In terms of crafts, there’s a pretty good amount of instant gratification involved. Once everything is cut out, it goes together quickly and pretty soon you have something that looks like you’ve gotten a lot accomplished. I love that. Plus, there are so many cute baby and kid fabrics out there that simpler patterns actually work better to accentuate the designs. If making quilts was a financially viable career, I would do it in a heartbeat (sadly, it isn’t).
I went to the fabric store already knowing one of the fabrics I was going to buy. It was an all-over castle print with knights and dragons and princesses looking out of windows and standing on walls. I had seen it when putting stuff together for another baby quilt, but it had been a little too “boyish” for little Grace, so I picked pink dragons for her. I knew, though, that as soon as I had the chance to make one for a little boy nerd, that was going to be my first choice.
The backing fabric was amazing too. The same company puts out a fabric that is a map. It has the same characters and names of Arthurian places.
I’m really happy with the way this came out in the end. It was a good size, with some vibrant colors for a little fellow. The pattern that I chose was, as I mentioned, simple. It’s just center squares with two borders around them and squares at the corners. The only problem with the pattern was that it was a little older, so rather than coming with instructions on strip piecing for all of these borders, it called for cutting out all the individual squares and rectangles. Instead of risking a miscalculation on my part, that’s exactly what I did. Cutting took a bit longer, but everything more or less lined up in the end, so no harm done.
Of everyone that I showed these to, this one is pretty universally the favorite. I’ll admit, that sweet little dragon is hard to resist. For the second quilt, I had been hoping to find something that was all dragons, but there was nothing to be found. Fortunately, I found an alternative.
I fell in love with this fabric set a long time ago. In fact, I fell in love with the designs when I saw them on scrapbook paper, before they were printed on fabric. I was going through some of my quilting supplies the other day and found a set of small cuts of all these that I bought over a year ago. So I guess, in the end, it was an easy choice. I love that the colors are so different. They’re vibrant without being primary colors. Again, there was a fantastic fabric choice for the back. It’s just a huge field of gears. The whole quilt really makes an impact and is so different from the knight quilt, even though they are the same pattern.
As much as I love the knight quilt, this one was my favorite. If I was to make either of them again, the knight one would probably get a couple of fabric tweaks, but this one I would make exactly the same.
There was one more gift that I made for the birth of little Tyler and Connor. This one was more for Tom, though. We had been at a party where there were a bunch of babies and small children. One of the fathers had a Steelers diaper bag. While there was no accounting for his taste in NFL teams, the bag was really cool. Tom asked him where he had gotten it, hoping to secure a Patriots one for himself. The guy informed him that a friend had made it. I told Tom I’d make him a Patriots bag, and he said it would be “the best gift ever”. Well, that settled it.
I was really happy to find this fabric. A lot of the sports fabrics are a little lackluster, probably because the licensing costs for the logos and team names are so high, they don’t want to go covering them up or going though the effort of designing something interesting. They’re usually just the logos spread on a field of solid color. I found the pattern for the biggest diaper bag with the most pockets. It’s really a good size, and should be enough for the twins. I enjoyed making it (other than the part where I put the zipper on upside down) and Tom really loved it.
I adore doing these sorts of projects. I feel I have to do my part to make sure that the next generation of nerds are getting off on the right foot.