Let me just start at the beginning...a long time ago (just over 10 years) my brother and sister in law found out they were expecting again. It had been what seemed like forever since the last baby and I was extra excited because Dave is my only sibling and what ever babies they had were all I was going to get as an auntie. I couldn't wait. I will not ever forget the day we found out their big surprise. I was at Mike and Nanny's house and they stopped by to tell us what the doctor had to say. They were having an ultrasound that day and we were kinda waiting on pins and needles to see what the baby was going to be...boy or girl. It was funny how Dave said it too...I remember him saying "you want to know what the doctor said the baby is?" We were all like duh! he said "Well they said we are having girls" (the words may not be exact but it was along this line of conversation) I remember it took a few seconds to realize that he had said "girls" as in more than one girl! Yep they were being blessed with twins ( I don't know if this is 100% correct but for some crazy reason, I feel like it is. Or some variation of this anyway, after all it has been 10 years and I am so close to 40 my mind gets fuzzy sometimes) ☺
As the time passed and it got closer and closer to Janae's due date I was going nuts trying to figure out what to get for these special girls. I wanted something different, something not the same as everyone else was getting them...you know the typical 2 matching dresses, matching shoes, bags, bottles and so forth. I wanted something that would stand out. Something that said these are from Nanny Tammy. Something that wouldn't get stuck in a box when they out grew them or handed down to the next batch of babies in the family. Something that would show everyone how special twins were and something their momma or daddy would always be able to tell a story about. Only thing is I don't know that I ever really told them my "story" for giving the gift I did. And I know I never shared how terrified I was about giving something that I made myself. I guess I never really thought anyone would care how much I worried about taking those two gifts to that shower that day.
I pondered what I could do for the girls for so long, and one day I made mention to a friend (Amy) that I needed something for the shower for Janae and the twins. She said "make them baby quilts" I laughed out loud. Like really laughed. I had a sewing machine that Denise had bought me, but I didn't know anything about it really, I could turn it on and sew a straight line but that was about it other than checking the bobbin thread and I only knew how to do that because uncle Mike showed me how. So yeah, making them baby quilts was not really something I could do. And I told her as much. She didn't let me push it aside that easily though, and looking back I'm glad she kept talking that day. She had been quilting a bit and had some fabrics and a pattern that she promised would be easy. I trusted her, she came over and showed me what I needed to do. Turns out it kind of clicked for me. I felt like I was putting a puzzle together. It wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated it to be. I explained to mom that I needed to go buy fabric so that I could make the new baby twins quilts. I am sure she thought I was crazy (probably because she remembers that while in Home EC in high school I had managed to sew my index finger) Anyway, she went with me, we picked out some sweet baby fabrics, I wanted them to be the same but a bit different. So I played with the pattern and the fabrics and came up with 2 variations that from a distance looked the same but when you really look at them they were quite different. (like we would later learn the twins are exactly different when you look past the first glance) It took me right at a month to finish up the quilts and two days before the shower I was stressing about how to wrap them and everything, I bought nice large plain white gift boxes and pink and purple wide ribbon and tied a nice big bow on the plain white boxes that held a tissue wrapped quilt that I hoped they would love.
I worried like crazy about how Janae and David would feel about the home made gift. I did not spend a ton of money on the gifts and this worried me greatly. As I had seen my momma work long and hard on a hand made gift for someone once when I was little and I watched as it broke my mommas heart when the gift was pretty much cast aside because it was home made and it wasn't some pricey store bought item. I don't know how I could have handled that kind of hurt. I just wanted them to love the quilts as much as I loved them. (I know, that is asking a lot, I really just didn't want them to wish I had bought a gift after all that work)
It has been ten years now since I started quilting and though I don't do it often and I don't do as good a job as some (most) people I can say that I do well enough that the quilts I make last. I don't know if they last a lifetime because well its only been ten years.
The twins have seen me quilting more than a couple of times through the years and just a few years ago they were watching me at the kitchen table and one asked me if I could make them a blanket. I replied with I already have made you one. Have you not seen it? My thought was because they were to little to remember them being used when they were babies, and I was sure Janae had them put away (or maybe they just didn't realize where the blankets had came from). So I told them I made them some when they were just tiny babies and they should ask their momma if they could see them.
I got a text a week ago that was inviting us to the twins 10th birthday party. Geez...can you believe they are already 10? I know me neither. And I should have asked what they wanted for their birthday before the week of their party but you all know me...I am Queen of procrastination! I text Janae on Monday before their party asking what they would like...I got back from Katie "a bag like you made Christie with a horse on it, a blanket, a rubber band thingy" from Christie "a soft blanket, rubber band thingy, swim suit or wii game"
My brain stopped at "blanket" I almost instantly knew I needed to make them new quilts, something big enough for them to snuggle in as the tiny ones I had made them before couldn't keep them warm now they had long since out grown them. And then it jumped to "what the heck is a rubber band thing?" that was explained to me. Turns out I knew what it was but didn't at the same time...does that make sense? No? Oh well lets move on.
I had to work Tuesday night and I sleep during the day when I get off work. So I didn't get to go shopping for fabric until Thursday after which I thought to ask Janae "when the girls say soft blanket do they mean quilts?" To which she replies "No, you know how kids are when your trying to grocery shop at walmart and they are all "mom I want this, mom I want that...they pointed at a blanket at walmart I just didn't pay attention to what they pointed at" Girl, I know exactly how that is...except 9 out of 10 times if my girls see it they toss it in the basket while I'm not looking and I don't know it until we are checking out. Sometime not even until we get home with too many extra items.
Anyway this is the moment of total panic about "How in the **** am I going to get 2 five foot by five foot quilts finished by 12pm Sunday afternoon? I mean really. This is crazy, maybe I should just go get the girls and take them back to walmart and ask them to show me the blankets they wanted. I really don't know what I was thinking. But I had already bought enough fabric to make both quilts...with "soft" fabric for the back and everything.
Good news (well depends on how you look at it) Now that I am working nights at work my sleep cycle is totally out of whack and I almost never sleep anymore on my days off so I stopped all the belly aching (in my own head, no one even knew I was really freaking out, well until after midnight Saturday night poor Britt knew) about not having enough time, I bit the bullet and got started late Thursday afternoon and worked all night. Didn't go to bed until after 4am was up and out of the house to go buy the rest of the stuff to do the quilts and returned home. Had a bit of time to try to nap because I had not slept in forever, had to take Britt to get clothes for her ffa show, had dinner with friends, a pig show Saturday...you see where this is going right...I had no time. What was I thinking? Let me tell you. I was thinking I wanted those sweet girls to have the best soft blanket. One better than you can find at the local walmart. I wanted them to get to snuggle in those blankets and feel warm and loved.
So yeah I didn't sleep for anything last week and I can't tell you how much help Nikki and Val and Britt were and even though they didn't all help sew the quilts, they sat up with me at the kitchen table talking and visiting, telling me to nap and get started again, asking me to show them(Britt) what to do so it could go by quicker and pushing me when I thought I just couldn't finish. I taught Britt a little about piecing blocks and pressing...just enough to make her want to do more...I can't wait til my next weekend so that she and I can take some time to make something :)
I picked out colors of fabric that I thought matched the girls personalities and had planned on just giving them the one I thought they would like but after a bit of discussion Brittnie and I decided on putting both quilts in a package with both their names on it and let them open the gift together and sit back and watch who picked what quilt. Turns out that was probably better because they picked exactly opposite of how I had called it. But who knows, they are twins and they share a bedroom and I'm going to guess that they will both be using both quilts before we know it.
Here they are, my sweet growing like crazy nieces posing with all their quilts for a picture for their crazy Nanny Tammy (pst...the crazy ones are always the best) ☺
The little quilts are just over 3'x3' and the new ones are 5'x5' They have some time to grow into them. The rate I am going they will get another one when they turn 20 ;)
I know that at age 10 they probably have no idea the amount of time and love that goes into making something like this (even though it really did only take a few days compared to a month 10 years ago) They may never know that they are the very reason I even learned this art to begin with.
I work well under pressure, so shh...don't tell anyone but I am glad they asked for "soft blankets" and that I was too scatter brained to actually go buy one.
So yeah, 10th anniversary of my quilting and a warm fuzzy 10th birthday gift.
Have a fantastic day!