A friend of mine recently (well, in late April) had a baby. As soon as she told me that she was expecting, back in November, I knew I wanted to make her some gifts. I just wasn’t sure what. Then I moved my blog here, to Ladybug Daydreams, and it hit me: a ladybug theme! When she told me she was having a girl, it was solidified in my mind that ladybugs would be a lovely theme for the gifts.
I love both crocheting and quilting, so I focused my energy into those two mediums for the gift. It was fairly easy to come up with ideas once I had a theme: a baby quilt, a newborn hat, and a stuffed toy. All I had to do then was find patterns. The hat and quilt were easy enough; I’ve made countless hats and quilts over the years, so I got those done first. The stuffed toy took a little more energy to find a pattern for. There are loads of patterns on the internet, but very few for free.
After hours of searching, I finally found one that was both free and adorable, so that’s the one I went with. (I don’t have the link handy, but if you’re looking for something like this, it’s called Dotty the Ladybug and I found it on Ravelry.) I decided to make the colors so that they’d catch a newborn’s eyes. This means that I chose red, black, and white, with different colored dots on each color (red has black, black has white, and white has red). The pupils in the eyes are just black buttons that I hot glued on. (The black with white spots is underneath the wings.)
Everything is pretty straightforward, but there’s one special thing about the quilt that I want to share. I didn’t use a traditional batting and backing for it. I left the fabric store with my ladybug and flower fabrics and headed next door to Goodwill (where Will and the big boys like to hang out while I’m looking for fabric). They weren’t done browsing yet, so I headed back to the linen section. It’s not unheard of to find great prices on fabrics at Goodwill, after all, and I was definitely not disappointed this time around. While I didn’t find a backing fabric for the quilt, I did find something much better: a two-layer baby blanket that was fleece on one side and that soft velvety stuff on the other side (how’s that for a quilter not knowing fabrics?!). And the best part was that it was tagged with the weekly half price color, so I snagged that for around $1.50 and it served as both the batting and the backing of the quilt.
When I finished the quilt top, I quilted it right to the fleece side of the blanket (because it was used, the fleece wasn’t all that soft anymore anyway), leaving the velvety side as the backing. Then I stitched the binding on as usual. I think it turned out great!
What’s your favorite baby gift to give expectant mothers?