Thursday, March 7, 2013

A first birthday gift.

There's something so exciting and special about a baby's first birthday. That first year is filled with so many sweet moments, that it's no wonder we can't help but shower the birthday baby with love and a party to celebrate the occasion.
This coming weekend we're heading off to the Bay Area for Miss I.'s first birthday party. Miss I. is my dear friend Suzanne's little girl. We haven't seen her since she was a wee newborn, so it's going to be so much fun watching her crawl and play like a big girl.

Shopping for a first birthday can be a little tough, so I decided to make a child-sized quilted library tote and tuck a few board books inside that I'm betting she and her mama will enjoy reading together. But I didn't want to make just any tote, I wanted it to be something that really spoke to Suzanne but would also appeal to a growing girl.
Suzanne and I have been friends since college, and I've always admired her sense of style. I wanted to appeal to her affinity for clean lines and modern prints, so I decided to use some of the leftover fabric from my brother's wedding quilt for the outside of the tote. Suzanne also loves photography and has a fondness for polaroids, so I pieced in a polaroid block with a fussy cut little girl that looks like a slightly older version of Miss I. And if you look closely, you'll notice that the little girl is holding a stuffed bunny – Suzanne has a great affinity for rabbits so I was delighted when I discovered that little detail. The inside is lined with the same print that I used for the fussy cut polaroid.
Before I put it all together, I quilted the outside, echoing the shape of the polaroid until I'd quilted the entire bag. I mirrored the same quilting on the backside of the tote to provide some symmetry.

I also decided to tuck a few beautiful board books inside for Suzanne and Miss I. to enjoy. 'Baby Farm Animals' by Garth Williams is sweetly written and contains melt-your-heart illustrations of all the different kinds of baby animals you'll find on the farm (this one was recommended by my wonderful bloggy friend, Melissa). And of course, how could I not include 'I Am a Bunny' written by Ole Risom and illustrated by the phenomenal Richard Scarry?

I hope she loves it as much as I do. Lining up all those stripes was a bit of a challenge, but I had a blast making my very first polaroid block. It's something I've been meaning to try for quite some time now. And I just love how it turned out!

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17 comments:

  1. adorable! such a perfect bag and great gift idea!

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! I usually struggle with buying gifts for first birthdays, but I'm thinking this will be my go-to gift from now on. :)

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  2. I love the quilting - it looks awesome! Gorgeous gift.

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    1. Thanks, Jess! And thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you like how it turned out.

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  3. It's beyond wonderful Michelle! They are going to love it forever!!! You are the best!

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    1. Robyn, you are too sweet! I had a feeling you'd like this one, seeing as you love all things book-related!

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  4. Books are always the perfect gift, and together with that fabulous tote bag, I think that mom and Miss I. will always have a nice reminder of that first birthday in the years to come.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I still remember how wonderful it was to receive books for my first baby at my baby shower. We still enjoy many of them today with my youngest and will likely get many more years of reading enjoyment out of them now that we have a new baby in the house. Ever since then, I've found myself giving books to new parents or little ones for their birthdays because, just as you pointed out, they really are the perfect gift.

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  5. So lovely! Love the aplication detail and the fabrics are gorgeous!
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Ana! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

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  6. What a sweet tote! Books are always a great gift.. and adding at tote makes it perfect!

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  7. That is a perfect 1st birthday present. Beautifully planned and it came out Just Right! Enjoy her party!

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    1. Thank you! We had a blast. She is such a sweet baby, so it was a treat to spend the afternoon with her and her wonderful family. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. M, I am finally catching up on my blog reading and can't believe I didn't see this sooner! We absolutely love it - such a special, special gift and keepsake, and beautiful to boot. We are excited to see you all again very soon!! xoxo

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    1. I'm so glad you love it! I really enjoyed making it and hope I. gets a lot of use out of it over the years. We can't wait to see you all this weekend! xoxo

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