a welcome phone call

I have always announced, as my grandkids arrived in my life, that I do not baby sit. Four kids of my own, ten years of Girl Scouts, teaching grades 1-2-3… I was tired of kids. Well, I wasn’t tired of kids. I love working with kids, but I wanted to be with them according to my plans. After retiring, I worked in schools doing quilt  projects… my plans.

So when when my son’s two little girls arrived in my own town, I reiterated my “no baby sitting” rule. But I always welcomed visits with their Mom or Dad when they were little. Then, one day about a year ago I had a plea for a visit with Lucy… no parents. Lucy came and I had a sewing project ready when she arrived.  As she was stitching away on my spare machine, she said “I didn’t think you baby sat.”

“I don’t, but you are no longer a baby” (and third graders I am used to).

The call came again this week. Lucy was home from school with a cough. Phoebe had a school program Mom and Dad wanted to see, would I take Lucy?

I was ready with a project I have been wanting to try.

Draw an animal…. pretty big. She drew a turtle and then switched to a bunny.

Select the fabric. I have plenty of that. Green for the grass, blue for the sky. White for the bunny and pink ears. An orange carrot with a green stem.

She sewed the seam between the green and the blue sky on my machine, stretching to reach the pedal on the floor.

Trace the shapes on the back of steam-a-seam.

Cut out roughly.

Iron onto the back of the fabric. I had to remind her to take a small piece from the edge, not the middle of the fabric.

The iron needed supervision. She likes to move it slowly over the fabric or just let it lie. I kept telling her to move the iron and don’t burn the fabric.

Then I had to watch that she put it upright before she hugged the warm fabric to her face and smiled.

She cut the pieces and placed them on the background blue and green grass.

Ironing it again, piece by piece, hugging it again and adding whiskers and a few lines with a fabric pen.

We sandwiched it and I did the binding.

I let the project go home forgetting to take a picture. But I am sure we will make another some time and Phoebe will want her project as well.

I don’t baby sit, but these two little girls are just right for the projects I like to do.

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6 Responses to a welcome phone call

  1. …wonderful reminders of my Grandma’s stitching, perfecting and loving me…still want to be just like her, and now I am the Grandma, a continent apart…maybe when she is in 3rd grade she’ll be back to project with me xo thank you for this piece

  2. Tara says:

    You have created such warm and lovely memories through these projects. Lucky that you live so close to each other!

  3. I love hearing about you and Lucy & I know you don’t babysit, but you certainly do wonderful ‘projects’ with your grand girls! I did a few with my grandson, but mostly we did ‘things’ like museums & trips. Can’t wait until the grand girls grow a little older (1 1/2 & 3/12 now)! Thanks for telling about this, Fran. Happy Times!

  4. mayawoodall says:

    I love the way you refuse and invite. The words, “I don’t babysit,” with time spent with the gals shows that you do more than babysit: you invite, teach, love, and play.

  5. djtsmith says:

    This was precious! Thanks for sharing. I had to laugh at the change in “no babysitting” rule because she isn’t a baby now. And ironing! Do you know how many people out there don’t know how to iron? Don’t even own an iron? Don’t know how to sew on a button? Never used a sewing machine, nor stitched anything by hand? How wonderful that your grand kids will know how do do these things, and will remember the time you spent with them.

  6. newtreemom says:

    “No babysitting” has worked out quite well!

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