Friday, May 11, 2007

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod; quilt, and sleeping tips

Firstly, I have made some promises to people: I have not forgotten them! As soon as I can, I will post about babywearing, how-to with links. Then I'd like to do a series on baking bread. Coming soon. Really.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe.
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
into a sea of dew.

"Where are you going and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We've come to fish for the herring fish that live in this beautiful sea.

Nets of silver and gold have we," said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

So begins a poem by Eugene Field, which my parents sang to me as a lullabye. Being sung to is a great way to fall asleep; I highly recommend it. Wanting to grant sweet bedtimes to this new little one, I hoped to find a picture book on which to base a quilt for him. After a long search, I found found a lovely copy of the tale, illustrated by David MacPhail. I didn't start work the quilt until we'd successfully ordered the book, but thereafter we found it was not in stock, and not available. If you see a copy of this book anywhere, please snatch it up for me! Cartwheel Books published it in 2004. I used MacPhail's illustrations as the basis for this quilt for our new little friend Adam, who was born just a few months ago and seems to be enjoying himself.
It's mostly cotton, with satin binding, and a few silk details. I love satin blanket edges. I remember them from the wool blankets my Gramma Loretta kept on the bed I slept in when sleeping over at her house. You rub that soft smooth edge between your fingers as you drift asleep. It helps, along with the singing.

You can see some of the stars, and a feather stitch that goes all around the border.I pieced the top with an actual sewing machine! (this is a big step for me; I've been exclusively hand-sewing for a while.) I worked the quilting and other embroidery by hand. Piecing is sewing together the different blocks that make up the background of the quilt. Quilting is stitching all the layers together. This night sky is quilted with stars.

These little guys are the fishermen who catch the stars. Their boat is a pocket and you can take them out of it, to hold or snuggle with. They each have different textures lining their ears; terrycloth, velour, corduroy. They are lightly stuffed to fit extra nicely in little hands. The sail is a separate tiny quilt. you can undo the buttons to take it off. Flying from the ship's mast is a silken flag. It reads: Adam.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
Nod is a sleepy head.

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
is a wee one's trundle bed.

So shut your eyes while Mama sings
of wonderful sights that be,
and you shall see the beautiful t
as you rock in the misty sea,
where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three;
and Blynken,

and Nod.

I hope you do, little Adam.

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