A Playmat!

So, I've mentioned the crafting that ensues whenever a certain niece comes to visit, right? Well, it just so happens that this particular niece and my eldest are in the same class in school this year. And, one of the teachers just happens to be pregnant.

And, the class was throwing a surprise shower for her. And so, of course, the last time this craft loving niece came for a visit I was smothered with tiny bits of fabric and puppy dog eyes as the two girls begged for me to help them make a baby blanket for this wonderful teacher and her sweet new babe. How could I refuse.

We soon decided that the blanket should actually be a playmat since some of the other moms were working together to knit a blanket and everyone agreed this would be much more fun. Their teacher was keeping the sex of the baby a surprise (so fun!) so the girls decided they wanted to go for bright, cheerful and playful patterns for the fabric.

Cute jungle animals in bold colors with a matching polka-dot stripe (my favorite). The toughest decision was the satin edge trim, brown, black, red, blue oh what to choose.

Once home the girls got right to work. They chose the layout, trying many different combinations, taking photos then looking at each of them on the computer (OK so I made them take the photos and look at each before making the final decision, which was to go with their original layout design, they knew what they wanted the second they had seen it, why couldn't I just leave it at that?).

They had fun pinning and sewing the top of the mat, I love the way my nieces lip twists up in this photo as she sews, too cute, so serious. Then I took over adding straps to the corners for toys to be secured, like the girls wanted, attaching the fleece back, stitch in the ditch style and finishing it off with the red satin trim.

I added a tie and tucked it under the trim before attaching it so that the playmat can be rolled up, tied and taken to whatever play date adventure this little one may be off to.

Their teacher, of course, loved it. I included some photos of the girls working on it in the card. She cried a little, but I don't think we can take credit for that since she was tearing up the entire day. She was so surprised by the whole shower and all of the truly wonderful things she received including a scrap book of quotes from each of the kids on how to care for a baby and a beautiful wall hanging painted by them.

It really was a fun day, but the best was when a classmate, a little boy said, " They made that?! Wow their talented!" The girls were beaming and the teacher felt very special and loved. It was perfect. I love how a handmade, homemade gift makes the giver and the receiver feel so special.

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