April 24, 2013

vintage ties in a blanket

Three years ago, our dear friends Ellie and Ed, started the process of adoption in Ethiopa.

Oh man, it's been a long wait for them. For everyone. And through all the hardships and tears of waiting, waiting and waiting "just a few more months", they remained steadfast and faithful to the Lord. They shone so bright for Jesus.

They recently got that special phone call that matched them to a baby boy named Tegan! And soon, very soon, they will be flying out to meet him. Then, they have to come back home and wait til baby Tegan gains US citizenship. Then they fly back to bring him home! Wish I could smuggle myself into their suitcases.

We are all ecstatic! Lorieloo and I conspired together to make him 2 identical blankets--one to leave with him the first trip to Africa, and the second blanket for Ellie to keep at home, in case the other gets lost.

If I made the blanket by myself, I probably would have done my usual 9-square-blanket with Africa embroidered in the middle.


The fun thing about collaborating with someone else, is that you get twice the ideas! Lorie saw a mug on a blog that inspired her--someone was adopting from China and so it had an image of China, connected to an image of where the mama lived(can't remember where).

So I was in charge of embroidering Africa and California(Ellie's home state).

First things first, a little how-to. Transferring the image to fabric is the hard part, in my opinion. Here, I used a piece of Dritz wax-free tracing paper(from Joanns) to trace my image of California to the fabric. (After, I made the line darker with white pencil). 

It's SO easy to embroider, a kid could do it. That means YOU can too! I use the split-stitch the majority of the time.

Africa and California are now ready for Lorie to sew into the blanket(the red hearts were appliqu├ęd on).

We worked together to select the fabrics. My favorite fabric is the polyester red circles--that fabric was kinda bossy though. But we worked it out. We also used a bunch of my favorite vintage ties(brown and yellow striped fabric). In fact, any striped fabric seen in the final blanket was a tie.

After Lorie sewed all the pieces together, she returned it to me to finish the embroidering. We needed dotted motion trails connecting Africa to California, and we needed to embroider baby Tegan's name!

Dotted trails. From Africa....

...to California!

Home sweet home.

So here is the almost-finished product. I then gave it back to Lorie to finish.

She sewed on ric-rac and then backed the blanket with minkee. We had a blast making these blankets.

But I don't have a pic of the finished product--Lorie was finishing the blankets right up to time of the baby shower, ha. (I have proof on instagram, lol, lol). But she's amazing and finished right on time! 

****Revision. Ellie just sent me this picture of her finished product:)

We can't wait to meet Tegan's bright shining face!

(When I was pregnant with Ollie, Ellie wrote on a card that she couldn't wait to see Ollie's bright shining face and I have cherished that^line ever since!)


  1. Wow- what a sweet and sentimental gift! That is really lovely.

    Keep us updated on when Tegan comes home!

  2. Soo sweet! What a imaginative and thoughtful gift. And it is so adorable, too:)
    I'll be praying that everything goes well with the last steps of adoption!
    P.S. I just saw that you love us (follower people) more than broccoli:) I haven't met anyone who loves broccoli as much as I do:D That makes me happy:)

  3. P.P.S. I forgot to say this (I was so excited about broccoli) that the photos you take are always excellent! They are very professional and I love the lighting:)

  4. this is ADORABLE! Wow. what a thoughtful gift.

  5. I LOVE that blanket!!! That paper fabric is so unique. I hope everything goes smoothly for them. That is a long wait.

  6. Ahhhhh! This is the sweetest thing I've ever seen!! Such a precious gift!

    Also,my kids NEED you to make them each a blanket. Puhleasssse!

  7. WOW this is absolutely BEYOND amazing! I love this blankie idea so very much! Congratulations to your sweet friend too! My aunt adopted a young boy from Ethopia a few years ago and it was quite the journey for her as well.

  8. This is incredible! I can't believe how much time that must have taken- but even more importantly adoption is SUCH a gift in itself. Unbelievable! The thought you put into things (along with your other friend) is so inspiring and just plain COOL!
    This is adorable- I think I will be pinning this idea for the future.

  9. That paper square is absolutely darling! I am totally going to steal the idea for my friend's baby due in August.

  10. love love LOVE this!! You both did a fantastic job. :) So creative!

  11. I bet this was her favorite gift. SWEETEST, most thoughtful idea. Blessings to them through this journey!

  12. i love it!! the stitching is perfect. love that it says "hello world, i'm tegan." so cute.

  13. That is one of the most beautiful, creative gifts I have ever seen!

  14. Oh my lands, I saw this blanket and squealed! And sighed. And ooohhh-ed. Perfection. I'm sure you blessed their socks off with this!

  15. Watched a travel channel programme on Ethiopia the other day and we were quite shocked at some of the culture, especially in the rural areas. I've been to quite a few african countries and spent plenty time in rural areas and flip I live in Africa but I was still quite blown away by the people there. Think its awesome a little baby will grow up where it can be properly fed and loved and taken care of!:)

  16. Such a neat story and I love the blanket!! (I have a bit of an obsession with cute blankets!) I hope you are well :)

  17. Your babies look so adorable!! they are gorgeous! Your blog is amazing! I will be so happy if you could check out my blog and maybe say waht you think! http://www.thestyletographer.com Thanks! XO FROM MEXICO

  18. Beautiful. I just love adoptions. So exciting!!!!

  19. dear Lord on HIGH that's CUTE. made me teary. what a special gift to your friend <3