Love Letters to Friends, As Well As Very Important Musings on Earth Shattering Matters:
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Mint, Mustard, and Diamonds: The Sophisticated Baby

....being a quick post for a quick binkie for a co-worker, who would probably rather I didn't.

So my co-worker Molls is preggo, and despite working with her 4 days a week since like February, for the longest time *I did not notice.*  This is because I am a poor observer of things, yes, but also because she is just about the least pregnant person you're liable to run across - not from a physical perspective, but from her general attitude.  She'd literally never said a single thing about it in my hearing at work, which I respect deeply: because, in general, it's nobody's life-changing undertaking but her own (and her hubby's) and she should not feel the NEED to offer it up for public consumption or have a fuss made if she'd rather avoid the whole being-the-cynosure-of-all-eyes bit.  And also because some folks get so so weird about it: I have witnessed things said to, and invasions of personal space of, pregnant women more times than I can count.  We speculated about the cultural origins of this, perhaps dating from when your offspring was becoming part of a smaller community that might end up supporting him/her, or the fear-tinged anticipation of a time when surviving birth was a pretty spectacular feat in itself. Or perhaps it is just the holdover notion that women are common property and their job is incubation.  I confess my own curiosity about what Molls thinks of the whole motherhood thing had me biting my tongue on several questions that were just, frankly, none of my damn business (though a few leaked out.)

Whatever the source, it results in encounters like
one of our client admins (who was definitely just being nice) exclaiming delightedly, quite out of the blue, "You look so cute!" to Molls as we were walking past.  In fact, Molls is a rock-climbing, multi-tasking, high-octane technical delivery principle whom I suspect already has trouble being taken seriously at times because of her gender and relative youth, despite her bona fides in the field - e.g, she just got back from speaking at a conference in Europe, and is both role model and spokesperson for women in tech. In this context, whether she is cute or not should be meaningless, but that is what happens: one minute you're a high-octane technical delivery principle talking about the future of your industry on stage in Amsterdam, and then next minute you're a walking invitation for unsolicited belly rubs.  Yech.

The awww-inducing wee socklets of your de-personalization (this is not Molls. This is stock footage.)
These clinical musings did not, of course, stop me from wanting to fete Molls' upcoming new family member in my own way, despite my reservations about the fetishization of pregnancy and/or Molls' own phlegmatic determination to Not Make A Fuss.  Sadly for her, us coworkers basically demanded that she endure a baby shower at our hands last week, but hopefully since it was just dinner it was not too painful.  And anyway, it was a good opportunity to sneak a binkie to her.

Sunny enough to see the quilting = too sunny to see the colors.
Baby blankets are among my favorite things to make, because their relative size makes them speedy and they are much easier to quilt under a regular small machine like mine.  Looking back at what I've made for friends and relations in the past, however, I'm generally making adult blankets, but smaller - kind of like how all those Renaissance paintings of the baby Jesus make him look like a weird tiny man instead of a baby with baby-like proportions.  I have yet to acquire the knack for the super-sweet "juveniles" involving wee animals or monsters or other staples of babyana.  This probably means Molls is the perfect recipient for one of my "baby" blankets....and I'm abashed to confess that I did press her for nursery colors, which basically violated my whole "leave her alone" maxim entirely but did result in her sharing this lovely, sophisticated palette of mint, mustard, peach, and grey.  Serendipitously, this was essentially the color scheme of this Tiny Tile quilt by Purl Soho which I had already been eyeing as an on-deck project, though I used an oatmeal-y grey organic linen-look cotton as background and so mine is even more subdued than theirs.  But I liked their version enough to give it a go with the fabrics I had, and voila!  No-Fuss Low-Volume baby quilt.  Though I did manage to work a peachy fabric in that has BUNNIES on it, so one could reasonably identify this as being A Thing For a Child.... or perhaps for leporine fetishists, I dunno.  In any case:  awwww!

The back
That mint  ^^ is much mintier in person than it looks in this picture of the back: it was a mint-with-white-plusses fabric from Joann, and the bottom peachy stuff is the venerable Rock and Romance line, which I love and have used a bunch of times now.

Lacking in color discern-mint

And this goes together very quickly, too - it's just a bunch of solid squares made into snowballs with random colors on the corners placed to make scrappy diamonds, easy peasy.  The biggest trick for me was deciding what, exactly, constituted a peach that wasn't too pinky, and what was minty but not aqua.  Also I think my mustards skittered over into gold and even brown, dangit.  As per usual, I began to suspect I am afflicted with some sort of color-blindness that affects only whatever color I happen to be concentrating on.  Is that a thing? Any eye doctors in the house?

Peach, peach, peach, and, uh, peach. Or maybe orange and pink, who the hell knows.

From right to left, the steps to make a square into a square with different colored corners.

The diamond "tiles" before the rows were sewn together.

In any event, this baby child will be a girl - and a lucky girl she will be, too, to have a smart, savvy, high-octane techy like Molls for a mom ...and lest I sound lopsided, she will be lucky to have Kev for a dad, too (he's also a co-worker, but he's on a different project so it's Molls I talk to every day at the moment.  As it happens, both of them were on the first traveling client I got to go to last year, albeit only to shadow the billable folk and learn the ways of my new employer.  But they provided a fine introduction to a job I was already sailing high to have landed, so it's been fun for me to be on a project where I can see Molls, at least, excelling in her daily ass-kickery. )  Sad for our account, she won't be able to fly in a few more weeks, and we will surely miss her greatly around here.

So happy final trimester, chickie, and I wish you, Kev, and the mini-Molls all the best!  And exactly as much shared joy and attention as you want, but no more than that.   And also for no random people to come anywhere near your mid-section for the duration.  Or ever, really, come to think of it.




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