Cowboys in the crib

My daughter invited me to go to the fabric shop with her to “check out material for decorating the baby’s room.”
I agreed to tag along – and that is about all I did. She already knew exactly what she wanted to use for making a valance, a crib sheet, bedskirt and a bumper pad.
She knew, but we looked at other options, anyway. And then we walked back over to her original choices and she began pulling out bolts of material: Dark blue with a vintage print of cowboys on horses, chuck wagons and desert plants; tan with Roy Rogers’ signature written in rope and cowboy handkerchief red.
I provided moral support as she perused the pattern book to find out how much material she needed to purchase in order to make everything.
She showed up at my house the next week with material and two patterns in hand, expecting me to coach her through the sewing process. I did not have time to coach her – I had to go to work. Before I left, I told her to cut out the material and we would sew that evening.
That evening she told me it was a day of “Carpenter Dad meets daughter’s sewing project.”
He pulled out his three-feet long T-square, a large piece of left-over plywood for a cutting board and his exacto knife. He flopped that plywood down on the kitchen counter, laid material over it, measured out yardage, lined up his long T-square as a cutting line and whacked out chunks of material for a sheet, curtains, skirting, bumper pads and tags in short order.
Cutting material, however, did not rate the same exactness as cutting wood, “Hey! This stuff folds up into the right size,” he said, “Why not just cut it along these folds.”
The bumper pad pieces came out in various sizes. I raised my eyebrows and suggested adjustments.
“This is how you ruffle material,” I began sewing a basting seam along the edge of the long strip of red bandana material. Afterwards I showed her how to pull the loose threads to make it ruffle. She did the rest.
We pinned and, for the most part, she sewed blue cowboy material into a blue valance and bumper strip and a Roy Rogers’ signature into a sheet and bed skirt.
Back home, she and her husband fitted it all into place and she declared it “great” … until she decided that the bumper pad needed more filler.
A thrift store provided a barely used bumper pad. I provided two evenings listening to TV shows taking out the seams and re-assembling it all into a thicker bumper pad.
I gathered up the abundance of scraps she had left.
“If you take these left-over red strips and cut out pictures of the cowboys, you could make a really cute quilt,” I showed her what I meant.
“You do what you want,” she said with a shrug and went home, leaving behind the assortment of scraps and a piece large enough to back a quilt.
I spent a couple hours looking through my collection of cross stitch patterns for simple wild west patterns. Two hours later, with a stack of booklets in hand, I began sorting out embroidery threads to make a red cowboy hat, blue boots, brown saddle, cactus, a miniature Trigger and a little boy riding a rocking horse. We centered the cross stitch pieces in plain blue. My husband cut quilt blocks with cowboys in the middle and strips of red to frame all the quilt blocks.
A long week of cross stitching after work and a couple weekends of sewing yielded a red and blue baby quilt and a couple, baby-sized matching accent pillows.
Roy Rogers never had it so good.