Friday, January 13, 2012

Sew & Tell Friday: Grandpa's Cradle

Well, here it is Friday again, and though I've been sewing my poor fingers to the bone this week, I haven't quite finished the quilt for the guest room bed (and since my daughter took off for the weekend with the only working camera in the house, I couldn't share a picture if I had), BUT I do have one other little project in the works, and a tiny sewing finish was involved this week.

When I had my first child in 1987, I was fortunate to inherit the cradle my grandpa slept in when was he born in 1890. He had many younger siblings, who most likely slept in it, too, but at some point it was stashed away someplace and forgotten. Thankfully someone had the foresight to hold onto it, and though it skipped two generations of use, it did stay in the family.

The original stand was missing (probably why it was never passed down), but when I brought the cradle home, my husband's grandpa (who has since passed) was kind enough to build a stand so I could use it. I'm sure that missing the original stand decreases its monetary value as an antique, but the combined memory of two grandpas in one piece makes it priceless in sentimental value. Not to mention the fact that all four of my babies slept in it.

For the past few years, the cradle has been living in my walk-in bedroom closet, unceremoniously piled with blankets and stray clothes, but with the creation of the new guest room, I was inspired to give it a little makeover and nicer home. I forgot to take a "before" picture of the whole piece, but here is the stand before I re-painted it:

And after, with a new coat of paint (hunter green Rust-oleum Painter's Touch latex) and the cradle replaced:

I've been doing a little research on antique furniture finishes and I think I'll be buying some paste wax in the near future. The wood looks so dry, but from what I've read, oiling is a definite no-no... I'm excited to see if waxing it will bring it back to life.

I did get the new mattress finished this week (plywood base, two-inch foam, covered with flannel-backed vinyl and stapled to the bottom of the plywood):

And I've been SO lucky in finding fabrics for this room in my stash. I dug into my flannels for a cradle sheet, thinking I'd probably have to make do with something less than perfect, when I discovered two remnants of this pretty M'Liss flannel I bought while working at Hancock Fabrics.

The larger piece was just a bit short, but by cutting the smaller piece in two and sewing it to the ends, it was just exactly the right size for a fitted sheet! And the seams are all hidden in the gathers underneath. (See? There's the sewing part. LoL)

Now I just need to get that bed quilt done (I'm hand stitching the binding on today)... and then I think a coordinating quilt for the cradle is definitely in order. :o)


Leslie said...

That cradle is just precious! i love it! lucky you to have it! Can't wait to see your quilt you are working on for the room, I bet it is going to be beautiful!

Cindi said...

This is going to make this room so special.

Chris H said...

The cradle is GORGEOUS! how lucky you are to have it.
did you drill holes in the plywood matress base? If not, you might think about doing that... or mould will form under the mattress if it's used as a cradle again.