A Birthday Blanket

It’s been a little while since I shared something I have sewn, but that does not mean I have not been sewing.  I took a little time away, taking a break from the machine and the planning.  Then, birthdays came around again.

As the girls have birthdays so close close to Christmas (in the beginning of January and February) it can feel like present overload.  All the clothes, books, and toys from Christmas are still all over their floors when more start pouring in.  A homemade gift from home helps to control some of this at least a little.  (Even if they are a little late this year.)

Both girls are very opinionated about what they want their blankets to look like.  They have a theme in mind, and make sure to let me know what needs to be included in order to keep the important things from being forgotten.  This year Big One wanted her theme to be flags.

Big One has an interest in other countries, and more specifically the flags of these other countries.  I’m not certain from where it comes.  Perhaps it is the traveling we do, giving her the sense of being a ‘world citizen.’  Perhaps it is her obsession with an anime called ‘Hetalia.’  Perhaps it is just her quirk.  The reason didn’t matter too much because it technically has no effect on the result; a list of countries whose flags she wanted on her blanket.


The individual blocks didn’t take as long as I feared they would.  Once you consider how many of the flags are just large stripes of color, all you need to worry about is getting the correct colors and putting them in the correct order.

There were a few little mistakes, and a few things that needed to be simplified for the sake of my sanity.  (Seriously, look at the flags of Spain and Prussia and tell me you wouldn’t have simplified their pictures.)  I think when you try to ignore the black borders, which obscure some of the black sections on the flags, and don’t look too closely at the UK flag, the mistakes are not that bad.  My biggest fear was sewing a flag in upside down, and needing to take everything apart to fix it.  I may have double checked every flag a few times, just to be one the safe side.

There were a few things Big One was very clear about.  First of course was the list of 18 flags she wanted.  She was understanding about everything, and said she was including some she didn’t think I would be able to do, and it was okay if I couldn’t.  (But I did.  All of them.)  The second issue we had was the placement of flags.  She was very clear that the UK and French flags had to be as far away from each other as possible, and that America and Canada should be close to each other.  Beyond that, she made a few little changes for reasons she did not share with me.  In some ways I think I am better off not knowing all of the reasons.

The most fun from this blanket was actually that I learned a little along the way.  I knew Prussia was not around anymore, but while working on the blanket Big One shared a little of the history of the country with me.  We also found it interesting when we visited Salzburg and saw flags with a very similar bird to the one found on the Prussian flag.  It gave a nice reminder that while we are visiting one place that is, we are kind of visiting other places that were as well.  The most fun fact I learned was about a place I don’t think I will ever be, Sealand.  It is a neat little country, with an interesting history.  There might not be a lot to see there, but I have to admit, I still want to go.

However it went, Big One is now not just waving her flag, she is sleeping underneath them as well.  One happy child, and the effort was all worth it.


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