Feb 7, 2009

Every Last Scrap, pt. 1

Baby Einstein can suck it. Seriously. (So can those ridiculous education systems for teaching your baby while still in the womb). Babies need no entertainment more stimulating than a pretty mobile above their crib or change table. TV, definitely not, according to a new U.S. study that has indicated TV time for babies actually delays language development. (Like my husband always says, you can find a study to prove just about anything — and of course it's possible those babies who were plunked in front of Baby Einstein were getting less stimulation from their parents in the long run, which would be detrimental to development, but any research that means we can feel good about buying less crap for our children is fine by me).

This mobile that hangs above my daughter's changing table (seen here over my husband on diaper duty) was the most difficult thing I have ever made. Modeled after this one on the Spool sewing blog, I used up the last scraps from a few metres of the classic flowered "Unikko" Marimekko fabric in lime and yellow. I covered two kitchen chairs and made a swingy summer skirt. The leftover pieces were pretty small, so they were perfect for the birds, each of which only required 10-inch-square pieces.

When I buy pretty, expensive fabric, I have this obsession with using every last piece I've made baby bibs, headbands, bias tape, and handkerchiefs for my eternally sweaty husband — all pretty simple projects.

It turns out balancing a mobile is really, really hard. Every piece has an effect on every other piece, and if one slides a little to the left...everything else if off kilter. It's all trial and error...and error....and error some more. It has made me appreciate Alexander Calder's mobiles, many of which are on display at MoMA, and are totally worth taking your baby to see. Go on Friday night when it's free.

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