Finally, I figured out what to do with some of my kids' clothes that I couldn't bear to part with, like their first pairs of jeans and Johnny Cash tees (my mom is a huge fan of the Man in Black), I shipped everything to Willow Creek Studio in Pennsylvania and got back the most amazing keepsake quilt. The idea could also be a terrific transformation for sports jerseys, old T-shirts, whatever. Sew smart!
Willowcreekstudio.net, quilts start at $75 (price varies with size)
- Jonna Gallo Weppler
Turn shrunken sweaters or sentimental baby clothes into a cozy quilt. If you lack a knack for crafts, consider outsourcing the task to a company like Willow Creek Studio. You can send them your favorite baby clothes (and bibs and hats), and they'll turn your treasures into a one-of-a-kind quilt.
If the Mother's Day card you made in preschool is still on the fridge, your mom will love Brookstone's iConvert Photo Scanner ($120), which converts prints into digital files and saves them to a computer, making it easy to preserve precious memories. And while she's digging those old photos out of the closet, ask her to give you the baby clothes she can't bear to part with. Willow Creek Studio will turn them int o a beautiful memory blanket for $125.
HOW SHE DID IT
She downloaded an ebook for $29.99 called How to get Free PR. It suggested sending email press releases to magazines. Having no experience in writing one she downloaded a sample press release and filled in the blanks. She sent the press release to three magazines. Two weeks later she received a call from the editor of Child magazine, who wanted to feature her memory blanket in an upcoming issue. Orders started pouring in from all over the country.
I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER
"I just had to write and thank you for such a great publication. I first picked it up when I was sitting in my ob/gyn's waiting room after my first miscarriage. As I sat in the room looking at all the other baby magazines, my eyes filled with tears. Then I picked up Conceive and my heart filled with joy. It was a great comfort to read other women's stories and see that they were feeling the same way. To see that I was not alone.
I tried for three years to get pregnant, then saw a fertility specialist who did surgery for removal of endometriosis, then three attempst at IUI before I finally became pregnant with my first son. A year after he was born, I wanted to try again, so I went back to the fertility specialist for another surgery and two more attempts at IUI. I conceived twins, but lost one at six weeks and the other at five months. I had another surgery and then became pregnant after IUI, only to miscarry at three months. My husband and I decided to give it one more try. My son Tyler was born last fall, and my balltle with infertility is over.
After the birth of my first son I came up with my "mompreneur" idea. I made a patchwork blanket out of my son's special items of clothing and started showing it to my friends. They immediately placed orders. A parenting magazine featured my memory blankets, and the orders came pouring in. My company www.willowcreekstudio.net now receives orders daily from all over the country. While I was battling infertility I started to lose faith that my life would ever be normal again. Now that I have won that battle, my life is wonderful and I could not be happier."
- Michelle M. Rubin
Owner, Willow Creek Studio
When Michelle Rubin's husband, Jason, lent her $1,000 for an emroidery sewing machine, she launched a business that would let her stay home with sons Ryan, now 4, and Tyler, 6 months.
FAVORITE GREEN GIFT
Clean your closet while preserving memories by sending your favorite clothes to Willow Creek Studio were they will be sewn together into a wonderful memory blanket. Sixteen pieces of Adult clothing make a 48 x48" throw ($125), and 16 piees of baby clothing make a 32" x 32" throw ($75). Monogramming is available for an extra $6. (717) 903-1060; www.willowcreekstudio.net
It seems harder to part with those favorite baby outfits than just about anything else. For most people, though, it's not practical to keep containers full of clothes. Enter the memory blanket. Willow Creek Baby (www.willowcreekbaby.com) will take your child's clothes and craft a blanket from the fabric (prices start at $75 for a 32" x 32" Memroy Blanket.
Every baby needs a special baby blanket to cuddle up with, but mom and dad don't necessarily want to stare at Tiggers and teddy bears all day. Michelle Rubin of Mechanicsburg has created her own line of cozy, high-end baby blankets and custom bedding that parents and babies are sure to adore. Willow Creek Baby bedding begins with soft, colorful blocks of fabric that are sewn together and backed with the softest chenille. Crib bedding and memory blankets - made from your baby's cutest clothing - can also be custom created to match your specific decor. To see samples or obtain more informatino, log on to www.willowcreekbaby.com
Now there's a way to hold on to those special outfits from your child's first months and years just a little longer. Willow Creek Baby sews together 16 pieces off clothing to make a 32" by 32" Memory Blanket, $75. Find out more at www.willowcreekbaby.com