Friday, January 15, 2016

Mini donuts

I want to take a break from zippered bags to tell you a funny story.

A few days ago, Kate announced that she wanted to make some donuts.
Given that she'd been in a polymer clay phase for the past few months, I assumed that they were going to be of the miniature, oven-fired variety.

"Fun. Go for it." I encouraged her.

Some time later, she came to me, complaining that she "couldn't find the brown paper".

"Why do you need brown paper?" I asked. "Are you going to make paper donuts, then?"

"No!" She said, frustrated. "I need it to cut out the donut shapes!"

Well, let's contradict ourselves to drive Mother bonkers, why don't we?

But allow me to fast forward through the escalating misunderstanding to the point when light finally dawned:

"You always cut your patterns out of that brown paper! I need that brown paper!"

It's funny how emotionally fraught the moment of mental clarity can be.

"Wait . . . you're making felt donuts?"


"And you want to draw a pattern first?"


"By yourself? You're making your own pattern?"


I could have wept, let me tell you.

My seven year old is apparently hardwired to draft her own patterns.

We didn't use the elusive brown paper in the end, incidentally. After the last traces of rapture had evaporated, I explained to her that patterns could be made from any kind of paper - even receipts and paper bags and newspaper - and she found something circular to trace around to make her donut-and-frosting templates. They're tiny!

And then I gave her my box of felt and let her put her patterns to work.

"I know, I know," she said, "Cut near the edges and don't cut in the center so we don't waste fabric."

I swear: this child has all the makings of a crotchety old seamstress.

Anyway, here are some shots of Kate (and Bunny) making her donuts.

She made one donut that night, and the others over the next few days, when she got home from school.

She initially used the whipstitch, but grew disgruntled with how "ugly" it all looked, so we tried the blanket stitch. She took to it more easily than I'd expected. And did astonishingly well, I thought.

Moral of the story: never assume you live on the same planet as your children.

A couple of cardboard posts coming up next! So excited!


  1. When I first saw that stitching around those edges, I thought to myself "aw, c'mon... Kate didn't do that, did she?" But she did! Wow! That's better than I can do! Way to go, Kate!! Your donuts are awesome!

    1. No, she did that stitching all by herself. I was surprised, too. Not that I expected her to be a bad seamstress, but blanket stitch takes some hand-eye coordination and I'd expected her to get the thread all tangled. Adding the dots with marker helped her remember which side of the project to poke the needle into. All I did was help her stuff the hard-to-reach parts of the ring donut (the fat jam-filled bismark was fine) and knot on and off the thread.

  2. Young Kate, you have everything to be proud of!
    And Bunny seems to approve, too!
    I wish you a lot of crafting fun!

  3. Sounds like a parental payday to me. Congrats! All the watching and doing with you are paying off.

  4. I completely love every bit of this. This kind of moment of seeing a human take her own specific shape is the whole reason I had a kid.

  5. That's very impressive. It great that your kids are really getting into coming up with their own projects, and actually know how to create them all by themselves.

  6. That is great. I love the look of concentration on her face, and those donuts look amazing.
    I've been thinking about you those last few days, we are doing a birthday party on Monday and you are the best at that ! Angry birds. And Legos. And Star Wars. My almost 8-year-old wants an "everything" party.

  7. Hats off to you Cecile for an everything party! I also try to emulate the child-focused parties of the ikatbag variety!

  8. I keep thinking of Kate as the baby, but she's so grown up! She might be a blog land celebrity but thank goodness that's not like being a child celebrity of any other sort!

  9. How utterly fabulous! I am very impressed by her stitching.

  10. Wow, that is so cool. I love how she figured out the drafting and the need for a better stitch herself.


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