This project is very close to my heart and it's the one I've been most excited to share, partly because look! I designed more fabric! and partly because I don't think I've ever given my mother-in-law a really great present before and this one? This one was really great.
First, I have to say, I would never have thought to give anyone an apron as a present. Never. Way too much chance of a scene like that one in Father of the Bride when the fiance gives his future wife a blender and she spends the rest of the evening in tears and almost calls off the wedding, you know? So, when DiDi commented on the circus apron that she would love to have one from that pattern... a whole new field of possibilities opened up.
I mulled it over and mulled it over and remembered a Martha Stewart idea from years and years ago where you printed a family recipe onto fabric and slapped it on a store-bought apron as a pocket. That idea swam around in my head and met up with mentions I'd seen of Spoonflower, where you can design your own fabric to print by the yard, and some design ideas started forming and my dear brother-in-law scrounged up recipes for me and I started fighting with GIMP and eventually, at long last, DiDi got two perfect aprons.
Clam chowder is a Christmas Eve tradition from her childhood. When Mr. Right and I got married, DiDi made us a family recipe binder and one of the pages was a copy of the scribbled ingredient list and very basic instructions, along with a note saying in part, "I remember calling Mom and writing this down one long-ago holiday."
I drew a parsley leaf, a carrot slice, and a celery slice and played around with them in GIMP, coming up with design elements I liked, and then at the last minute Mr. Right and I agreed it really needed some clams, so I added those too. The recipe was originally on white paper, but changing it to a matching green was pretty simple in GIMP (once I figured a few basic things out) and unified the whole thing nicely.
I'm not sure if she guessed there was another one coming - Pickled Peaches, another favorite Christmas tradition, and this one in her mother's handwriting, which was what I was looking for all along (thanks, Bro!).
The "Apple Cider" fabric design was really for this all along. Cloves and cinnamon sticks and a bright canned-peach-colored background (the apple cider version is a more muted background).
Thanks for the inspiration, DiDi. I'm so glad you asked for an apron!
I've put the main fabrics up for sale on Spoonflower, should you like some for yourself!