Monday, September 24, 2012

Trick or Treat Completed!

Or, baby's first quilt.

I just put the last stitches in the binding of Trick or Treat. Much like Baby RLQ, this quilt has been nine months in the making. I cut into the fabric still in the daze that came with learning we were pregnant, and as it turns out I finished it just two weeks before she is due.

I hope she likes it.

It's a new experience, making a quilt for my OWN child, I must admit. By my count I have made a total of 9 "baby" quilts at this point; four for family, three for friends and two for charity. I figured I had it down. But it turns out, there was this immense pressure to get it RIGHT this time: I know she is going to watch me improve as a quilter over the years, and I want the first quilt I made from her to stand up to any comparisons.

It's easy to say "I love you" with fabric, but how do you say "you are mine and I love you more"? I worked a lot harder on the free-motion quilting for this quilt than I had for previous ones, and I scoured Etsy for the fabric I needed to make my first-choice binding when it became hard to find. I think all my fussing was a way to feel close to her - on the one hand she's been with me 24/7 through the entire process, but on the other I still haven't actually met her.

But, at least I know where I will lay her on when she comes home from the hospital, and what to warm her with if her first halloween gets a little cold. Stay in and grow strong and healthy as long as you like, little one. When you come out your father and I are ready to wrap you in love :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Gift from my Quilt Guild

Baby RLQ remains tucked safely inside, but at my September guild meeting, everyone had a surprise for me: A collaboration quilt!

It seems the word is out that I like bright colors, and modern quilting :-) Group members who participated were given the instructions to work with teals, pinks, and oranges, and to "make a block that represents you as a quilter." Which I have to say, led to a lot of really stunning individual blocks! I totally teared up when I opened this, and did NOT want to let it go to continue my WIP afterwards!

For this quilt thanks go to at least 8 members of my guild, plus a special thanks to guild member Amanda over at the Cozy Pumpkin, who not only organized the effort, but also assembled the blocks into a quilt herself.  The quilt has been given a place of honor at the center of the nursery, where my only dilemma is, which side to display?

 They're both so gorgeous...

OK, signing off before I start to cry again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Modern Quilt Block

Still chugging along on the Pooh Quilt. But, I managed to dig up some photos of a fun, quick project I finished a little over a month ago: a block for the quilt my guild is taking to Quiltcon!

All of us started with 3 fat eighths of Micheal Miller solids - I think mine were tangerine, lime, and charcoal - and instructions that just said "Make one 12.5" modern block." Ok, that was straightforward enough.

Any time I have limited fabric, I always worry about making a cutting or math mistake, and subsequently 'keep it simple' becomes my motto. I'd been admiring this Asterisk quilt for a while, so I decided on a "modified asterisk" (really a Japanese + & x block) for my block. First I made the "x"...

then decided how big I wanted the "+"...

and in the end, this is what I had:

We presented our blocks at the last guild meeting, and I am super, super excited for my block to be part of our quilt at QuiltCon! Stay tuned for a link to the finished project, which is being assembled by the amazing JemJam and will probably be done in November.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WIP Extra: A Nursery In Progress

T minus 5 weeks and counting! I have to admit, before I got pregnant I had all sort of visions for how I was going to revel in the baby prep, and have it done months ahead of schedule. Then I actually got pregnant and reality set in: gestating a human being is a job of its own! Fortunately, my husband and my parents have been really great, and assembling the nursery has been a group effort. This WIP Wednesday is a little off-topic, but I hope you'll "bear' with me.

It didn't take us long to decide on a pooh theme for the nursery: I'm an Eeyore fan, Pooh is safe and gender neutral, and lots of baby stuff comes in it. Originally when we decided on Pooh , we ordered this bedding set and called it our color inspiration:

Unfortunately, it got backordered twice and then went out of stock entirely (I'm working on a fix for that), but the influence remains. Part of its appeal was that we got to keep the beige-and-slate-green color theme that had defined the nursery back before when it was our office.

Of course, the thing that makes a room into a nursery for most people is the crib. The day of the ultrasound, we went down to the local baby boutique and - giddy with newfound excitement that the thing inside me was in fact a person, with little person parts and little person movements and pictures to prove it - fell in love with a round-backed crib by Baby Creations.

We ordered it in black because we knew from previous experience that black looked best with the color of wall we'd picked. Then came the changing table.

We agonized a little bit (well, I did) about "changing table" vs. "dresser" but changing tables are a lot less expensive and more flexible. It was hard to find a black changing table locally, but we were pleasantly surprised when the one we ordered off Amazon arrived on our doorstep the very next day.

For seating we've got a reading chair that was a pre-existing office feature. We also brought in some and old particle board cube from the garage, which my husband painted black to match the furniture.   I then improved it with a (homemade!) foam cushion for the top.

Our showers aren't until the end of the month, so it'll still be a while before the nursery gets populated with all the little things, but I've saved the best for last.

Wanting to keep the cats out - but the baby accessible - my husband and my dad banded together to make a dutch door for the nursery. So, she'll have visibility and good air circulation, and we'll be able to check on her whenever we pass her in the hall.

Personally, I can't wait :-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced