The truck quilt… Almost DONE

I am amazed at how quickly this quilt came together. I am forever indebted to my friend Emily who helped coach me through text and Facebook. She sent me pictures of her work and YouTube videos explaining the quilting process. I could not have done this without her.

This morning I ran to Hobby Lobby and picked up batting for the quilt and as soon as Zac went down to nap, got to work. I laid the back of the quilt down in my entryway and taped it down. Then, I used spray adhesive to baste the batting and again for the front of the quilt. I used safety pins around the border for added security.
I was most nervous about the next step, petrified my machine would crap out or I’d get a lot of puckering. I didn’t think things through completely as to how I’d stitch the borders. I stitched down the center of the grey sashing strips as opposed to around each individual block. Oh well, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

No sooner did I finish trimming the excess fabric did Zac wake up. Not really though. His new thing is to come downstairs and snooze on me. I’ll allow it. I hope to finish this quilt tomorrow, so stay tuned!! 20131218-144722.jpg20131218-144733.jpg20131218-144742.jpg20131218-144750.jpg20131218-144756.jpg20131218-144804.jpg20131218-144815.jpg20131218-144900.jpg20131218-144907.jpg20131218-144915.jpg20131218-144921.jpg

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Christmas Craziness

Since Thanksgiving, my sewing room has felt like Santa’s workshop. In the past week, I’ve sewn 5 quilts, 2 toddler pillow & blanket sets, and over 30 scarves. Many of the quilts I’ve completed are Christmas gifts, so I won’t post pictures until after the holidays, but I trust that these kids don’t have internet access, so I can post pics of their presents. Now that I’m caught up on work for others, I was able to start on Zac’s truck quilt so here are some pictures of that too.

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Christmas 2013

Quick post this morning, mainly to hold myself accountable. Growing up, each year my mom made one of my Christmas gifts. One year, she made the most amazing doll house ever, another year it was a ballerina wall hanging for my room. I’m not sure if I fully appreciated the gifts until starting the same tradition for my little guy.

I’m a fabric hoarder, and often buy fabrics without a planned purpose. Over the summer I purchased a flannel fabric with trucks and cars. Zac is always pulling that fabric out of my stash and carries it around, pointing and saying “tuk, car, tuk, car…” I knew months ago that it would be part of his homemade gift this year. What I didn’t know (till yesterday) was WHAT that gift would be.

After searching Pinterest for recipes, I came across this- a quilt pattern. While I make t-shirt quilts all the time, I’ve never attempted something like this before. I’m anxious, excited, and petrified I won’t finish in time, but ready or not, here I go! I purchased this pattern, and ordered my fabric last night. I will check in periodically and update as I go. (The fabric pictured top right is what I already have.)

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A Mother’s Quilt

This is a busy time if year for everybody, myself included. Christmas and graduation are the most popular times for t-shirt quilts. Last week, I finished 2 quilts, I have 5 to do before Christmas, and then 2 more after that. Because many of these are gifts, I won’t share them on the blog till after Christmas, but this blanket was for a friend.

Jenica and I taught at the same elementary school and have been friends ever since. She has two daughters, her youngest is just a few weeks older then my son. She asked me a long time ago about compiling her daughters’ outfits into an adult sized blanket for her. After making the December Darlings quilt over the summer, I had a pattern and was ready to create Jenica’s keepsake.

This blanket uses 32 outfits and 32 flannel squares, each cut 7″ square. I tried my best to keep the dresses intact with ruffles, and am pleased with how that turned out. The blanket has a double flannel border and is backed with anti-pill fleece. Finished, this blanket measures approximately 70″ square. What makes this blanket so sentimental is that many of the outfits were worn by both sisters, and then there are several where the girls have matching personalized shirts. I did my best to keep the coordinating shirts beside one another.

Many friends have expressed interest in the baby blankets made with newborn onesies, but their kids are older and they didn’t save enough. This blanket has 7 years worth of outfits. It’s never too late to start saving clothing, and really, a quilt is a much better way to preserve these childhood memories than storing them in the attic.

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Baby Onesie Quilts

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- baby onesie quilts are my FAVORITE thing to sew. They are the perfect way to preserve your child’s baby clothes. I know I’m not the only one who has trouble giving away my son’s cloths. There are so many shirts or pajamas that have sentimental value, like the outfit he wore when he came home from the hospital, or my favorite sleeper that had the monkey on the butt… So many people save these precious memories, but they’re idea of saving them are boxing them up and throwing them in the attic. This quilt is something we use constantly. It allows me to keep my favorite things, without my husband calling me a hoarder.

This post is combining 2 different projects. Well, to be technical, 3 projects. The first were onesie quilts for a set of twin boys. Their mom got my name from a friend. (PS referrals are how I get business). She was so meticulous about what outfits she selected for their blankets. We chose coordinating fabric, an aqua and a navy gingham fabric. These quilts are slightly different from ones I’ve done in the past. They mimic how I do adult t-shirt quilts, and not the checkerboard pattern I’ve done in the past. The squares are still 6″, but there are 25 outfits instead of the 18. They still measure 42″ complete, and are backed with fleece as opposed to flannel.

The second (or third) project was a onesie quilt for my best friend’s daughter. She is exactly 10 weeks older than my son, and while these are outfits she wore her first year, it was a present for her second birthday. Belle loves owls, so her mommy selected this fabric, for her blanket. The back is a coordinating flannel print, in a bright and festive pink. This blanket measures 42″ square, and uses 18 outfits, each measuring 6″ square.

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Bridesmaid Dress Baby Quilt

A few months ago, I came across a picture on Pinterest of a woman who used a bridesmaid dress as fabric for a quilt to give as a baby gift for her friend (the bride). After some google investigation, I found her blog. I tucked this idea aside and hoped that I’d be able to do this at some point in the future.

That “future” arrived last month when a friend of a friend contacted me through Facebook, and showed me this exact same blog post as an example of what she was looking for. I was over the moon excited about this project.

The theme for the baby’s nursery is sailboats, so I went with that when selecting fabric. Because the bridesmaid dress is a satin, I was afraid of that fabric appearing out of place with other cotton or flannel squares. So, I decided to use an assortment of fabrics and textures. I think the finished product is amazing.

This quilt measures approximately 36″ square. The sailboat fabric is flannel, the red and white rope print is cotton, the brown and white stripes is seersucker, the blue nautical print is chambray, the white is muslin, and the brown is the dress. Baby blue minky dot fleece fabric was used to back the blanket.

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The December Darlings

I am so excited about this quilt. It is an adult size blanket, using baby onesies. 32 onesies to be exact, that came from 30 awesome women (plus myself). The story behind this quilt began over 2 years ago…

Social media plays a huge role in our lives. What you may not know is that sites like Baby Center and The Bump serve not only as online resources for new mothers, but as a community of women. There are groups for everything from pregnancy, to motherhood, those struggling to conceive, dealing with a loss, and everything in between.

I found out I was pregnant with my son, March 30, 2011. I was already a member of the Baby Center online community, so I searched for a due date group to join. I had no idea then the impact that decision would have on my life. The group was called “The December Darlings,” and was a private board for women due December 1-10, 2011. People shared every aspect of pregnancy- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We grieved together as some women suffered miscarriages, prayed together as some (myself included) received troubling news, and rejoiced as our babies were born.

As the year drew to a close, our group dwindled. What was once close to 200 women was now 73. Anyone who’s had a newborn knows that sitting down at the computer can be a challenge, so most of us accessed Internet through our phones (especially those up nursing a baby at 2 am). For convenience, we decided to move our group over to Facebook. Not everyone made the move, but for the ones who did, our bond grew stronger.

We’ve supported each other through the loss of parents, miscarriages, deployments, sick children, and spouses with cancer. We’ve celebrated as our babies reached milestones, new pregnancies and the birth of younger siblings, homecomings, and more. Somewhere along the line we started sending gifts, and that’s where the idea for the quilt came to be. How cool would it be to have a blanket made up with something from each of us… I was eager to take on this project, and after weeks of nagging, I got enough onesies to make the quilt.

I’ll spare you the details, and focus on the highlights. What started off as women with one thing in common (motherhood), and over the past 2 years we’ve become great friends. Our group consists of 36 women, spread out over 23 states. We range in age from 22-42. Some of us are first time moms, others have 7 children. Many of us have had the opportunity to meet one another; I’ve been fortunate enough to meet 3 of my fellow darlings (pictures below). As a group, our dream is for all 36 of us to meet with our babies. Anyone out there with the power and funds to make that happen- my contact info is available on the blog.

I think our story is powerful. Support comes in all forms. These women, most of whom I’ve never met, I consider my closest friends. I truly don’t know how I would have made it through the past 2 years without them. In an online arena, there is no shame in asking the kinds of questions new mothers have. In our group, sometimes we jokingly wonder how our ‘real world’ friends get answers to their personal questions.These women are my sounding board for everything, and I’m so so thankful for that decision I made, back in the spring of 2011, to join this group.

If you read through this, thank you! For those here for the quilt, this blanket consists of 32 onesies and 32 flannel squares, each measuring 7″. The teal border is 2.5″ and the snowflake border is 4″. The finished blanket measures 69″ square, and its backed with pale grey anti-pill fleece. We plan to “share” this blanket, sending it to those in need when they need it. I’m hoping nobody “needs” it soon because I’m not ready to part with it.

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