Tuesday, May 7
I'm attempting to blog a week of quilts here. Day Two and I'm still kicking, so that's good, right? You can find Day One here, my StoryTime quilt.
Today I'm sharing a comfy, cozy little snuggle blanket I made for Lucy for Christmas--- what we call her "softblanket". I had made her a beautiful quilt for when she was born (coming up later in this Quilt Week), but I confess-- I never used it as an everyday blanket, and it just didn't have the "cuddle factor" I kind of want for bedtime stories, etc. I still have high hopes for Lucy's formal baby quilt... but it felt like it was time to get her hooked on this new little "everyday" quilt.
This quilt was actually inspired from reading the Under the Sycamore blog. They'd brought home a sweet baby girl from China, and her attachment item quickly became this bright, colorful blankie made from vintage sheets. (She posts about it here. Her little one has a cleft lip and will eventually have several surgeries to correct it. I think she's beautiful just the way she is, and love reading about how she is thriving with her big, marvelous family.)
I had purchased from a fun Etsy shop a vibrant set of fat quarters that were all vintage sheets, so I started imagining a cozy little blanket for my own little girl. Fate sealed the deal in the form of a big heavy box that came in the mail one day from a friend in Washington DC. (Shout-out to Brenda! Woot!) She'd been making lovey blankies with soft minky fabrics, but was ending that endeavor and had lots of extra material. She shipped it all to me!! Included in the amazing box was a soft ribbed minky in a bold pink. I knew in an instant that would be the fabric to tie Lucy's blanket all together.
Also included in the package was a set of three pieces of white fleece, each machine-embroidered with Lucy's name on it in different fonts. My friend had included these pieces as a thoughtful addition to her package, in case I ever wanted to make Lucy a taggie/lovey of her own. I love that! And I had to include one of them in her softblanket. So the name piece became the center of the quilt.
As for assembly of the blanket, I cut 5" squares from each of the vintage fat quarters and assembled them in a loose pattern (you can see the rhythm: dot, pink floral, plaid, orange floral, thin pink stripe). Because the fleece name piece was already cut to a certain size, I had to adapt those two rows of squares to fit the name piece, so you can tell they're not perfect squares, but a bit shorter, making rectangles instead. It works.
I machine-quilted every other seam, right in the ditch, and tried to keep it tidy since I used dark pink thread. And for binding, I decided to try a technique my mom uses--- making the back fabric 2-3" bigger all around, every side, then folding it inward toward the front twice and pinning it. I machine-stitched it in place using a pretty small seam-allowance. I still mitered the corners, just winging it.
And there ya have it- Lucy's softblanket. Which she has quickly adopted into her heart and loves dearly. I think it helps that I used my powerful "you will love this" lovey skillz I've talked about in this post, How to Introduce a Lovey Into Your Baby's Life. I just kept bringing it to storytime and making a deliberate effort to call it by name as I tucked her in with it every night. I'd grab it to cuddle with her if she was crying, etc. It's become dear to her this way. I'm pretty much the Lovey-Whisperer. Ask Quinn.
Meanwhile, somewhere between almost-2 and 2, which just happened two weeks ago, my baby girl is not a BABY AT ALL. I'm flabbergasted at the shift. I was craving some "get out of the house" time last night and asked Joe if I could steal Lucy away and go putter and run errands for a bit. He was all too happy to have Boys' Night at home, so off my girl and I went.
I've run plenty of errands with Lulu before. But this outing felt DIFFERENT somehow. She was old enough to not sit in the cart the whole time.... She had curiosity but was able to keep it in check and wait for me to give her permission before she grabbed things. She parroted almost everything I said to her--- it's her current stage of language and it is so cute. She didn't fuss or whine, didn't ask for much. We went to World Market and I let her have a fan as her "treat". She loved it, but moved on to a rain stick toy and gave me the fan back, no arguments. Then she spied a Hello Kitty candy necklace and that was IT. She gave the rain stick back and clutched that treasure the rest of the time, asking for me to open it here and there, but being patient when I told her we had to wait. We then headed to grab some dinner and I let her stand/sit in the booth next to me instead of a high chair. She didn't have a bib on. And she did FINE.
I think it was all these little milestones combined, and me having the luxury of being solo with her to really NOTICE, that is making me so flabbergasted by her changes. No stroller. No need for the shopping cart. No high chair. No bib. No tantrums. Just my little buddy who I SWEAR was a baby just a few months ago. I mean for pete's sake, we didn't move her out of the pumpkin carseat til this winter! But here she is... spring is here, she's turned two, and she is officially a KIDDO.
I know that's a random tangent.... this is a quilt post, yeah? But looking at these photos while the memory of last night's girls' night is fresh, and it all wraps up together into one thing. I'm just grateful she still cuddles with me and her blanket and her bunny and that she still thinks I'm her universe. I am not at ALL ready for her to get too grown up on me.
Okay. Back to quilts. Tomorrow, I'll share another vintage sheet quilt I made, one that is so cheerful it ALWAYS makes me smile.
Til then.... ta!
Posted by Emily S. at 4:26 PM