Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Thursday, May 30

Thank You, Lulu...

Thank you, Lulu: 

Thank you for letting me cajole and con you into the photo room one sunny morning in April. For giving in to my tricks and pleas and persistence so that for the first time in a while, I got really sweet photos of you. 


Thank you for sitting still long enough that I got in-focus photos. And happy, genuine in-focus photos, to boot. 



Sure, you had to pull a few of your classic "Lulu Faces" when I pushed just a little too hard....


But somehow, and just when I needed it, you sat still, looked lovely, turned your sweet sweet face towards me, and looked right into my lens.





Thank you, Lulu. For being my Lulu. Thank you for singing all day long, for scrunching your face into a thousand expressions. For shadowing Noah so completely and joyfully. 
Thank you for the kisses and the unabashed dancing. 

Thank you for letting me comb your hair every morning, despite it forcing you to hold still and endure some detangling. Thank you for loving shoes and "ditties" (pretties, i.e. pretty clothes). 

I love the way you currently express your insecurities and nervousness-- by chanting your own name in a quavery voice over and over again... the nervous girl in the corner, just existentially checking in to reassure herself. "Lucy.... Lucy.... Lucy....."

I love how HAPPY you are in the mornings, just kicking back and looking at books until one of us comes in to see if you're awake. Or if you're still sleeping, once you DO awaken to one of us in the room, the very first thing you do is SMILE. Sleepy Lucy smiles are amazing. 

You are so utterly perfectly heart-stealing that I cannot imagine you could get better than this. Your little words-- no sentences yet, just sweet little single words--- are each so cute I can barely stand it. You talk in a musical sing-song that lilts and sways and rolls and bumps.  You run in such a way that you're almost running in place while getting somewhere else. You dance with your hips and your head swaying from side to side... 

And though you've started some pretty obnoxious shrieking, both from glee and from annoyance, there is so very little else about you to be frustrated at.

Simply put, I adore you. I am a mushy-hearted mess at Lucy-at-2-Years-Old.  Please stay EXACTLY like this forever. I don't think my heart can take it if you get any better than this. Because right now, you're just about everything I could ever want in a little girl. 

Love, 

Mama

Tuesday, May 28

Sweet Camden | St. Louis Newborn Photographer |




Well guess what: I'm going to try to get back to blogging my client sessions. Crazy? Maybe. But I really love my clients and the work I get to do, and I want to honor them by posting at least a little bit from each session I get to do. 

I am still going VERRRRY slowly as far as getting back to work... so in some ways, knowing I only have a few sessions each month to post makes me feel more empowered/less overwhelmed about getting it done. 

So for a fun session share tonight, I present to you sweet Camden--- born just 3 or 4 weeks after my own Quinn. I love how completely different he looks from my baby boy--- all round and fair and calm.







 And what about this smile?? To die for: 





I loved going to this home--- an amazing apartment right across from the Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. I loved snuggling sweet Camden, who was a perfect model. And I just adore his parents--- both of them were born to be parents and are rocking this new baby thing. 

Thanks, Katherine and Matt, and sweet Camden. It was my absolute pleasure to be a part of the earliest days. 

*

Friday, May 24

Today Was a Good Day.


It's been a pretty good day here. Thursday, the 4th day of our "summertime" with Noah out of preschool. What makes a day a good day around here? Well, on this specific day, Quinn and I managed to "sleep in" a little.... Always nice... I got the kids dressed and fed with very little trouble or fuss. Quinn went down for a morning nap with zero crying. Noah and I whipped up a fun dessert for later in the evening (peanut butter and jelly pie. Easy! Remind me to post the recipe sometime.). Then a spontaneous dish bubble playtime ensued-- We made a whole sinkful of bubbles and I let Noah and Lucy fling them about, "skate" on fresh washcloths across the floor to clean them up, and blow the bubbles at me and each other. 

Then Noah let me give his shaggy hair a trim for the price of a lollipop and Lucy enjoyed a lolli of her own as a result. After that, Quinn still slept so the kids played in the sand table while I culled and edited a few iPhone photos on the back stoop. When Quinn woke, after a lovely long 2-hour nap, he was cheerful and snuggly so I brought him outside for a bit and we enjoyed a chat across the fence with our dear neighbor Opal.

Lunch was simple and the kids ate well, and it was pretty painless to get everyone down for quiet time at their various times. Noah got some "screen time", which he always loves, and then when he was finally in his room for Quiet Time, I indulged in a nap of my own. When Quinn woke from his nap, I wasn't quite ready to wake myself, so I brought him down to the couch with me and let him eat while I continued to doze a bit longer. 

Noah woke and then Lucy woke and we all sat out on the front porch to wait for Joe to come home. It was a lovely evening with stormy skies and cool temps. The kids LOVE when we hang out on the front porch together. Joe came home to cheers and squeals from the kiddos, and thanks to it being "leftover night", I got to step away from the family to get a much-needed massage. (My upper back has been KILLING me recently-- I think mainly due to my funky semi-upright way of sleeping the second half of every night when Quinn is co-sleeping with me.)

I got home to tag Joe as he headed out the door for a late work meeting, and the kids and I watched some "So You Think You Can Dance" while I fed Quinn. It was ridiculously delightful to watch Lucy and Noah boogie along to the dancing and music from the show. I was so entertained by Lucy doing "splits" and pointing to the screen and saying, "Music! Music!!" Noah, meanwhile, wanted to play the "SYTYCD" "game" and have me be the judge while he, Prowl the Transformer, danced for me. Awesome. And Quinn ate then dozed on my lap, so sweet... 

And then Joe was home early. And I didn't have to figure out how to do Lucy and Quinn's separate baths and bedtimes on my own like I was going to have to. My teammate was back to help! We got the kids in bed and I dashed out of the house again, this time to deliver a client's photos and go to the grocery store. I got to listen to my current favorite songs in the car alone, and I stopped by Wendy's to get Joe and myself a Frosty on the way home. 

Now it's past my bedtime and I am watching Joe's Netflix DVD, Django Unchained, while working on client photos and blogging. The Frosty was tasty, I'm not super tired yet (thanks, nap!) and I'm slowly getting things done for work. And heck, I'm blogging!

And today, that is what makes a good day.

Is every day like this? 


HELLLLLLLS no. 

I am, quite frankly, completely flabbergasted at how LITTLE crying there really was today. That Quinn was in such a calm groove. That Noah was entertained and not complaining of being bored a lot. That I managed to eat my own meals, and all of them at home and not drive-thru. That not only did we get the basics done, we managed some extras. 

And I am definitely aware of the special moments that don't happen very often: the massage, the nap, the drive alone with good tunes... 

It was just one of those days the Universe said, "Okay, mama. You need it. Here you go." And gave and gave and gave in abundance. 

So tomorrow, I hold no illusions that we've "made it", or that I've "figured it out" and that we get to have smooth sailing from now on. I fully expect that Quinn will cry his head off when I have to put him down to change Lucy's diaper and get her dressed and hair combed for the day. That's par for this course. And I fully expect I'll forget to eat my own breakfast and then wonder why I am SO DANG CRABBY at 10:30am. And I am prepared for at least 4 meltdowns from Lucy and 4 major complaints from Noah. And at least one emotional slump of my own. 

But today? Today was a good day. And I am so deeply grateful for good days. Because as I'm driving into the night with good music playing, head clear and time to let my thoughts wander--- I am able to come to center and remember fully that THIS IS A GOOD LITTLE LIFE. That I love this. That this is what I have always ALWAYS wanted. And despite the messes and the stresses and the physical exhaustion and the post-partum depression episodes and the craziness of wrangling small children, THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF. They won't always be this little, live with such abandon, and need me with every fiber of their being. They won't always be so completely huggable and open and NEW. So when the days are particularly good, it fills my well and recharges me and reminds me and enables me to keep going. To keep living all of this, GOOD AND BAD, with hope and a sense of humor and patience with myself and with them. 

So yeah. It really was a good day. 

*

*The photo collage is made from the last 10 days or so of my Instagram photos.(Which, btw, are now included on this blog as a widget at the bottom. Fun!) I used "Shape Collage", a free download you can find here. Try it. It's fun! I used it a few times years ago, but then forgot all about it for years. But tonight as I was driving, I suddenly remembered it and happy day, it's still a viable thing.

Monday, May 20

A Week of Quilts- Last Day: Quinn's Stripey Raccoon Baby Quilt

 Last day, last quilt. I did it! Woot! If you're just joining in, I've blogged the five other quilts I've made, each found here:


And for this last one, I am sharing Quinn's baby blanket. Never mind he also just turned four months old, and I'm just finishing this... He won't remember he was "special blanket-less" for the first trimester of his life.

So for Quinn, I got the idea that I wanted his "animal" to be a raccoon. Since Joe was a kid, raccoons have been one of his favorite animals, and they are just funky enough to not be super-overdone (yet). I wanted a modern look to Quinn's room, and decided to go with the color scheme of grey, white, navy and mustard yellow. The raccoon fit into this perfectly. Now since making all those plans, here we are and Quinn doesn't even HAVE a room. The intent was to move him into Lucy's room by now, and move Lucy to Noah's room-- but now that we move in a month, it's been pointless to make those sorts of changes. But I do hope, very soon, to actually put together a nursery for my little guy, one that is specific to him and to the "look" I'm envisioning. Until then, here is his baby quilt-- the first piece of that puzzle, and finally finished for him to snuggle with.


 This is a really simple project, actually. It's inspired by this quilt from Pottery Barn, which then inspired this quilter I found on Pinterest. I loved the stripe, LOVED the contrast-color binding, and it stuck in my head for what I wanted to do with Quinn's quilt.


The basic quilt is just 5.5" strips of grey and white stitched together. That's it. The only thing that makes this quilt tricky at all is the raccoon applique. A couple of years ago, I made Noah a sunshine blanket that had an appliqued half-sun on it (blogged here). I used machine applique to do it, and it looked really cute. But in the last two years of getting used daily and washed frequently, the applique is looking pretty ragged. I decided I  wanted something more sturdy, with better edges. And then I read about this quilt--- the cloud quilt. She mentioned a trick to making her clouds look like needle-turned applique, but less difficult. I LOVED the way her clouds looked on her quilt and I decided to try this dryer-sheet method of applique for my little raccoon, but with thin cotton like the cloud quilt artist talks about. (Look closely-- my thin back fabric is turquoise and white. You can see it on some of the edges. oops.)


The next trick was actually thinking through the design and assembly of the little guy. I knew I wanted detail on him, and wanted ALL the edging to be solid and un-fray-able. so it became a puzzle of sorts--- what layers to put on first before adding the thin cotton backing, whether or not to make the raccoon form one piece or a few... And after puzzling over it for a while, I decided to do the head and tail separately so that I could really concentrate on the details for each of them. I'm not going to bore you with all the steps, but this was a pretty fun, but pretty tricky little project. But every step of the way I got more and more delighted with seeing my vision come to life.

Once the little guy was all made, all that was left was to ladder-stitch applique him to the quilt top, then quilt the whole thing and bind it. I went with a very simple quilting-- just double-stitched along the stripe lines. And I chose a fun mustard yellow for the binding and added that last.

Here's a couple of close-up detail shots, the binding and the applique:


 And a snap of the back--- a fun navy with white polka dots, bringing the full color scheme together. 

*

Meanwhile, the baby for who this was intended has turned FOUR months. And in honor of completing his blanket, I used it as the background for his 4-month photos. Hooray!


 
And a few things about my Quinnster at 4 months:

This kiddo has blossomed in the last 4 weeks. I have seriously seen a shift in him from a newborn trying to get acclimated to the world, and fussing his way through it, to a pretty content little infant, mostly happy and observant and only really mad when he's tired (which is still a LOT. This kid seems to CRAVE near-constant sleep!)

The biggest change in him has been his car-crying. Slowly but surely, he cries less and less while he's in the car. It's a near-miracle. I credit much of his change to the introduction of soft loveys to his arms while he's in the car. He clutches his fists together and brings them to his mouth, and these soft loveys are automatically brought up to his cheeks every time he does this, and they soothe him. It's pretty cool. He's also able to observe more of the outside world around him, and that has helped him calm down and not get so angry while stuck in his carseat. It's really been a MASSIVE relief to me to not have him wail the entire time we're in the car. 

Other things about Quinn at 4 months:

He is a little guy--- on his actual 4-month date, he weighed in at 12.3 lbs, and is 24" long. He's still solidly in 0-3 mo. clothes and size 1 diapers. 

He loves Noah and has started noticing Lucy and being amused by her. 

Quinn lost pretty much all of his newborn hair, and it weirded me out for a while-- not only the actual tufts of hair coming out onto my fingers when I'd play with it, but how BALD he looked compared to those first weeks. But in the last week or two, I'm seeing new hair coming in. And it's not as dark. It's just a weird process for me this time. Noah went bald then got hair back, but it was basically the same color. Lucy was born blonde and stayed blonde the whole time with no noticeable hair loss. So this has been odd to me. I'm having to get used to a different Quinn  than the one that was born to me. 

Hes grasping more and more, and showing real intent toward objects. It's so cute. And he rolled from tummy to back at his actual 4-month appointment on Saturday. Show-off. 

He blows VERY spitty raspberries during his bath-times. It's funny, and messy. 

I think he's going to be as much of a drooler as Noah was. We're having to keep a bib on him all the time already!

He LOVES his bouncy seat-- kicking and grabbing the toy and just having a grand old time. He's finally tolerant of the swing, and is doing well laying on a blanket for playtime. 

He hardly ever naps in my arms anymore. I definitely miss it, but the trade-off of having a baby that settles into his own nap and having time for my other kids and other things needing to get done has been worth it. Still, when he fell asleep nursing tonight as we were doing FHE, I was in NO rush to move him off the boppy and get him into his bedtime routine. I just let him nap on the boppy on my lap for a lovely little 30-minute stretch. 

Quinn smiles with his whole body when he's excited, and I ADORE that. He is incredibly lovable and good and sweet, and I am so grateful for that daily. When Lucy was 4 months old, she was still really struggling with liking her life, and we still had to do a LOT to keep her happy. It's been such a relief to be able to take Quinn anywhere and trust we can keep him happy and quiet and content for the most part. And its been so easy to just love on him and enjoy this ride a bit more. 

*

That's probably enough for now. Thanks for sticking with me on the quilt-journey, and for letting me get goo-goo-eyed for my baby for a minute. 

But it's bedtime now. And you KNOW I gotta sleep when I can. That part hasn't changed much in these 4 months. 

Sunday, May 19

A Kinda Week of Quilts-- Day 5: Lucy's Baby Quilt

I..... Just don't even ask. 

 I got derailed. I tried, I failed, and I'm just now getting my crap back together. That's life. 

So. Over a week past the day I was supposed to post this, here is the second-to-last quilt in my Week of Quilts. 


Trivia Facts About This Quilt:
  • This is the first formal quilt I ever made
  • I made it in the spring of 2011 in anticipation of Lucy's birth
  • I first saw the quilt in the Pottery Barn catalog and fell in love. I decided to try to "fake" it, and would go to sleep at night envisioning a cheat-y way to do it... Luckily, when the time came to begin actually working on this project, I did some Googling (have I told you lately what an excellent Googler I am?) and (I still can't believe it) I FOUND THE QUILT ARTIST'S NAME. And she SELLS this quilt pattern. (cue angels). 
  • This is the "Single Girl" quilt by Denyse Schmidt, a quilt artist.
  • It is not for the faint-of-heart, and especially NOT for a beginner. But I was stubborn. I WANTED THIS. 
  • I managed to make this quilt for Lucy in 2 months. Pretty good for a beginner!
  • The fabric is Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms with a bone white Kona cotton. Oh, and a couple of rogue non-Amy-Butler pieces thrown in.
  • I was finished with this before Lucy arrived, allowing me the chance to use it in a set of her newborn photos, blogged here (about 2/3rds down the post).
  • I sent this quilt out to be quilted. Her name is Terri and I have her email if anyone wants to use her. She was AMAZING. She free-hands the quilting on her long-arm machine, and for this, she stitched Lucy's name into the quilt several times. See one?
  • The rest of her quilting is flowers, leaves and hearts, with other loose swirls. SO CUTE.
  • The back fabric is my very favorite design from the Soul Blossoms, and I am still completely in love with it.

  • Lucy's quilt is folded and draped on her crib. She never uses it. So it is a pretty part of her room, but not a beloved or used quilt. That's my fault. I didn't want it to get "spoiled" or dingy, and so it doesn't even get used. I still love it and am so proud of it, but I wonder if I need to find a way to make it a part of LIFE more, you know?? It's hers... so when/if she decided she wants to snuggle with it or take it to college or whatever, I'll have to let it go anyway.
  • Until then, it stands as a testament to my stubborn will to make this very specific quilt despite not having any previous experience, and it is also an ode to my getting a daughter and the beginning of making pretty things for her. 
  • I love it.

*

 Meanwhile..... I'm coming back. I want to be here, blogging. I even jot notes down when I think of things I want to say... 
I have lots and LOTS of iPhone photos, and I've fallen into the trap of assuming if you read my blog, you probably follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, so you see all my daily things I am always posting. But maybe you don't. And maybe it's still good to come back to this spot to consolidate the photos and to give some context to them with some writing... I don't know. I know I WANT to be here more. 

I also find myself shocked, SHOCKED that it is MAY and I have five months of personal photos behind me for this year already, and very few of them edited or shared. SHOCKED. How is it MAY??

I have so much on my mind. So much to say. I need to make time for it. It is good for my soul, and just might help me work through the "crazy" I've been feeling lots of lately. 

I'm going to try. Try to come here and let it out. Let it flow, let it go. 

Til then, I actually DO have Quinn's quilt (and his 4-mo photos) to post tomorrow. I'm not even kidding. 

Yay, me!

Friday, May 10

A Week of Quilts- Day Four: The Copycat Picnic Playmat

Hallo. Miss me? Somehow yesterday got lost. VERY lost. I was still trying to find myself and those missing hours most of today. Hmph. But in the middle of the madness, I did take out the next quilt and snap some photos. So there's that. 

If you're just popping by, I've been attempting to blog a Week of Quilts. Here are the other posts from the week:


And though I missed a day, everything will work out just fine since after today  I only have two more to blog and that can be Saturday/Sunday, which ends the week, ta-da, everything neatly tied in a bow.  

Aside: I'm listening to Tori Amos' "Tear in Your Hand". Anyone? Anyone? GOSH that song evokes emotions and memories and is a great soundtrack to my tumultuous PPD guts tonight. 

Aside: I'm feeling a bit un-super and a bit raw today. Most of the week, actually. Hormones a-ragin', making it hard for me to stay upbeat. just keepin' it real and telling you guys--- I do NOT always manage to do this life thing gracefully. Sometimes I just DO IT TO GET IT DONE, ya know? And that's okay. A few bad days with the "push through them" attitude, and  pretty soon the clouds break, sun comes back in, and we're back on track. So yeah. Cloudy over here for the moment. 

Actually, perfect moment to show by FAR my most colorful quilty project. This is the Copycat Picnic Playmat, directly inspired by the blogger Emilie of Plucky Momo.

  
Best part is, the post I link you to above is a TUTORIAL. So if you're feeling like digging into a kind of time-consuming project, she's given you a great place to start. Most of the other quilts I'm blogging about this week are simple and pretty painless-- something most beginners could manage. But this one is a bit trickier. I went my own direction with a few of the activity wedges, so it took some innovating and some experimenting to get things made and appliqued on. If you love the idea but don't need all the doo-dads, a beginner could still manage to make a simple circle quilt with 8 fat quarters and no embellishments. 

Anyway. So. This is mine. Copycat, and so so cheerful. 

 Here are some closeups of each activity I included:


Section 1: This tree is intended to be a "family tree". There are clear vinyl squares where I meant to print up little pictures of our family and tuck them in. It's never happened. Oops. The tree is still cute, yes?
Section 2: Artist's Palette- The paintbrush is movable and tucks into an elastic holder. 
Section 3: A yo-yo caterpillar- yo-yos are fabric gathered circles, and have a fun texture, so this is a tactile block. 
Section 4: Crinkly Butterflies- The wings flap up and they have crinkly material inside. 
Section 5: Ruffle rainbow- with super soft furry clouds and fun ruffles for the rainbow arcs. 
Section 6: fluffy sheep, button eyes. 
Section 7: felt and satin flowers with ribbon and ric-rac taggie stems and leaves. 

And below, Section 8: the book for holding books. This is made from Naugahyde and canvas, and I designed it to look like a book, but also to be able to hold a couple of small board books inside of it. The title and the "page lines" are machine-stitched on.


 I'd made this for Lucy for her first Christmas, December 2011. She got lots of good use out of it, and I loved seeing her play and roll around on it. So when Quinn came along, I was tickled to have more reason to use it. So how does the baby feel about this awesomely vivid, entertaining, stimulating, cute, handmade activity playmat? 



Huh. 

Well. 

Maybe in a few more months we'll try again. 

Til then, check out the way this folds up and ties... portability all the way, baby. 

(In all fairness to poor Quinn, he fell asleep sitting up just minutes after those photos. Kid was TIRED, y'all. Mean mama, making him wait for his nap...)


I've moved on to Toto songs on iTunes as I wrap up this post. Someone stop me. This is getting absurd. 

Also, I fully expected that I'd be able to easily manage to bind Quinn's baby quilt by the end of this Quilt Week, in order to feature it as the last post of the week. But yeah.... there it sits, unbound. CURSE YOU, LIFE! CURSE YOU, HORMONES! *shaking fist at sky*

But there's still 48 more hours. Maybe I can make magic happen. 

Til then, these 80's tunes and I are gonna go veg on Facebook for a minute. 

Happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, May 8

A Week of Quilts- Day Three: The Vintage Sheet Quilt

I've been working on blogging a Quilt-a-Day this week. We're on Day 3. Woohoo! Here are:

Today it's all about the:

 

This quilt is a simple little play quilt I made almost 2 years ago, after seeing my friend Jaime's version, here. Jaime helped me make my very first quilt, so it's only fitting that she continues to pave the way for my quilt journey and to inspire me with her charming ideas. My quilt is honestly basically a copycat quilt because I love hers so much. Down to the criss- cross X machine quilting through each square. 

My intentions for it were to have a play quilt I could lay down in the grass, at the park, in the yard, at church, ANYWHERE really, and not be too worried about it getting dirty or worn out. The beauty of vintage sheets is that they've been worn out and washed a thousand times already, so they're ready to handle even more wear and tear. 



I chose yellow for the border to make it a little less girly.... just in case I had any more baby boys one day. I know it's basically still super girly with all the florals, but I'd still plop Quinn on this. Also, gold-y yellow is such a classic vintage 70's color. It really tied the random sheet patterns together. 



My favorite thing about this is that when I needed a big piece of vintage sheet for the back, I just asked my mom to keep a lookout at her Goodwill for sheets that reminded her of her newlywed years, and she found EXACTLY what I needed. Perfect 1970's colors and pattern, just made to be added to my quilt top. Awesome. 

*

That's all I can muster today, folks... It's been rough, sleep-wise--- no one napped well today and I'm a bit exhausted from my own rough sleep last night...  It's all I can manage tonight to get this post up, and I am now headed to bed. With my luck, Quinn will read my mind and wake up just 42 minutes after I fall into a hard sleep.... and then just continue doing that for the duration of the night. Awesome. 

Someone leave me a cheerful comment. I think I need that kind of pick-me-up today. 

Thanks. Kisses. Goodnight.

Tuesday, May 7

A Week of Quilts- Day Two: Lucy's "SoftBlanket"

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!

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