Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Heavy

My body is heavy, my life is heavy, everything just seems pretty heavy these days. Not that I don't have plenty to be thankful for, I do. I'm mainly just sad today. One of my daughters just had a miscarriage, and that baby was definitely wanted and loved. One of my other daughters is still having a healthy pregnancy, for which I am very grateful. I still have a baby shower to plan, but I was going to be throwing it with the daughter who just miscarried. That seems a bit much to ask now.

Are you one of those quilters who tries to make a quilt for sad things to offer some kind of comfort, even when you know nothing will "fix" things? I am one of those quilters, and in this case, I finished a weighted blanket that I was asked for months ago.

I have five weighted blankets on my to do list, four of which are UFOs. All the tops are done, I just need to sew all the channels and fill them. My very sad daughter deserved to have hers moved to the top of the list. Not that a weighted blanket will "fix" anything, but maybe the weight of it, while her heart is also heavy, will bring some type of comfort.


I'm going up to spend a couple days with her, with this weighted blanket in tow. My plans changed yet again. There are a bunch of other things going on in the family which are also heavy on my heart. I'm looking forward to the day we can look back on this mess and say, "We made it through!" Life will not always be this heavy, I've been through enough hard times to know that. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.


Friday, February 16, 2018

A Couple NewFO's

I had two baby girl quilts to make, and I cheated a bit and made them almost identical. I started them in January of this year, so they don't count on my UFO challenge.

Here is one of them


And here's the other


Did you spot the difference? How about a side by side?


Only the quilting is different. One of these babies is a rainbow baby, a baby born after a pregnancy loss, so that baby gets rainbow quilting.

I've been asked what size my Flying Geese are in these quilts, and I made mine to finish at 4x8" because a 48" square quilt was what I wanted.

I added these finishes to my yearly total. It's mid-February and I've finished four quilts this year. Not bad considering I only finished three quilts all of last year.

These quilts were mailed out this morning. I'll have family stuff going on all this coming week, so no sewing is likely to happen. I'm hoping I might be able to do a little bit of cutting done, or pressing those tiny HST's I've been making. We'll see, family comes first!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Accidental Discovery

I bought a new-to-me desk from the Habistore. I've been wanting a desk in my bedroom for my laptop for months now, and now I have one. This desk has a high sheen on it, and my computer mouse won't work on it's surface. I know, a laptop has a built in pad to use instead of a mouse, but I prefer using a mouse, so I do. I've been using my laptop all over the house up until now, and I don't own a mouse pad. I used to use my leg a lot, and my pants always made an adequate mouse pad. Now that I have this shiny desk, it looks like I need a mouse pad.

I looked around online for a mousepad, and they are either boring, or expensive, neither of which I liked. As I've been using my desk, I happened to move my mouse over DD#3 wedding quilt top, which is folded at the end of my desk. Hmmm, mouse works fine on a quilt. IDEA FLASH- Mouse Works Fine on Quilts! Guess who is now making a quilted computer mouse pad?

I mentioned in my last post I am planning a baby shower for DD#1. I chose a Little Golden Book theme, and with a book theme, I thought a fun favor would be quilted bookmarks.



I drew up some ideas for bookmarks, and this week I started cutting out parts for these. I'm planning the bookmarks to finish at 2x8 inches, so fairly small pieces. I had already decided to make my quilted mouse pad from 1" finished HST's, so I can work on both projects at the same time. The thing is, I'm not a huge fan of cutting 1" HST's. One of the things I LOVE about quilting, is there is always more than one way to do something.


I grabbed out some Thangles papers, looked though my scrap user system for 1.5" cut strips, and I started sewing up some HST's. I'm using the Thangles strips as leaders/enders for each other, and when I'm done, I'll cut them apart, take off the paper, and press. For bigger HST's, I have no issue using my Easy Angle ruler, but for these little guys, I just prefer doing them this way.


I ended up with a pretty nice pile sewn up today, and I should finish tomorrow. I'll have enough HST's for both bookmarks and my mouse pad. I decided I want my mouse pad 8"x10", which means 80 1" HST's or 160 pieces in my mouse pad top. Is that excessive? Who knows, just sounds like fun to me!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Spit Happens...

...so new moms need burp rags!


Burp rags is exactly what I've spent a lot of my time making this week. I've got enough for the three moms I was originally making them for, plus I cut more for two more moms in extended family, and I'll have some to stash as future gifts.


Here is a closer look at the edge of one of the burp rags. This has been washed once, it will likely fray a bit more. Somehow, burp rags having ragged edges just looks right to me.

Almost everything I've worked on this week has been baby related. Besides finishing a bunch of burp rags, I've cut out and pinned seven swaddling blankets, pieced the backings of two baby quilts and pin-basted them, AND I've started planning DD#1's baby shower.

The baby shower will be early April, but I've got so much else going on, I decided I need to start now. I've chosen the theme, decided on game prizes and favors. I'm working on the brunch menu and decorations. DD#2 is in charge of games. The shower favors will be quilty in nature, so I should be able to make them as leaders/enders while I work on other stuff since I'm starting early.

Every time I make a plan of what I will work on next, it seems to change for one reason or another. As long as I'm mostly working on stuff that I need to get finished it doesn't matter that much. When I get these two baby quilts finished, I can mail those packages off to the moms they are going to. I still haven't started  sewing DD#1 baby's quilt, but it's all cut out ready to start.

I haven't worked on wedding quilts in a couple weeks now. All those couples are already married, so the quilts are already late. I've got three babies to make quilts for that aren't born yet. I've got a chance of getting those done on time!

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Second Finish!


I finished the second quilt for the grandkid room. Now both twin sized beds have a quilt on them!

This week has not gone according to plan. I've had very little sewing time, so what little I've had I've worked on baby stuff.


On the left are the burp rags that are ready for washing, and on the right are the five lightweight swaddling blankets I made for DD#1. I make swaddling blankets two different ways. Both are just the just the largest squares I can cut from the fabric, usually 42"- 44". I use one layer of something really lightweight like seersucker, or I use two layers of quilting cotton or even flannel is baby is being born in a very cold location. Receiving blankets are just ridiculously small, and I have no idea why manufacturers make them that small. It is much easier to swaddle a baby with a large square, and rectangles make no sense at all. For the one layer blankets, I just hem the edges, so that's what I did on the ones above. I'll be making some two layer blankets as well, and those I sew right sides together, leaving a hole for turning right side out. Once the blanket is right side out and pressed, I use a decorative stitch on the edges.

I still have a lot more burp rags to make, and on top of the ones I was already making, I've been asked to make some for two boy babies also coming this spring. I dug out some boy flannel, but haven't started cutting those yet.


I was asked how I finish the edges of the burp rags, and my preference is ragging the edges. I sew around the burp rag twice (and once across the middle to make them easy to fold) . I then trim the excess batting, and fringe the edges. Once they are washed, the fringe will fray and the baby has a fun texture on the edge to explore with their little fingers. You could certainly sew them right sides together, and turn them. You could also use more layers of flannel and skip trimming the excess batting step. I suppose you could even serge the edges, but I personally hate the look of exposed serged edges. 

As I said, it's really a matter of personal preference. I've considered using the multiple layers of flannel instead of Warm and Natural batting as the center layer, but I'd have to buy the extra flannel, and I almost always have batting scraps around the house. I've seen people use quilting cotton for burp rags, and that I won't do. Flannel is more absorbent, and using flannel on the back as well helps the burp cloth stay in place on the shoulder of whomever is burping the baby. 

I may not be making much progress on my quilting projects this week, aside from the one finish, but the baby projects needs to be done as well. Right now life is pretty busy, and anything I get done is a win!