Saturday, June 12, 2021

A Most Special Baby Quilt


I know, I know. All babies are special.  But this baby really is.  Cristina learned to quilt with me when she was in 7th grade.  She is now 30 and having her first baby.  Significant facts:

1.  In exchange for studio space above her parents' garage when we were popping the top of our house, I gave Cris 40 of her 50 behind-the-wheel hours.

2.  Sunday afternoons when she was in high school she would come here to work on essays.  That's where she learned some terrific vocabulary while John was watching the Bears.  

3. She earned a degree in Fine Art at Iowa State and has a certificate in Graphic Design from College of DuPage. 

4.  She met and married Joe.  I wasn't sure he was good enough for her.  One night John and I along with Cristina and Joe went to a Moth story-telling competition at which we were judges.  That night changed my mind.  I love him ALMOST as much as I love Cristina.

5.  Cristina started a new job - art director at FCB Global, and Joe is in nursing school at Rush.  

6.  Their first child, a boy, is coming soon!

I don't normally hand-quilt baby quilts because I'm not sure how the stitches will hold up over time, especially for a baby quilt to be used the way it should be.  But I just had to quilt this with unorganized straight lines.  The backing is a wonderful piece of Art Gallery cotton (think silky smooth) that wasn't quite big enough.  It is batted with wool.

And how does one wrap a baby quilt?  Well, one simply makes a matching tote bag with zippered pockets to hold little baby things!

           Cristina and Joe's baby will achieve Dickensian status in no time by being a remarkable boy.  In fact, I'm sure he already is remarkable!

Cristina's mom requested a book, even one gently used.  But I couldn't just settle on one book.  The upper left hand corner book is a series of short Turkish tales/parables.  I think they are perfect reading for the little guy right now.  "The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt" is whimsical and pretty and nails the nature of quilts. "Woodland Christmas" is a charming little pop-up book with hidden images.  And of course Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, a great little rhythmical ABC book.  

I could never decide whether Cristina was an honorary daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, or friend.  I'm just happy to know her and excited for this new Mom chapter of her life.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Procrastination Sewing: A Kimono

 After 35 years in our house and 15 years in my fabulous studio, we are getting ready to move.  The market for selling is hot.  And the market for buying is even hotter.  As soon as we can identify a place we both want to bid on, we will list our house.  And we are almost ready to go!  Between the pandemic and being in the studio for 15 years, there has been a lot to sort through.  I will freely admit to tossing a couple of UFO’s - the kind that fall into the “What was I thinking?” category.  This Swedish Death Cleaning approach has been very cathartic!

I was surprised and happy to come across three yards of a 54” knit by Sara Lawson from her Jungle Avenue line for Art Gallery Fabrics.   This was from maybe 12 years ago.  What was I thinking? An outfit? (It’s entirely appropriate to roll your eyes here…)   I just couldn’t put this fabric into a Goodwill bag.  And my skills at working with knits have never been good.  But…  I found a pretty simple pattern for a kimono of sorts.  Fold the fabric in half, cut our the sides, cut up the middle of one side along with a neck hole.  I found some black bias tape which is used to edge the center seam and neckline.  And then I turned that under and top stitched.

I did a similar thing on the sleeves and on the hem with some grey peppered shot cotton.  After washing it, the hem was kind of kershimmelled.  So I quilted it!  Now it’s fine.  And then I remembered I would need a loop for hanging this on the back of bathroom door.  And a pocket!  Of course I need a pocket.  So I added one of those.  

I got happily lost in this project because I wasn’t obsessing over how much fsbric I have and all the projects I want to do and how small my new sewing space will be wherever we move to. And should we ever have chilly mornings again, I’m all set.   

The hanging hook

The quilted hem