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Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy Moment

Forgive me for my posts being so few lately, I've been working on quite a few (more) projects around here, using as much of the time we have left to work through my 'before-baby-comes-to-do-list'. 

Baby is still doing really well (and so am I!) He's been facing head-down for the last two visits with our midwife - which is great as long as he just stays that way and doesn't switch directions in the coming weeks! He's been so active, and his acrobatics are starting to affect my sleep! (but I still love feeling him move... even at 3 a.m. :) I feel like I'm getting bigger by the day - For fun, here's a visual of how far we've come in the last 4 months:
I've been working quite a bit the last couple of weeks, but will be virtually done after next week! Baby boy is a very good side-kick and has been a good sport about allowing me to cart around photo equipment and tolerating a camera bumping on his head (or his bottom!) from day to day. Although my body has thankfully allowed me to do quite a bit of physical activity at work, I'm grateful to be winding down, as it's been taking me progressively longer to set-up, take-down and load and un-load equipment.

We had an AMAZING (although short...) trip home to Wisconsin two weekends ago - to attend a baby shower that my mom and sisters held for us. (I will be posting more on that (with photos!) shortly - it was absolutely perfect!!)

Last weekend, we took Bella to Turkey Run State Park and got to take a hike in one of the most beautiful areas we've found in Indiana yet! It was a gorgeous day and the landscape is so unlike Indiana (so... NOT flat!) that we almost forgot which state we were in for an hour or so! (For those of you Wisconsin-ites, it was a lot like Devil's Punchbowl - only more of it!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baby Quilt: Finished!! (finally...)

About 4 months ago, I decided I wanted to make a quilt for Baby Olive. It took me awhile to get started because it is, indeed, my FIRST quilt and I was pretty nervous about how/where to start. I bought a book (I chose BHG's Complete Guide to Quilting for the great step-by-step pictures inside!), picked out an amazing PATTERN TUTORIAL from Little Birdie Secrets (finding this tutorial is what inspired me to want to make a baby quilt in the first place - it is SO cute and the instructions were AWESOME! -and very simple for a first-timer like me!-) and chose a color scheme (I decided on lime green, teal, and brown - I didn't want it to be too 'pastel-y, but wanted him to be able to grow with it)

It took me forever to pick out the fabric and even longer to figure out the square combinations. BUT- once I got started, piecing together the blocks went really smoothly and before too long (2 months...) I had almost completely finished the quilt top.

That's when things start to get hairy.

In my never-made-a-quilt-before ignorance, I -on a whim- decided that I should throw the quilt top (before adding the outside border) in the washing machine on the 'normal' cycle. When I came to pull it out, this is what I found:
 An EPIC DISASTER.  
It was a tangled, ripped, frayed, pulled-apart-at-the-seams mess

I had myself a good long cry (I can blame hormones for that, right?!) and I was SO UPSET with myself for totally ruining 2 months worth of work in the time it takes for a spin cycle to complete. Seasoned quilters out there are probably wondering why in the world I would wash it at this point - especially on the normal cycle... to which I will plead 'pregnancy brain'. I'm still kicking myself for thinking that washing it before it was put together was a good idea... BUT that's how lessons are learned, right?! (why is it that I always seem to learn lessons like this the hard way?)  

So, I dried the tears, chalked it up to a learning experience, and promptly drove to the fabric store to pick up more of the same fabric to make Quilt #2. Yep. The same day. I was more determined than ever to make this quilt happen. It took me less than 1 week to finish piecing together the top (did I mention that I was determined?) and after ordering a walking foot to fit my 1989 Kenmore sewing machine (which took a few weeks...) I was able to sandwich the quilt together, add the quilt lines and binding and VOILA! Quilt #2 turned out even BETTER than Quilt #1!

The gathered block centers are my favorite part - they make the quilt so much fun and full of texture!
The border fabric is a white-on-white dots pattern - the perfect touch to an otherwise plain border
(without making the design too busy)
The backing fabric is 'minky' (THE softest fabric of all time) and it was great to work with because
it didn't slip around too much and it doesn't shrink when washed!
Do all the blocks line up perfectly? No. Are all the quilting lines even? No way. 
BUT- the quilt is overall square and VERY WELL SECURED (we don't want any repeat performances of the EPIC DISASTER above...). It has a heck of a lot of character and a really good story (of course, this is one of those stories that is only 'good' in hindsight). 

This is a true labor of love that involved a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) and I'm proud to say that my first ever quilt will be my first gift to my first child. Pretty cool, I think. :)