Christmas Card Reject

Wrapped In Dots Christmas
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I Get to Keep This One!

A Quilt to Keep

Well, here it is.  The sampler quilt I plan on giving to my baby, to be born  this December.  I don’t think there is much more to say about these quilts that I haven’t already said.  This project has stretched out for a loooooooooooooooong time.  So long, that I’m excited to be able to move onto other things.  After I finish those darned Halloween costumes, of course!

I took the quilt to a nearby apple orchard to take some decent photos.  I still have yet to perfect the art of photographing a quilt.  One day, I suppose.

Back of Keeper Quilt
Quilt in the Apple Orchard
Back of Quilt
Front of Quilt
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A Quilt to Donate

Front of Donation Quilt

This is the story of two quilts.  The completed second quilt will be revealed in another blog post.  This quilt is not mine to keep, but hopefully it will go to a good home where it will be loved.

At the beginning of this year, I was beginning to despair that I would not be able to have any more children.  Or, more specifically, that I would not be able to sustain another pregnancy to full term.  You see, I have had three miscarriages, and the older I get the more likely it seemed to me that I would continue to have them.  In short, I was losing hope.

That’s when I conceived of this idea to make a pair of quilts.  I used a good portion of my Christmas money to buy a stash of bright and cheery fabrics and started making sampler blocks.   I decided that I would make two quilts: one to donate and one to keep for myself in the hope that I would be able to have another baby.  A friend of mine quickly nicknamed it my Hope Quilt.  Much like one collects things in a Hope Chest in the hope that you will one day get married, my quilt was made in the hope that I would one day have a third child living in my house.  I liked the theme of hope, but must admit that I’ve never been fond of the whole idea of Hope Chests.  Alas, it is not a perfect metaphor.

I had always planned for my quilt to be donated to Divine Mercy Care in order to be auctioned off at their annual gala.  It is an organization that does many things, but one of their largest efforts involves providing obstetrics care to those who cannot afford it.  They do this through their entity, the Tepeyac Family Center, which is where I go for my obstetric and gynecological care.

Now, this is a quilting/sewing blog, and words like “gynecological” normally don’t have a place here, and I promise I will try to make it brief. In fact, if you just want to see pretty pictures, feel free to skip to the end. I just wanted to say what a blessing it is to be able to go somewhere and see doctors who treat me with so much respect and compassion. A place where, after having three miscarriages, no one even obliquely suggests that maybe I shouldn’t be trying to have any more children. A place where the doctors really work with me to try to figure out what the underlying cause may be, and try to find a humane way to provide care. A place where fertility is not treated like a disease that needs to be cured.

Anyway, it is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  This is the third time that I have donated a quilt for this charity.  And, after having suffered my third miscarriage, I am expected to deliver a baby at full term for the third time.  That’s a lot of threes.  If I were a superstitious person, I might find more significance in that.  Since I don’t and have nothing more to say, here are some pretty pictures for you to enjoy:

Back of Quilt
Closeup of Back
Closeup of Numbers
Closeup of Dresden Plate
Closeup of Pieced Circles
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Quilting the Quilt

Quilting

These quilts ended up being a lot larger than I usually make baby quilts. As a result, they were a bit of a bear to quilt on my machine. Especially using this curved pattern. This is definitely a labor of love.

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Layouts

Now that I’m done with the quilt blocks, it is time to decide which blocks go in which quilt.  One quilt I am keeping for the new baby and one I am going to donate.  It turns out that my kids are really invested in which blocks we get to keep and are determined to have a say.  Who knew??  Kids are so funny sometimes.

So, I let them help decide which ones we get to keep.  Then, they wanted to help figure out the layout of the blocks within each quilt.  Maybe I have some future quilters on my hands?  Or maybe just some future control freaks.  Anyway, one result was that I had a hard time getting a picture of this process without a child in the way.

Sorting
Quilt #1 Layout
Quilt #2 Layout
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Halloween is Fast Approaching

My kids are under the impression that they can be anything they want for Halloween, because I can make it happen for them.  This is not necessarily true, but fortunately their requests have been ones that I can handle.

Ferdinand and the Bee

Last years’ joint costume was Ferdinand the bull and the bee who stung him.  The Ferdinand costume was more “assembled” than “made”.  The only thing I actually made was the tail, and that isn’t even in the picture.  I did make the tutu for the bee and added the black lace stripes to the yellow shirt.  All in all, a very easy do-it-yourself costume.

The Wonderpets
The Wonderpets - Back

The year before that, they decided to be the Wonderpets (minus one pet).  This was a more ambitious undertaking.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see the awesome capes with the Wonderpets logo sewn on – I really should have taken a better picture of that!  But you can see the homemade sail to the flyboat, hats, and various animal appendages.  This is the costume undertaking that has led my kids to believe that I can make anything they dream up.

This year is the first year that they are not requesting a joint costume.  They assure me that they are no longer going to change their minds – something they have done many times up until this very date.  Assuming all goes well, this year we will have a Captain America and a Fancy Nancy.  I guess that means I really should start working on that…

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Block #24: Hand Appliqued Tree

I am rather proud of this block.  Mostly because it is completely appliqued by hand and took a really long time to complete.  Also, I love the rainbow effect of the leaves.

Raiinbow Tree

Unfortunately, it’s not a great photo. Maybe I can blame the blurriness on the fact that most times when I try to take a picture, this is what is going on in the background:

My Photographer

Super cute, but not super conducive to blog awesomeness.

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Block #23: Mosaic

I love improvisational blocks – mainly for the time saved, but also for the fun, modern feel. I made this block using the technique described here on Oh, Fransson! Super easy and pretty cool results:

Mosaic Block

One last block to go!

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Blocks#21 and #22: Hand Embroidery

I knew that I wanted to include some hand embroidery in this quilt, and I decided to go with a giraffe and an elephant because they are featured in some of the fabrics I have been using throughout these many blocks. I found some super cute embroidered animal patterns through Sew Mama Sew, and modified them slightly so they more closely resembled the ones in my fabrics.

Giraffe Close-Up
Giraffe
Elephant

The only stitches used are split stitch and back stitch. Those are my go-to stitches. I should probably really make an effort at learning more, but I have about ten-million projects I want to do before that is going to happen!

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Block #20: Just a Little Fussy-Cutting

There’s not much to say about this block.  I like the crispness of the squares and triangles, and the way the points all lined up so nicely for me.  And I like the little instances where I was able to fussy-cut the fabric.  I think this block would work nicely for a whole quilt but, alas, this one is destined for a sampler!

Aquares Fussy-Cut
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