At 8.05am today I was up, getting my girl dressed, and thinking about how at that exact moment three months before, her little body was pulled out and suddenly appeared on my chest. How can it be three months already? In some ways it seems like I’ve known her much longer, and I suppose I have. She started kicking and pounding me back in September and thankfully never stopped.
I still feel like the luckiest mama in the world. Obviously I am biased, but I am in awe that we made something so beautiful and perfect. I grew a person…the human body is so amazing it blows my mind. But then I am still amazed by the telephone…
Alana is such a good baby, and a good night-time sleeper, now. She smiles at everyone, especially older people and laughs at our silly faces. She likes to move and dance and chatter away to us. I feel like she’ll be an early talker, she will have a conversation with anything. She loves to look at the books we read to her, and splash me in the bath. So far I’ve only found three things she objects to – the baby seat trolleys in the supermarket, being squirted in the face with milk, and putting her arms in jackets. That all seems reasonable to me.
And because lots of people asked on twitter, yes, the quilt is handmade. The pattern is Storytime Squares Quilt by Made by Rae. Fabric is lots of random bits. Cardigan is ravelled here.
Three of the four little girls I mentioned in my last post have a quilt of their own, made and gifted in time for their arrival into the world. Of course there were plans for little Emily to have one too, but her early arrival combined with not just another baby to make one for, but one that I had to actually look after too, meant things got a little behind.
It started off with a pile of 4 inch squares, as many as I could cut from the fabric scraps I’d chosen. Piecing began, but soon I realised that an actual plan was going to be required. I did a little drawing and kept on going. It’s a little bigger than I imagined, more of a first-bed size than baby shaped. Hopefully that’ll just mean that it’ll be in use for longer.
And it feels so good to be back at my sewing machine! I’ve accepted that I enjoy patchwork and quilting so much more than garment making, and I’m going to stop feeling guilty about it. There’s no rule that says that because I sew, I have to make clothes…
I have been knitting, and pictured above is a little bit of my new favourite ever knitted thing. (Sorry little brother, your kilt socks have moved down to Number Two.) The pattern won’t be available for a while, but you can see better examples of it over at Ysolda’s blog. I’ll make more – I love a baby gift that looks impressive but is really easy and fun to knit. And there are so many possibilities for colour combinations.
But mainly today I was going to talk about another finished quilt, which made it to the completed pile a few weeks ago. Suddenly I had 30 minutes to take pictures before it had to be sent, and it was raining, a lot.
So some not-so-great indoor pictures are all I have –
An improvised top, backing from Ikea (and most appropriate for a house-warming gift – I need to find some more), and the binding was mostly leftovers from my Picnic Blanket skirt with some top leftovers to fill in the gaps. It was my first time doing a completely machine-sewn binding that wasn’t on a quilt destined for a dog, and I like it. I find the teeny little stitches all the way around very pleasing!
I quilted this using an awesome tutorial from Film in the Fridge called Big Diamond, Little Diamond. Definitely using this again, its so pretty. My photos really don’t do it justice! I just have one more quilt to write about and I’m all caught up. Maybe I will attempt an actual knitting post next…
Its still early in the day but I have already learned some important lessons. One – getting up a little early to make blueberry pancakes is always a very smart idea. Two – don’t wait until you’ve already been outside and in public for 30 minutes before checking to see if your trousers are on inside out. And three – don’t wait until the day you need to post a handmade gift to take pretty outdoor photos. Because um, it’s pouring.
And so I know I promised knitting this time, but its going to be a (different) finished quilt instead. This has probably been my most productive quilt-making year ever, though I’ve still only made a handful. But this one was my favourite – a quilt for my brother and his wife for when they got married in May, though I was a little late getting it to them. But they knew it was coming, and my brothers’ only design/colour request was ‘nothing too girly.’
Just some simple log cabin blocks, in lots of fabrics I love. It started as a little pile of Japanese prints in beautiful, rich dark blues, and then they met up with a little bundle of neutrals from Ray Stitch. A few things were added from stash, including the gorgeous bird hand-print you can see in the second last picture (I’d been hoarding that one for a while). The backing was a duvet cover* I spied in Ikea that I thought would be perfect and it all came together to make something lovely.
*oooh I just realised I have enough left to make a new curtain for my craft room…
It was a very peaceful weekend. I read, knit a hat and slept, a lot. The hours I spent conscious were pretty few and far between, but I think my body needed it. This doesn’t make for the most interesting blog post, so I’m sorry. But mainly I just wanted to appear to here to thank you for the comments, and many PM’s and emails of love given what I hinted at in my last post.
Things are still fine, though I most likely won’t mention it much here. If I ever do, I’ll warn you so if you want to, for whatever reason, skip it. There was a time not too long ago where I found sudden mentions of babies and pregnancy jarring and there were several places both online and in real life that were just too difficult to visit. As strange as this sounds given my current situation, I often still find this to be true.
Soon it will be a full year since our terrible loss, and I realised this morning that more than a full season has passed with me growing my second little one. Where has the time gone? The coming weeks will be busy – I have some wonderful friends coming to visit, and there will be adventures as we try to show them as much of Scotland as we can manage, including a trip to Shetland. I had a crazy idea this weekend that it’ll be possible to make a quilt for the newly-decorated guest bedroom in time for their arrival. Still trying to talk myself down from that one…
I am working on something new. In three weeks we have A Big Day in our family, and it requires both a gift and something to wear.
This the gift – nothing very fancy or groundbreaking, just something I love to make, in fabrics I love, for people I love. It’s coming together quickly and I planned to finish the top this weekend. But um, the sun is shining. So off outside I go to dig and potter about, and I’ll take my makings with me when we travel up North for a few days and hope my mum doesn’t mind me using her sewing machine.
The Something To Wear is in its very early stages and I am taking my time to get it right. For the first time I made a little test bodice and got some help from friends to get a good fit. There’s a little sneak peak on Ysolda’s blog just now (ignore the silly face – I had a fit of the giggles and didn’t know where to look), along with a very thoughtful post on the fashion industry, and our wardrobes. Enjoy your weekend x
So…to the exciting thing first – the winner of the Dropcloth sampler, Yarn Yarn silk embroidery threads and possibly a couple of other goodies from the depths of my craft room. Congratulations Nicola! Your post was picked at random and I will send you an email in the next few minutes… Thank you to everyone who entered x
And so back to usual business…the new chickens are settling in well, and I am most definitely head-over-heels in love with them. These girls are much more active that our last lot of rescue chickens. This is due to a change in the law for these kind of caged hens in the UK, who must now have (a little) more space, and a place to scratch and roost. It’s better, but still not good enough in my opinion. They have a some natural behaviour, but looked frankly amazed when I carried one outside for a wander. Fresh air is something completely new for my girls.
And so the names – Lady Dorothea Featherbottom (Dotty), Scarlet o’Hara (Scarlet), WPC Polly Parker (Parker) and Duchess Mimi the Second (Mimi). Here’s little timid Mimi. I knit her a wee sweater as she’s in the worst shape physically and is completely bald on her belly. She’s very pale and has been over-heated, so the sweater should help her adjust more gradually. She seemed quite happy as I got her dressed, but a little less tolerant a few minutes later. I’ll try it again when we put them outside, she’ll need it then and might be a bit more grateful!
Everyone in our house is getting new things this week. Mr Saz and I treated ourselves to a fancy new mattress and bedding and it is lovely. And so last night after the men were relaxing after getting the mattress upstairs, I sat down at my sewing machine and bound a little quilt for Penny that I pieced and quilted a while ago.
This is made from leftovers of a large quilt I’m making for the humans and as you can see above, is nothing really to be proud of! But the top is a lovely soft cotton flannel, and Penny seems very attached to it already…