I’m not one to create whole quilts from a single fabric designer, but this one is the exception!
It started with a Denyse Schmidt charm pack purchased in postpartum delirium. In the chaos of first-time motherhood, through emotions and hormones and sleeplessness, I needed a straightforward project, an anchor for my soul, my me-ness, something to get me sewing.
The great thing about Denyse Schmidt is that her fabric lines tend to blend well together. I pulled all the bits and pieces I had in my stash, adding a few solids (of which I keep little on hand), and cut 5-inch squares. I could sit on the couch, newborn asleep across my lap, and play with matching prints to solids or sketching half-square triangle layouts.
I call it “Transitions”. It speaks of the journey into motherhood, the way some things change and others stay the same at their core. I finished it with a grey Lotta Jansdotter binding and chunks of vintage sheets in the backing. It measures 49×56 inches.
And this time, I’m not cropping out the quilt holder. Those hands held me as I fell to pieces, and those feet paced the wee hours with our swaddled son, and that heart encouraged me and did his best to understand. It has taken time, but we have come through it a family, bound together and beautiful, reflecting effort well-spent and growing love.
It’s pieces like these that make me so thankful for the luxury of being a quilter, that I have the ability to distill these bits of soul into practical, wonderful works. I can look at this quilt and remember how very hard those first months were, but they became something lovely after all.
Recently two friends of mine came to the conclusion that it is time to sell their home of over a decade. Many times I have been on the receiving end of their generous hospitality, so I wanted to make a gift for each to reflect all the love and memories of that home.
I started with sketches of the house itself.
I thought of the nonhuman residents as well.
Then it was just a matter of raw-edged appliqué, a bit of decorative stitching, turning under the blocks’ edges, and fitting them to embroidery hoop “frames”.
Sometimes I love a gift more in the making than the person receiving, but I could tell this time that wasn’t the case. Hoping that as time goes by, these little mementos will bring back sweet memories!
I’ve been neglecting my blog – but not my 10-month-old! We have been so busy crawling, cruising, eating, climbing, clinging, investigating – and napping in 30-minute stretches – that it’s all I can do some days to sew a stitch, much less document it. This little project came together so quickly that it’s worth a nap to write it up! The idea came from our first trip to the pool this summer and a need for an easy way to dry off the Squish!For one baby beach kimono, you will need:
- Two microfiber kitchen towels, about 15×25 inches (I got mine from the dollar store!)
- Sewing machine, scissors, pins, and thread
Pre-wash your towels if you’d like (I did), then cut one in half width-wise. You now have two rectangles 15×12.5 inches.
Turn the cut end under about 1/4 inch and pin. This will be the center opening of your kimono.
Zigzag stitch over the raw edge. Or, if you’d like, turn the edge in once more and straight stitch. Either way is fine!
With right sides together, pin the cut rectangles to the second, whole towel. Pin straight across the top, but only pin halfway up the side. Be as precise as you choose! (I just found the center by folding and marking loosely with a finger.)
Sew along the top and two sides with a straig stitch, leaving the armholes open. Sew as close to the original hemmed edge as possible, or even catching into it. Then just turn it inside out…
And plop it on the nearest baby! (Bonus points if you’ve matched it to the baby’s eyes!) Size-wise, it ought to do for a child age 6 months up to at least 18 months.
Now to slather on the SPF and hit the water! Happy summer, y’all!