Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Concentration on Quilts

We went away with the baby for the first time this weekend - or at least for the first time where we all had to share a tiny hotel room.  I just figured we'd keep her up late and then all go to bed at the same time.  But that doesn't really work when the crib is right next to the bed and she can stand up and stare into your eyes while she cries you a river Justin Timberlake style.  Just picture us, laying her down and then jumping over the bed to hide on the floor with a shared I-pad for 40 minutes while we waited for her to "really" go to sleep.  So traveling is decidedly less fun with a baby, but we're still glad we went, if only to appreciate being home more!

Speaking of firsts, I probably should've started this blog with my first quilt, since that was the beginning of the current crafting era - the project where I finally threw my mother's 1962 Brother sewing machine out the window (not literally, I actually took it to the goodwill truck because *technically* it still worked) and bought a modern sewing machine; the kind that can applique and sew buttonholes without making you sacrifice your first born.  

This quilt was for my niece.  I'm going to stop apologizing for the quality of my pictures now (but I just want YOU to know that I know that they aren't great).  When I look at this quilt now the first thing I see is that I have a lot to learn about choosing fabrics.  So many of these blend into each other more than I wanted them to and then POW that deep purple really socks you in the eye, huh?  I also see that I don't love the long term visual effects of a tied quilt.  The batting gets messy looking after lots of washing, which means it's probably time for me to learn to really quilt.  

But now let me introduce you to the awesome.  Each of those little diamonds (inside the purple/yellow/pink squares) is actually a flip up door hiding a picture of an animal. 

And there are two of each animal.  So this quilt is actually like that old game concentration where you try to match up the animals.  There are poorly appliqued elephants, sheep, monkeys and horses, but for the cat and the dog I embroidered the baby's actual pets.  This is her kitty, and that is her doggy:

This quilt recently came back to me because, like many a baby quilt, it does not fit a traditional bed and at the age of two my niece is a member of the bunk bed club and needs a bunk bed quilt.  I wish I had been warned about this in quilting class - that those baby quilts only see the light of day until the baby can climb out of the crib and then they're useless.  So my sister asked me to add something to it; make it longer, make it fit a bed.  And I would love for it to be useful! But making a quilt bigger is like hemming pants, sewing on buttons or de-balling a sweater.  I can do it, but I won't.   For her third birthday there will be a new quilt for the big girl, I'm thinking cats...

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