Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Quilt Is Born

This weekend I essentially locked myself in the house. The aim? To finish a project I've been procrastinating on for a while now: a quilt for Baby Khy! Since we're expecting Khy Christopher to arrive on or around February 15th, I suddenly realized I'd better get cracking!

There's a neat story behind this material... I found this remnant somewhere while on vacation and completely fell in love with it. As you might have guessed, I'm completely obsessed with stars and the night sky, and I loved this whimsical pattern. I paired it up with some gender-friendly purple and blue to match the color of the moons, and stuck the material away on a shelf, waiting. When I found out that Robin was expecting Khy, I immediately thought of this project. She is one of the few people I know who would appreciate the material as much as I do!

My sister Anna graciously cut out my material for me, since 1) rotary blades scare me (not in a "I'm going to cut my hands off" way, but in a "I'm going to slip and - whoops! - there goes my fabric!" kind of way. This was especially stressful since I had such a limited amount of material to work with) and 2) I am not a precise person. I'm not detail oriented, a perfectionist, etc, and cutting out squares kind of requires that. Anna, however, is fearless and perfectionistic. A perfect combination. :)

I sort of took over the kitchen for awhile, lol... here are all my cut-out blocks spread out on the kitchen table. Seeing it all laid out was great. I had imagined it in my mind but it's always nice to see the reality!

Time to start sewing!

Squares become rectangles...

And end up as strips...

And then, just because Robin is my bestest friend, I actually pause to iron the seams out flat instead of just finger-pressing them. :) Finally, it was all pieced together!

I had struggled over the question of whether to hand-quilt it or tie the blocks... on the one hand, I love the time investment that hand-quilting represents... each stitch is literally made with love and thoughts of the loved ones the quilt will warm and cover. On the other hand, I remember watching all my siblings twirl the ties on our favorite baby blanket while they nursed, creating a very tactile memory. I was torn right up until we tied the blocks, and then I stepped back and just loved the effect. So perfect.

I did do the binding by hand, however!

Several hours and many sore and pricked fingers later, my labor of love was all done.

Khy's stunt double...

Trying out the quilt. :) We are a crazy family of girls... we wrapped the baby doll in the blanket to get pictures and everyone wanted their chance to hold it, even though only one of us is anywhere near the doll-playing age! :)

Making this quilt was a very healing act for me... I collected all the CD's that Robin and I used to listen to together and talk about playing for our babies someday and played them all day. Making something tangible was also nice since I so often feel like there's nothing I can do to help except offer support and love. That old saying about how a baby changes everything? Totally true. I love Robin and I am excited for her, but there is also a certain amount of fear there that I am losing my best friend. Fear and guilt (over not being able to do more) make a lonely combination, and there isn't really anyone I can share these feelings with. Being able to relive some of my most precious memories of times we spent together while creating something that will hopefully contribute to our times together in the future, granted in a roundabout way, helped "stitch up" some of the hurting places in my heart. :)

Baby Khy, I can't wait to meet you! I love your mommy so much and I know she will be a terrific mom! Please come soon - there's a lot of love waiting out here.

1 comment:

The Real Me said...

So sweet! I love the fabrics you picked.