Sunday, September 23, 2012

Something special for a new baby

One of my dearest friends had her third baby two weeks ago - a sweet little girl. We happen to have the same family makeup (girl, boy, girl) with the same age gaps, but hers were all born one year later. Couldn't have planned it better if we tried!

I have sewed for her eldest daughter before, and her son, but I really wanted to make something special for baby #3. I decided on a quilt early on, but took my time choosing the design. I wanted something pretty and suitable for a baby girl, but not too babyish.

I was really inspired by a quilt over at Freshly Pieced (oh how I love it!) and decided to try my own version. If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I am not much of a quilter. My previous efforts have all been very basic - strips of squares sewn together with sashing in between. So I was a little nervous about attempting the urban lattice quilt, but it came together surprisingly well! I paper-pieced for the first time, and really loved it. It was easy to do and the results are great - I could never be that precise otherwise. This is one of those quits where precision is really important, otherwise the lattice will look all wonky and you won't get the same effect.

See?! Paper piecing gives great accuracy. I'm hooked.
I used fabrics from a FQ bundle of Amy Butler's Ginger Bliss collection. I've already bought some (okay, all) of Heather Ross' Nursery Versary collection to make another one.

The quilting is very simple. I'm really bad at that part, and, I think this design lends itself to simple quilting in order to show off the nice clean lines. And I'm lazy. I simply quilted around the coloured squares.

The backing is a basic pink and white polka dot from my stash.

I changed the dimensions of the blocks to suit myself. Each block is 6 inches square, making the quilt 36x36 inches. 

I was sad to part with this little number, I really like it. I hope I can stay motivated enough to make another, to keep, in the not too distant future.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Liberty playdate

My baby turned 1 a few weeks ago. Crazy. I can't believe how fast the last year has gone. I really wanted to make her a special little dress to unwrap on the big day, and keep as a memento of how little she is (my older kids have been big, tall babies; Baby A has bucked that trend and is a very petite little thing - such a novelty for me!). 

I've never sewn the Oliver + S Playdate dress before (although I've been lucky enough to receive one, thanks Nicole!). I think it looks cutest on little girls so I was keen to sew one before Baby A gets too big. It went together beautifully, like all O+S patterns.

The fabric is from Liberty's new quilting cotton range, Bloomsbury Gardens. I bought every print in the aqua/turquoise colourway as I just adore it. The quality of this fabric is just amazing. It has the same smooth and silky qualities as the tana lawn, but obviously in a heavier weight fabric. It's much cheaper than the lawn too which is hugely appealing.

I mentioned on this blog a year ago that Baby A is hearing impaired. It's been such a rollercoaster of a year dealing with her hearing loss and all that entails. One year on and I think we have more questions than answers - we still don't have a clear picture of her hearing loss, except that it is worse than we first thought. We've been plowing away at the early intervention since she was 7 weeks old though, and now, at 12 months, Baby A is doing beautifully. She has so many words (more than my kids with normal hearing did at her age) and is coping pretty well with her hearing aids. I still worry about her, but I wish I could travel back in time and tell myself that it's all going to be okay.

Carved MOP buttons

Birthday cake test drive