\Letters to My Children 2014\ January

I’m continuing my "Letters" project this year with a new group of my very dearest photography friends. Each month I’ll write a letter to one of my babies.  This month it's Jonah's turn… 2014-01-30_0001MySweetJonahOh my baby boy, what a rough month it's been for you! At only 3 months old, you had surgery to repair the hernia you were born with, and then a couple of weeks later you caught your first real sickness from your big sister. All that, on top of starting daycare, and yet you've handled it all with your usual ease and sweetness.


I'm so glad you're feeling better, and crossing my fingers that the worst is behind us. I feel like we lost a whole month and I'm ready for life to slow down a little so I can get back to savoring all your sweet goodness. It sounds so cliche, but you really are growing so fast! There's so much I want to remember... all your little chunky bits, those cheeks, your huge blue eyes, the way your head smells like pure heaven.



I know I can't pause time, but I can take a zillion photos of you, and that's almost the same thing. I've also made a promise to myself to take photos with you, so here are a couple more... I hope one day you can look back on these and see how very much I love you.




I encourage you to head over to my friend Ashleigh’s blog to read her beautiful letter to her daughter.

For Eloise, The Warrior

I'm putting a very special package in the mail today... 2013-08-18_0001

Yes, that's right... sometimes I still sew. I'm actually doing a lot of sewing lately, but this particular project was at the top of my priority list. One of my best friends, Heather, recently had her first baby. It was a difficult pregnancy and while it was expected that she would go into early labor, going into labor at 26 weeks wasn't exactly something you can prepare for. Her baby girl stayed put for a couple more weeks, but decided she couldn't wait any longer to meet her awesome parents and made her grand entrance at 28 weeks.


Scary early.

She was so tiny, but man was she a fighter. From day one, that much was clear. And that's why her parents named her Eloise - which means "warrior." I've honestly never heard of a more amazing premie... aside from being small and needing to develop a bit longer, she had zero serious complications and has been home for a few weeks now.

I was actually hoping to have this done by the time she got home, but let's be honest, I'm rarely ever that on top of things. Anyway, here it is... a special quilt for a very special baby girl. I hope it brings her comfort in those rare moments when she's not feeling so strong.





(For those that are curious, I used this tutorial as my starting point, and the fabric is Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma collection. The font is Janda Elegant Handwriting, and I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to applique it to the quilt. I also used a machine binding technique for the first time, thanks to this tutorial. I think I prefer finishing the binding by hand, but machine binding is definitely a huge timesaver.)

{nursery progress} the baby quilt


The baby quilt is DONE!  It took me a little over a week, which honestly wasn't as long as I thought it would take. I'm not sure why I was always so intimidated about quilting... I think it's the whole culture of it.  Or at least the culture I always saw at the fabric store - middle aged to elderly women scouring for batiks and taking forever at the cutting counter with their 1/4 yard cuts of 100 different fabrics. It just seemed like it wasn't for me. But I was determined to make a quilt for my little girl and when I started piecing it together I was delighted to discover that I actually really like quilting. It's like putting together a pretty puzzle... kinda nerdy, kinda artistic, definitely challenging, and all the sewing is in straight lines! What's not to love? And the more I googled for tips and inspiration, the more I realized that there's a whole new generation of quilters making really amazing, fun, modern quilts. I might be hooked.

Okay, enough babbling... here's how things went down with my first quilt.  I started with Amy Butler's Patchwork Crib/Playtime Quilt pattern from her Little Stitches for Little Ones book, and made some small deviations along the way. She laid out a specific order for piecing the blocks together, but I reordered things so that the blue and yellow would be alternated. I also used a straight-line approach for the quilting instead of stitch-in-the-ditch like AB used in the pattern.

I used 2 1/2" bias strips for the binding instead of the 3 1/4" specified in the pattern, because that's what worked with the attachment I had for my bias tape maker.  The pattern was pretty weak on instructions for doing the binding, but thankfully this tutorial and this tutorial saved me.

The last step to finishing the quilt was to applique our baby's name to the bottom right corner.  I used the same approach described here and hand embroidered the letters with white embroidery thread.  It pretty much makes the whole quilt so I'm sad I can't show you pics until after she's born (we're keeping the name a secret).  So until then, here's a not-nearly-as-cute idea of how it looks (thanks Photoshop!):

Oh, and here are the fabrics I used: the yellow checks and blue checks are both City Weekend by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S for Moda, and the yellow and blue dots and blue with white birds are both Hideaway by Lauren + Jessi Jung for Moda.

Now that I've gotten over my quilt-phobia, I'm already planning my next quilt!  The fabric arrived last week, but I have a lot of other sewing to get done for the nursery before I can dive back into quilt land.  Next up... the ottoman.