baby quilts

More robots!

I had some leftover “robots” after finishing the top of my latest quilt when I got invited to a baby shower of a colleague. How perfect that she’s having a boy— scrappy robot quilt! I cut 5 inch squares and pieced them together. I’m probably going to quilt it diagonally through the squares. IMG_1963

I was able to finish piecing the top in a morning, and I have to say it was very satisfying to sew a quick, scrappy quilt. I think I need to do this more often (not everything has to be a new challenge…).

I also pulled some fabrics and cut the pieces to make the Glam Garlands quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. I bought her book modern PATCHwork just for this pattern. This quilt is going to be for a very dear friend of mine here in LA who recently had a baby.

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-erica

Pieced Backing

Apparently I am making my largest quilt so far since I was unable to use one piece of fabric for the backing! My latest quilt is wider than the width of fabric so I had to do my first pieced backing (I know I’m a little late to the pieced backing world…). I have to say, I think it looks really cute.

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(fabric is Robert Kaufman: Organic Robot Factory)

Now I’m ready to quilt this, but I’m still pondering how I am going to do it. I might just keep it simple and do vertical straight lines on the sides of the seams.

Yesterday I spent a long time cutting pieces for two more baby quilts and had two furry companions helping me out.

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-erica

Rest

I’ve been home from the hospital for one week now. Last week I was hospitalized for two days with placental bleeding and a lupus flare. It was extremely scary. The good- most important- news is that baby is OK! I’ll have to admit that I have had more “excitement” during my pregnancy than I was ever hoping for.

So, this week I’ve been home resting. I’m on a few more medications that will hopefully calm the lupus down. I’m not sure if it’s the medicine, the scare from the bleed, growing my little girl, or the lupus itself but I’ve been pretty tired. I’m sleeping a full night and then taking 1-2 naps a day. Crazy!

Yesterday I finally felt like I had enough energy to start sewing again. Just finished the top of a quilt I started AGES ago. This afternoon I may cut out pieces for another quilt. Feels nice to sew.

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(fabric is Robert Kaufman: Organic Robot Factory)

– erica

Sebastian

I love my latest quilt. Which makes me happy that it’s going to another one of my favorite girlfriends, Clara (and her beautiful baby boy, Sebastian).  Clara and I met at Hennepin County Medical Center– HCMC– where we did our Internal Medicine residency. I became really close with Clara when she was chief resident and I was a senior resident.

For two years, Clara and I were also the “detox docs”. One of us went to “detox” every single day of the entire year.  Minneapolis detox was a unique experience, maybe only to be rivaled by my time in “jail”.  We would have to get buzzed in by one of the staff and pass through the entryway and elevator that frequently smelled like urine and vomit. Once inside, we would sign standing orders for each person that had arrived in the previous 24 hours, and then see people with medical issues that needed to be dealt with during their brief (but usually recurring) stay.

After being chief resident, Clara went on to do a Critical Care fellowship. She is one of the most dedicated, thoughtful girls I know. She is an amazing doctor, and I would totally trust her to take care of one of my family members- although hopefully none of my family members will be in the ICU anytime soon.

 

Clara and Sebastian.

 

Jake and I were unfortunately not able to make it to Clara’s wedding in Mexico City, but we were able to make it to her Minneapolis wedding. She was stunning!

 

Clara was one of my bridesmaids.  I’m so lucky to have such wonderful friends!

 

Once and awhile we got out of the hospital….

 

And sometimes we even got dressed up!

 

And, here it is…. my equilateral triangle quilt! I made this quilt without a pattern. Normally I like to follow patterns because having to think TOO much after a full day of work is extremely painful. However, I got the vision for this quilt in my head and couldn’t get it out. I really wanted to make it asymmetrical with a large amount of white space on two sides. I also left some of the triangle spaces blank.

I used an equilateral triangle template to cut out the triangles. It was a little tedious, but sometimes I actually love tedious, repetitive stuff I can do while watching TV.

I like this quilt so much, I might even try to write up a pattern- so I can make another one! I’m thinking of pinks, yellows and oranges next time.

And this time I actually remembered to sew my label into the binding. Awesome, huh?

-erica

All Wrapped Up

It took a LONG time to finally get this quilt to Addison, but it was totally worth the wait. Look at how adorable she is! This is the first quilt that I have made where I actually got to see my quilt with the baby! (I have had to mail out all the rest.)

Addison kept making the most adorable “fish” faces. I cannot wait to see her again.

– erica

An Angel and Addison

Jenn has been like an angel in my life. I met Jenn through my husband. He has been friends with her husband since high school.  When Jake and I got engaged in Boston and decided to have our wedding in California, Jenn immediately offered to help with anything. And I could tell she actually meant it!

Since moving to California we haven’t actually gotten together in person that much. I think this might be because Jenn has 4 beautiful children to take care of and I am working full time. But we’ve been in constant communication. It never fails that if I’ve had a tough day I will get a text message from Jenn checking in on me or reminding me of something coming up. She’s amazing.

Last fall Jenn had a baby shower on a yacht in Newport Beach (um, yup, so totally cool). She had 3 boys and was finally expecting a girl! Everything, naturally, was PINK. It was a gorgeous shower and I was lucky to meet all of Jenn’s girlfriends.

I had plans to make Jenn a baby quilt at this time, but then, a few life events happened, and the quilt got delayed.

Addison was born on January 27th at 3:11PM.

Here’s the whole family. What a great looking bunch.

Seriously, she is going to be so spoiled with 3 older brothers.

I knew that the colors of Addison’s room were pink and brown, so when I saw these fabrics (the Just Dandy line for Robert Kaufman) I knew I had to use them for her quilt. This quilt has been a long time in the making. You can read my prior posts about the Retro Flowers quilt inspiration, sewing curves, and deciding what size to make it. Now that it’s finished, I think it’s my favorite quilt I’ve made so far.

I love the back too!

I decided to do straight line quilting to offset all of the curved piecing. When I started quilting I got the idea to only quilt half of each flower petal. So, it has dense parallel line quilting in half of the flower, with no quilting in the other half. I love how it turned out.

I think it adds nice depth to the quilt.

I think Jenn and I might actually be able to get together this Tuesday morning. I’ll be sure to post a picture of us together!

-erica

ps. I’m a little bummed that I forgot to sew one of my new labels into the quilt.

 

Just Dandy

This quilt is taking longer than I anticipated. But that’s actually a pretty common occurance with my sewing. I always have grand ideas about how much I’m going to do, but then it doesn’t quite happen (sometimes I’m just tired after a long day at work).

I based this quilt on the floral crosshatch print by Josephine Kimberling in her Just Dandy line for Robert Kaufman. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is in print anymore. I decided to supplement the print with some pink and brown solids. I am frequently drawn to using just a few prints with many solids. I find that the prints are so amazing and I feel like you don’t notice them as much if you use a lot of them together.

 

Here’s a closeup of the selvedge.

I’m planning on quilting with parralel lines. This could take awhile…

– erica

Best Baby Quilt Size?

So, I’ve made a lot of baby quilts. It’s actually the only size quilt I’ve made so far. And recently I was talking to my sister about them and she suggested that I make the baby quilts rectangular so they fit a crib or toddler bed. She felt like they would get more use this way. I don’t have a crib so I looked it up on the internet and the suggested size for a crib quilt is 32 inches by 52 inches.

This is one of the quilts I am working on right now and since having that discussion with my sister I decided I needed to add another row of 3 flowers (so it will be 3 x 4 flowers). So, back to the cutting board and back to sewing curves again.

Those of you with babies, what size do you think is most useful for a baby quilt? If I’m taking so much time to make a baby quilt, I definitely want to make them a useful size!

If you’re looking for another great gift for a new mama, check out my breastfeeding poncho tutorial!

– erica

Sewing Curves

Before I started sewing the Retro Flowers pattern I had watched a video on You Tube about using the “curve master presser foot” for my sewing machine. Gosh, it looked really easy. See for yourself:

Well, it didn’t quite work like that for me.

(I bought my foot here on amazon)

First of all, when I put the foot on my machine and then started to sew, my needle immediately broke because it went straight into the foot. So, I had to move the needle position over to the left (2 clicks on my machine to 2.5– 3.5 is my center position).

Then, I realized that it totally matters which piece of fabric is on the bottom when you are sewing the two pieces together. If you look at the template below you have a “U” shaped piece of fabric and a “fat” curve piece of fabric:

 You need to have the “U” shaped piece on the bottom and the “fat” curve piece on top.

And then it took me even longer to figure out that you have to put some decent tension (in addition to holding the piece up) on the “fat” curve piece when you are sewing the two together.

After a lot of trial and error, it wasn’t so hard anymore. I have finished sewing all the curved pieces together and am now assembling my flower blocks. I think I have about 30 to go.

In the future, I think I would cut out some spare pieces that I could trash because I seemed to botch about three pieces each time I started piecing (before I got the hang of it again). Which means a lot of time seam ripping.

I’m thinking I’m really going to like this quilt.

– erica

A baby quilt for Anika

I feel like I am always saying, “Marit is my most beautiful friend.” (My husband is cringing as he reads that sentance because of my poor grammar. I like to say things that don’t make sense like: “most beautiful”).

I remember the exact moment that I met Marit. It was at Match Day in 2006 at the University of Minnesota.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with medical training, you start off by doing four years of undergraduate college. Most people major in science or math (I studied Spanish).  Then you go to medical school for 4 years.  Are you done yet? Nope. Then you do a residency for a minimum of another 3 years.  Residency is the time when you are learning your speciality and working crazy, long shifts (think medical TV shows).

Match Day is one of those old medical school traditions, that seems absolutely crazy if you think about it too much. During the fourth year of medical school, each student submits a rank list of their choices for where they want to do their residency. And, each program also sumbits their own list. Then, a computer does some sort of algorthrithmic magic and spits out a giant “MATCH LIST” which decides where each medical school student will be spending the next 3+ years of their life doing their residency training. And, of course (I mean, why not?), when the computer does this magic, it turns into a binding contract that you have to honor.

Our school has a big party on Match Day and each person is called up to the podium to receive an envelope with their fate inside. Then we all open them up at the same time. It’s a bit nerve racking. I mean, what if the computer didn’t “match” you where you wanted to go… (binding contract, remember)?

So, back to Marit, I met her on Match Day in 2006. We found out we were both going to be spending the next three years at HCMC [Hennepin County Medical Center] doing our residencies in Internal Medicine. And I’m so glad. Thank you giant computer.

This picture is actually from our graduation party in 2009. Marit is on the left, I’m in the middle and Michelle (one of our staff) is on the right. Don’t we look happy?

 

These are some of the amazing, beautiful, smart, wonderful girls that were in my residency class with me. I could not have asked for a better bunch of girls.

 

This is Marit’s 30th birthday. There really isn’t anything better than 80’s parties.

 

And of course, here she is in my wedding! After arriving jetlagged from Australia, she rocked the high heels (while 5 months pregnant).

 

Anika was born in July (yes, almost a year ago now). We were back in town last August and I got to meet her. So adorable! She’s so tiny!

 

I wish I lived closer so I could see Anika more. Luckily for me, Marit sends me photos that always make me smile.

 

I bought this Kate Spain material before Anika was born (when we didn’t know if she was a boy or girl yet, because Marit didn’t find out).  I think it actually looks pretty girly, so lucky thing she’s a girl.

 

This is round two of the quilt. I like the diagonal quilting better than the straight line quilting here.

The quilt pattern is from Camille Roskelley’s book: simplify. The pattern is “coming home”. The fabric is Kate Spain, Fandango.

– erica

ps. Did I mention it’s also great to have a friend who is a cardiologist who can help answer your questions about the effects lupus has had on your heart? (My newly discovered heart issues might be a later post)