My Family · My Kids · Quilts and Quilting

Catching Up

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It’s been so long, I don’t even know where to begin.  In fact, that’s what’s taken me so long to write a post – so much to write about and where to begin?

Last post was on May 16th, and since then, the major events have been a birthday, a birth day, and a birthday.  I’ll go in order….

Birthday…

Julia turned nine.  NINE!  My little baby!  We had a little (tiny) gathering of family and Julia helped make her birthday cake.  I iced it, but she did the decorating. 

Here it is:

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A Birth Day…

I’m now a Great Aunt, though I prefer the term “Awesome Aunt” because Great Aunt makes me sound ancient.  And not just to my own ears.  So, I’m now an Awesome Aunt.  Our nephew, Joe, and his wife, Sage, welcomed their first child, a boy, Levi, a few days after Julia’s birthday.  So exciting!!!  It’s been a long time (nine years) since we had a baby in the family.  And he wasn’t little – he weighed over nine pounds.  I thought my kids were big at eight and eight four. 

Levi is healthy and beautiful, and Julia and Alex are fascinated by him. 

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I made him a baby quilt, and I had such a wonderful time planning it and making it.  It’s machine pieced, hand quilted, and hand lettered.  Here are some pictures…

Front:

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Back:

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Finished…

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Hand quilting stitches (sorry it’s a bit blurry):

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I “wrote” all the pertinent birth data on the back…here are some glimpses:

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The batik fabric with the baby footprints was from a maternity dress my mom made for my sister, when she was pregnant with her first child about twenty one years ago.  The dress was mine when I had my kids, and then the fabric became part of my stash.  I think I’ve used bits of it here and there, but for this quilt it was my starting point.  I chose fabrics that picked up some of the colors in the footprints, including, best of all, a blue and green plaid flannel from a shirt that had belonged to Bill’s father – Joe’s grandfather.  I tried to include a few different textures, such as corduroy, light canvas, fleece, and part of an old pair of Alex’s swimming trunks. 

I just typed out a paragraph about the technical flaws I see (and figure so can everyone else), and then I deleted it because I’m working on focusing less on that stuff and more on the good stuff.  So, with that in mind, I loved working on this quilt, and have about a zillion other quilty or fabric-y projects I want to work on next.  Yay!

Joe and Sage loved the quilt, and I’m hoping one day Levi will, too.

OH – forgot this part, just a bit of fyi detail… I used a part of a sheet instead of quilt batting or a blanket for the inside of this quilt.  I wanted it to be lightweight and easy to fold, pack, wrap around, etc.  It worked nicely, and I’ll probably do that again with other quilts.

Let’s see…Oh yes…

Birthday…

Alex’s birthday is three weeks after Julia’s, and again we had a little party with a couple family members and, of course, cake:

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He’d asked for a chocolate cake (this has chocolate pudding between the layers) and for a baseball cake specifically, which I completely forgot about until right before I went to decorate and discovered I had no red of any kind to color the frosting to make the stitches.  I tried, though.  I had plenty of red colored sugar for decorating cookies, and I dissolved that in some water, but it only made the frosting pink.  Very bright, horrible, unapproved-by-MLB-and-boys-everywhere pink.

So I scraped that off and started again.  And I decided that since the cake was chocolate, I’d just continue that theme by melting some chocolate and piping the stitches with that.  I also grated some chocolate over the top, resulting in a rather well-used, dirt-bespectacled baseball.

Oh, and I wrote “Happy Birthday Alex” in the stitching.  Here’s a close-up:

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Alex was pleased, and, most importantly, the cake was very, very yummy.

Now after all those birth-related events, there’s one more I’ll share today, and then I need to go do something with thread and fabric, I think.

My fabulous niece, Natalie, graduated from high school.  She’ll be starting community college in the fall to get some of her basic classes under her belt, and eventually she wants to be an art teacher.  She’s incredibly talented, and her high school art teacher wrote a glowing recommendation for her. 

I love this girl.  So VERY proud of her!!!

Here she is with her mom, my sister:

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That night, as I was driving home, I took this picture with my phone:

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(I know, I know, I should be driving when I’m driving…not taking pictures.  But still – isn’t it gorgeous??  And that picture doesn’t really do the sky, the clouds, and the colors justice.)

So those are the highlights of the past bunch of weeks. 

School let out for Bill last week and the kids’ last day was yesterday.  Now summer stretches before us, and the days relax and lose some of their structure.  The garden is doing great in some areas and lousy in others, but I know from past years that the smaller plants will catch up with the bigger ones for the most part, and we will be drowning in one vegetable or another as the weeks go by.

That’s it for today.  I’ll try to write again before another full month goes by….

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