Monday, February 23, 2015

My Granddaughter Is Not Spoiled!

My granddaughter, Payton, will be celebrating her third birthday early in March.  Lots of kids celebrate their third birthday, but with Payton, each birthday is so special.  Payton was a micro-preemie - just 1 pound 14 ounces, born at 27 weeks.  We all have seen pictures of tiny preemies, but until you see one in person, you just don't realize how small they actually are.  Payton was in the NICU for almost three months, and came home just before her actual due date.  At eleven weeks old, she weighed a whopping 5 pounds.

She had an easy time of it in the NICU, compared to some.  And miraculously, she doesn't seem to have any of the issues that preemie-children sometimes do. She isn't blind or deaf; she is so incredibly smart it is scary; she doesn't have heart or intestinal issues.  It is just so amazing, and this is what makes each and every one of her birthdays such an event.

Payton loves to play dress up - she is ALL girl!  Her mom and dad bought her a couple of "princess dresses" at Toys-r-Us for Christmas.  They complained that these dresses were so flimsy and Payton has just worn them to shreds.  Enter Grammy!

I spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday making Payton a princess dress for her birthday.  With the help of a McCalls pattern (5371), this is the result.  The whole thing is machine washable and dryable - important for something you want a 3-year-old to actually be able to wear!  What just floored me is that in this tiny dress (it's only 30 inches long), there is nearly 43.5 square feet of material!  I guess I didn't need to make the skirt quite so full!  I spent a bit extra and bought better quality cotton and cotton blends so that this one will last.  My daughter-in-law saw it and exclaimed "I want one!"

Have a great evening everyone!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My 200th Post!

I’m a quilter, among other things, and I quilt by hand.  And when I do a show, I invariably at least once get told, “that’s not how you do it.”  This is typically followed by, “your stitches are too big/not all the same size,” or “you’re supposed to use all the same color thread,” or "you’re supposed to work in a repeating and regular pattern.”  Okay…  these statements are all correct in a traditional quilt, but that doesn’t make what I do wrong! 

Here is a picture of all of my tools and various threads resting on the quilt I just finished. Using the dark green in the tan areas would show up too much, and vice versaSome of the curves are really small, while others flow gracefully. Quilting in a fixed pattern doesn’t work on my quilts…. What’s the point of having the whole thing flat? 

The whole functional purpose of quilting at all is to stabilize several layers; the back, the batting and the face. But I’m not much on simply being functional, and I found long ago that if I quilt the way I do now, I can bring up details and give my quilts an almost three-dimensional feel. Hand-quilting my quilts is certainly tedious and is the most time-consuming thing I do on any quilt. But, it’s also the part I love the most… it’s when I see my quilts come alive. Earth contours and bushes suddenly appear where there was once just scraps of fabric.  How cool is that?!!

For more pictures, information or to purchase this quilt, click HERE
The answer that is always in my head when I am told, “That’s not the way you do it,” is emphatically, “That is EXACTLY the way that I do it!”  But I don’t say it; I smile politely and let them tell me what I’m doing wrong.  Then, again, I wear a huge grin when the next customer comes up and hands me a credit card to purchase that same quilt.