There's nothing like the smell of line-dried fabric!
Last August we had the blessing of welcoming a new little niece into the family! She had been long-awaited and greatly anticipated, and her arrival was a joyous miracle for her happy parents. They named her Francesca, and it was instant love.
Francesca is kind of special to me--she is not the only niece in the family by any means, but she is the first little one to be born after I became a part of my husband's family. I am an only child myself, so the only nieces and nephews I'll ever have are by way of my husband's brothers and their wives.
What better way to welcome our new little sweetie than making her a crib quilt?! It's an unofficial tradition in my family that all new little members receive a quilt (hmm... maybe that's why the new furry members also end up with cuddle quilts? I never made that correlation before...) So, I found some adorable lightweight cotton and got to work...
First I washed the cotton and hung it out in my Mum's back yard to dry... As you can see, I had a couple of feline backyard helpers:
Random black neighborhood kitty...
Baby puss, the neighbor's kitty--she's always a great helper!
I should mention that little Francesca lives in South America, so the quilt is more for comfort than warmth. I used a pink cotton with white dots as the backing and an adorable bee and flower patterened cotton and matching pink and yellow solids for the front. I used a lightweight cotton batting so it would not hold the heat as much as a synthetic material, and it was very basic and simple, something that could be washed frequently.
I was in love with this fabric--such cute little birdies and bees!
My Mum's failproof pinning method... it really worked!
.It went together quite quickly and my Mum helped me sandwich it...
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Sandwiching is the part of quilt-making that I always find the most tedious... so luckily my Mum was on hand to help. We sat stitching and talking and spent quite an enjoyable few hours together at her kitchen table. Mum has been a fabric master for most of her 70 years, but sadly arthritis has taken its toll on her poor hands, and she finds it hard to do very much hand-sewing now. You can see from the opposite photo the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Sadly, I never took any photos of my little corner of my Mum's front porch where I set up my old sewing machine and worked on the quilt. It was sunny and warm with a gentle breeze blowing through the window at my back, and I spent many happy hours working away in my hidey hole. I machine-quilted 'stitch-in'the-ditch' style between the squares, and I like the clean appearance of the finished piece.
This is little Francesca Antonia enjoying her quilt--she was pretty much brand new when this shot was taken back in August, but she's growing quickly and we can't wait to spend more time with her soon!
~Blankets wrap you in warmth, Quilts wrap you in love~