Friday, June 19, 2015

Sasha's Quilt

My niece Sasha will be one in August.  This week I’ve finally finished up her baby quilt.  It took a long time to do this one, because I tried out some new ideas and really just pieced and quilted it by feel.  In order to know what to do next, I needed to live with it and see where it took me.  I also wanted to add text to the quilt and had to make sure it was just the right verse, and it took a little time to embroider it onto the quilt.

I’m happy with the finished product.  I’ve mentioned it in other posts, but I thought I’d just talk again about some of my process.  It started while I was working on a broken dishes top.  I started to realize that a heart was naturally coming to my attention and so I pieced that together.   I’ve seen other pixilated hearts around the internet and this is a similar idea.  I was experimenting with a solid white background, which is something I’ve never done before.  My sister really likes blue, especially light blues, periwinkle and some shades of aqua, so I wanted to incorporate that for her.  

For myself, I wanted to include text.  I have mentioned before that I like the stories that quilts tell, and since a baby quilt tells such a personal story, I wanted to include a message for Sasha as she grows.  The message I chose for her is the first verse of a beautiful poem about childhood by William Blake.  I love that it so perfectly describes the heart swelling feeling of the presence of children, although I’m aware she will not fully understand this until much later in her life, probably not until she has a child of her own.  

Here is the poem in its entirety:

Nurse’s Song
William Blake

When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughter is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.

“Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of the night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.”

“No, no let us play, for it is yet day, 
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.”

“Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.”
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed.

I also included her name, Sasha Rose and tried to quilt a rose into the o.  That gave me some trouble.  It looked pretty good in my sketches, but didn’t translate to quilting very well.  I had to go back to fill in and make a more solid looking line so that the rose can be distinguished.  

I don’t live close to Sasha and so I don’t get to see her nearly enough.  I know I will miss lots of important moments in her childhood, but that doesn’t dampen my feelings for her.  For all the times when I’d love to hold her, but will never get the chance, I hope this quilt provides warmth, both physical and emotional, as it is wrapped around her.  And years from now, when Sasha is a woman with a child of her own, I hope she can wrap this quilt around that child and feel both the love she feels for her baby and the love that I feel for her, and have since the very beginning.  

Sasha Rose
I'm linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making Aprons

I’ve been making aprons for children for several years.  It all began by accident when I had some leftover half spiderweb blocks from a baby quilt I made for a friend’s new baby.  I wasn’t sure what I could do with the blocks, but I liked them and didn’t want them to go to waste.  I attatched a small skirt to the straight part of the block, added a pocket, lined it and added some straps made from biased tape I had lying around.  

I used the apron as a bib for my little daughter, who was just starting to eat food at the time.  I loved the apron and brought it out at most meals.  After awhile I started making more.  I played with the straps and experimented with different pieced blocks as bibs.  Then I started to give them to friends for their children, making bigger aprons for bigger children.  Eventually I was even asked to make some to sell for the children of acquaintances.  I really enjoy making them and have settled now on a few different styles.  A few weeks ago I sent off a batch with a few different styles to Wisconsin to see if they would sell at a breast cancer fundraiser in Shorewood.  I also sent along a puzzle ball and two baby quilts.  

I started out making these aprons to fill a need in my life and put some of my work to good use in a way that was pleasing to me.  Putting my work out in the world for sale in this way is new to me so I'm interested in how this process works.  I'm curious and excited to see if my work resonates with others.