Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mini - Snuggy Quilt

My sewing space - the best part? The View!
Well. Way back in history ... err ... ok not that far back ... but back in June - June 6, 2011, to be exact - I finished a gorgeous quilt for Thomas.  This quilt was a Big Deal to me for many reasons.  First, I had fallen in love with this pattern months before I actually bought the pattern and spent big $$ on fabric ... I even bought the entire set of patterns for the nursery decor and toyed with the idea of using different fabrics that were less $$ ... but because the colors were perfect, the theme quaint, soft, beautiful - perfect for a new baby - I knew I couldn't find a less-expensive alternative.  I allowed myself to buy enough fabric to scrap together a 3-sided crib skirt first ... and not the big ruffly skirt in the pattern, but a simple box-pleated skirt ... money was tight! I wanted to take a 6 month maternity leave! Hahah spending $8-10 per yard on fabric was definitely out of the question!

But ... one day ... probably shortly after my last day teaching ... probably around the time I realized that nothing would make me happier than to quit my job and stay home with Thomas ... and probably around the time I was tired of sitting at home with my feet up in the air ... I bought about $60 worth of fabric for this quilt and overcame my fear of applique! Hahah (that took a few phone calls to my mom, some google-research, and a long conversation with a woman at Ericas...)

After I finished this large quilt, I wanted to make a smaller clutch-sized quilt for Thomas ... one he could take with him anywhere with out dragging around 3-5 feet of blanket ... so I sat down with a pencil and paper, cut out an extra little bunny, dug through my scraps ... and came up with this cute little "Mini-Snuggy," as I've begun calling it.

One important feature was the satin binding.  My baby blanket was bound in satin ... or as I called it ... New Soft.  The reason it was called New Soft, was because I would suck my thumb and run my fingers along the soft edging of my blanket. After many many hours of this, the edging would wear thin, and Mom would have to put "New Soft" on my blanket.  I have a few very vague memories of her working at her sewing machine to put  "new soft" on my blankey in the night - old enough to seek blankey out and realize it wasn't there .. old enough to know it was either in the washer/drier or down the basement with Mom, sewing away to repair the holes .. eventually old enough to realize that it took awhile to break in the New Soft to make it feel just right again.  (Brings a tear to my eye thinking of going through these rituals and building these memories with Thomas)  Dad has told me about how he built my desire for New Soft when I was sick in the hospital with haemophilus menangitis ... being so, so sick ... one of the sensitivities to the illness was a sensitivity to touch ... and so no one could hold me or love on me, until they started rubbing me with my New Soft ... so Dad says they would reach their hands in and rub my little cheek with the softness on my blanket.  Heart breaking.

** correction - Mom says we were living on Woodland drive while our new house was being built ... after I had been sick and recovered ... and mom decided she just had to replace the binding on my blanket ... but she couldn't get it away from me!  So one night, Dad put us to bed, coming downstairs with my  blankey in hand, he said, "Here, put it on!" and while mom was sewing away, I came "bumping my butt downstairs," as mom described it, and sat down on the table taking my blankey right off the machine ... when Mom was done, I took it right back upstairs and went to bed!  I had to call mom, because I was near tears just writing about it! <sigh>

Either way - my memories made it important to me to have a satin-edged blanket for Thomas to grow attached to. We'll see how attached he becomes to his little blankey!

My first time quilting anything larger than a pot holder ...
One of the big challenges I came across was sandwiching the mini-snuggy to be sewn together.  I wound up inverting it (all right sides together with the batting on top - lining the space between the backing and front with the sating edging) and using many many pins to hold the sating edging in place.  Because I just trimmed my batting v. cutting it to the exact size of the quilt front (because of bad memories of running out of batting one time I didn't leave enough extra edging...) it made it very difficult to see where the edge of my quilted top was in comparison to the over-sized batting and backing.  I hesitated to put the batting on bottom (under the backing fabric) because it can occasionally get stuck on the feed dogs of my machine ... but perhaps I will try that the next time I sew a quilt together in this fashion.

I finally finished this little mini-snuggy ... and while it isn't totally perfect ... it is perfectly cute and perfectly sentimental. <3

Next up - hand sewing the little hole I popped it right-side-out through ... My little chicken (no, not Thomas) holds my favourite hand sewing needles ... My mom made it for me. Cute, huh?

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