Still Nesting

All I want to do is cozy up and knit.  And sew receiving blankets.  And work on this most epic of baby quilts, and rearrange bedroom furniture.  And look at my big kids and marvel at how much they have grown.

For more than two weeks now, I’ve been having random contractions starting in the early afternoon and getting more intense as the evening comes, and I’ll think maybe tonight will be the night.  We go to sleep and I wake up the next day like nothing happened.  Then after lunch it starts up again. It just makes me want to stay home, cozy and safe, and get ready.

My original due date has come and gone, my revised due date is this week.  If baby follows the pattern set by her siblings, we still have a couple of weeks to go before we get to meet her.  My speed as I go about my day has slowed to a crawl.  Or more accurately, a shuffle.  I putter around the house, I keep the existing children fed and reasonably clean.  I pick up my knitting and do a row, and put together some hexies.  I don’t feel bad about sleeping late in the morning.  If something is essential, Garrett will probably take care of it for me.  And if he doesn’t, it probably didn’t need to be done. I feel quite liberated, actually.  And really I don’t mind the wait.  I love being pregnant, I love that the baby is all mine and always with me (yet so easy to take care of!)  and I’ll miss this feeling so much when it is gone.  We’re taking our time getting baby’s essentials ready, so the extra time has been useful as well.

A week and a half ago I skipped a DC Modern Quilt Guild event that we’ve been working on for months.  We had invited speakers and pop-up shops to the gallery where our quilts are currently on exhibit for a full afternoon of quilty goodness.  And I had been so excited to go.  The event was practically designed just for me.  When we picked the date, I thought I wouldn’t have a problem attending, because all my babies arrive late. But as the date crept up on me and these “warm-up” contractions became a regular event, I couldn’t bring myself to be so far away all day.  I don’t even really want to be out in public.  Plus Hubs was convinced that I would end up delivering alone in some crowded DC hospital instead of the relaxing home birth we have planned.

So I skipped it; I stayed home and left the other officers to run the event and welcome the speakers.  How lucky I am that they were there for me.  I’m so very grateful.  Also sad for missing it and feeling guilty for reneging on my presidential duties.  And feeling a little silly for feeling guilty, because I’m sure the day went just fine without little old me.  But I suppose I need to let go of all that and keep looking ahead, right?

This is a little nursing blankie I’m working on.  It’s meant to be a tube that will slip over my shoulders, so it will stay around me, rather than using a regular blanket, which you have to pay attention to to keep it from slipping off your shoulder.  I’ll let you know if it works out the way I imagine.  The yarn is hand-spun and hand-dyed merino, and it feels lovely.  I probably would not have gotten into this thick-and-thin yarn had my husband not bought me this book as a little surprise gift early on in the pregnancy.  But once I tried it I find the unique texture to be really pretty.  And shopping for handspun, hand-dyed yarn on Etsy is just really fun.

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Oh by the way…

I have been working on another project that I haven’t talked about yet here.  Although it’s no secret at this point if we are friends in person…

I’ve been working on the best kind of project for the past 6 months or so; growing a new little person to add to the lovely craziness of our household… 🙂 This will be kid #4 for us and I’m so excited to have some tiny-babyness in the house again.  These ones are growing up so fast…

(Baby Legwarmers are on Ravelry here, dress purchased from BabyGap)

Winter Hike

We snuck out from the holiday clutter to get a little fresh air a few days ago.  Thank goodness because now it’s 17 degrees out and the wind is blowing like crazy.  The kids picked up pretty rocks and looked for tiny minnows and all those things that I always want them to do… getting boots thoroughly muddy was a highlight for some… and I loved finding dried flowers and seed pods and just enjoying that low winter light.  A lovely little trip!

For the boy..

I have a new stack of fabric that I am so in love with…

All shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett.  This fabric, plus Dream Wool batting, makes the most squishy, silky soft and cuddly quilt you could ever dream of.  And if a quilt doesn’t make you want to curl up with it, then in my book it’s not a successful quilt.  So.  These are for my darling 10 year old, my only son, who for the most part gets passed by when it comes to handmade things.  Dolly carriers and tiny baby knits are what pop into my head when I want to make something for my kids, and I have to work a little harder to think of just the right something for an older boy.  But he is such a sweetie, so loving, and for god’s sake he puts up with a lot, being here with two much littler sisters day after day.  He really deserves to have something handmade by Mommy.  So with much love I have been planning this project, and waiting and thinking while some other things were finished up, and now I’m ready to begin.

I have a couple of different sketches I’m deciding between, but it’s definitely going to be something improvised and free, just something fun for me to play with for a few weeks.  I’m planning on some medium-dense hand quilting to really play up the lovely feel of the wool batting and make it something he will love to curl up with.

I’m popping these in the wash now as I type, and tomorrow they’ll be ready to cut into.  Maybe I’ll have a quilt top by Christmas?

Cozy Wozy

These are the best kind of days.  It’s wet and windy outside and we are warm and dry inside.  We have gingerbread-chocolate cookies and apple cider and enough apples in the house to make 80 quarts of applesauce.  Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons concerts streaming in the kitchen.  There’s a pile of basted hexies beckoning me to settle in and stitch them together, some precious new fabric to run through the washer and dryer, and more apples, apples everywhere.  The children have concocted some sort of dinosaurs-at-school game and they even remember to include Eva in the fun.  Just when I began to worry that I was not doing enough for the children with our homeschooling, I heard Gus drilling Violet and the dinosaurs in Latin roots and I was reassured that everything is OK.  Eva desperately wanted to go outside and so all 3 suited up in their rain gear and went out on an adventure.  Everything is different in the rain.  I watched through the window with hot spiced cider.  I’m sitting now in my room looking out at the treetops and I love how the rain makes the bark on the Sycamore look even prettier.

I want to make some pretty stitched things to hang above the mantle.  Just simple embroideries.  Probably some English Paper Piecing, too.

Bringing Home Dolly Sewing Pattern

I did it!  I finally filled in all the info and published my dolly carrier pattern on Craftsy!  I had this huge mental block about re-typing all the fabric requirements and such.  Took me two months to suck it up and get it done 🙂 But here it is, the project that I dreamed up to go along with my Jasmine Tea fabric-

Because I had all things baby on my mind when I was designing Jasmine Tea-I designed it during that little “honeymoon” period with a newborn when they are so sweet and squishy and cuddly and all you want to do is hold them and carry them around all day- so it only seemed fitting to design a doll carrier so big sister could carry her baby around too!

The pattern has two sizes, to fit dolls up to 14″ or 18″.  The dolly quilt features sweet little butterflies which you can make from tiny scraps.  And I even included instructions to make a matching child’s quilt!

I’m so happy to finally make this pattern available – my 4 year old uses the samples I made every single day to put her babies to bed, and I’m sure the children in your life will love it as well!

If you use the pattern please send me pics, I would love to see them!

In other news…

I started quilting this orange-peel thing.  I’m calling it a coral reef, or maybe seaweed, and so I thought some seaweed-like tangled curves would look cool.  I wasn’t sure after I drew it up, I’m still not really sure- but  I’m just gonna go with it.   What’s the worst that could happen, right? 

In other news, it’s finally green outside-

My knees are dirty every day from the garden

My kids are dirty every day from who-knows-what- and I love it all

I’m working on pretty duvets for the girls beds, delving into my thrift-store treasures as well as the stash

Gus has his final homeschool review of the year (he made me so proud!) and now I’m dreaming big for 5th grade- and Kindergarten!  Yup, this fall Violet will officially start homeschooling and I’m so excited to be planning kindergarten projects for her!

If you ask Evelyn if she wants to put her flowers in a vase, this is what you’ll get.  Makes sense when you are Almost-Two.