Tuesday, October 30, 2012

… an actual walk around the block

pumpkin picking

ingrid, our little snowdrop, is growing up before our very eyes. she has been walking for months now, she gives us hugs and kisses, she can drink from a regular glass with essentially no help and use a fork by herself (mostly), and she talks all the time… most of it unintelligible, but some of it sweetly and surprisingly understandable. her new word of the moment is "walk?". with a question mark. she'll say "walk?" and go to the front door, grab our shoes and bring them to us, all the while demanding "walk? walk?" usually it just means she's tired of being inside and wants to go out, whether it be errands or going to the park or getting in the car to drive somewhere. yesterday, though, i decided to take her for a short walk. the sun was briefly out (it is decidedly fall and rainy here in seattle now, late summer is far far behind us), the sidewalk was mostly dry, and there were no better prospects at the moment.

i don't know why i haven't really done this before, but i've never really let her walk for long distances. i've just been in the habit of carrying her everywhere for so long. is that weird? well, yesterday i decided that it was so the two of us went for a walk together. we followed the same route as the one we used to walk last summer when ingrid was only a couple of months old. but this time she walked all by herself. she held my hand most of the way, except for the few occasions when she stumbled and seemed to think i was the one holding her back. then she would let go, get up, and run ahead gleefully until she turned and waited for me to take my hand again. she would stop every so often to look up at the sky and trees and exclaim, "whoa!" or stoop to pick up a couple of rocks and some dirt, or to say "woof" to a passing dog. she walked the whole way, even up the steep bit coming up from the park. we walked over some fallen mountain ash berries, that crunched satisfyingly underfoot like bubble wrap, and she turned back to walk over them again. she walked right back up to the front door of our house, with only a little assistance from me to help her up the steps.

why am i telling you this? because it made me so very, very happy. because i didn't take my camera with me, i have no photos, there was no one else with us there. just the two of us holding hands, walking out in the autumn sun, through the leaves, through our beautiful neighborhood. because i couldn't believe i had this tiny little daughter who was capable of doing so much on her own and i want to remember how it flooded me with happiness.

pumpkin picking

*photos are from our visit to the pumpkin patch the other week. she actually walked a lot there too, though those pumpkin vines sure had fun grabbing at her feet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

… exes and plusses

x&+ quilt front

oh hey, look, i finished a quilt!

this is another one for do. good stitches. i fell in love with this quilt first when i saw the one p├ętra made and then i fell in double love with it when i saw the one that jessica was working on during our atlanta retreat. so i asked all my love circle members to send me blocks using this tutorial by badskirt. this was a completely scrappy quilt--there were no color restrictions or any other guidelines aside from using whatever scrap fabrics you had on hand. these blocks come together so fast and were so fun to piece that i think i made six before i realized that i probably didn't need to make so many.

x&+ quilt

i thought i had copied jessica's quilting exactly, but i'm realizing now she did double lines around each + and x and i apparently only had the patience to do single lines. which was still a lot of quilting. (jessica, i tip my hat to you. you have bigger quilting balls than i apparently do.)

and speaking of quilting, this is the first quilt i've done on my new machine (i finally got a janome 6600p… yay!) and i can't even begin to say how great it is to sew on a machine that really quilts. evenly. and smoothly. did i mention evenly? i actually looked forward to doing all this quilting. yay for new, functional sewing machines!

x&+ quilt

i added a border since the blocks alone weren't quite up to a good size and i used my most favorite fabric of the the moment, that dreamy robert kaufman essex yarn-dyed linen in black. and, while staring at the border and liking it but not quite loving it, i realized that my mind was extending those lines past the edges of the blocks, so why not pull some of them out to create that illusion. i am quite smitten with the effect.

after auditioning what felt like a bazillion fabrics i finally realized that i just wanted to keep a good thing going with the essex so i used it again for binding. i like it, too. it keeps the focus on all the fun x & + blocks, and it looks nice with the fabrics on the back.

x&+ quilt back

i'll be honest, for the back i wanted to use something i already had on hand, so i pulled a bunch of fabrics i had yardage of back from when i was doing ingrid's weekly photos. i made a simple four patch with some bright, graphic florals. this also make me happy. nothing fancy, no big deal.

the finished quilt measures 55 x 55 inches, a nice lap-sized quilt. it will be on its way to wrap them in love shortly. this is the fifth quilt i've made for do. good stitches and it's always hard to let them go, but it makes it easier knowing they will soon find themselves in the hands of a deserving child.