It was a very fun birthday. All requests were met - the playground, broccoli soup, a wee bit of candy and of course, so much more. She smiled all day long. I love birthdays.
And she got her quilt!
Thankfully, I finished it on the 10th, with a rockin' 12 hours to spare. (Because sleep is nice, too.) Said miraculous feat would never have been completed without the help of not only Steve who made dinner for the entire week, but my parents as well, who whisked three of the kids away on an impromptu (and Adelaide's first!) overnight adventure... so, thanks to them!
I'm so glad that I set such a deadline for myself, however. It was just the push I needed to finish this project that I've had going - literally - for two years now. In the final stages of making, I had lots of time to think about just why that was. Certainly, I could blame a lot of factors for the delay. Babies. Books. The House. The Kids. and on and on....
But the reality is that I was putting it off. That "quilting" intimidates me. Even though I've completed a few (Ezra's is going strong!), I'm still intimidated by the concepts of color contrast, design, and execution when I think about it too much.
Silly me, though....I should know better. Stop thinking and start making, you know? I should know that love, a bit of thought, and good intention are all that it would take to make something that my daughter would love, that I would love making, and that would keep her warm at night. And really? That's what it's all about. For me, anyway.
And so...with that little hurdle out of the way, it really came together - in the end - faster and easier than I thought it would. The fabrics have been lying in wait - picked out and piled up for two years now. They're a collection of vintage and new. Almost all of them are pieces I've used in other project - many for Adelaide. A baby dress, birthday dress, smocks, her birthday book, skirts, and so much more (Whoa - those links were a trip down Mama memory lane). She recognized so many of the prints, which made me so happy. Naturally.
Also with that two years of time, though, has come a furthering of 'Adelaide'...and oh, there needed to be some purple worked in! So the whole thing has a purple binding, and purple yarn for the ties. She was sufficiently satisfied with the 'purple' factor. (Phew!)
I've had gobs of questions about the quilting process on this one, and I'll once again refer you to the source that I used - Patchwork Style, the amazing Japanese craft book that was recently translated into English. I followed the quilt instructions in there - more or less.
A lot of you have been using the phrase 'quilt as you go' in reference to this one, which I'm not sure is so accurate (then again, I'm no quilting expert). Indeed, each log cabin square is 'quilted' as you go. In the end, I had 30 squares, which I then needed to back, machine quilt and tie, and then bind. So I eliminated the batting in the last step, but otherwise, there's still quilting to be done.
The 'quilting' in the first step allows the use of various sized pieces of fabrics, so there's no precise measuring (love that). And in the end, it makes for a really light-weight 'tight' quilt. I love it. It will be perfect year-round, with some extra layers in the cooler months.
My sweet girl had just a few words to share about her new quilt, but I treasure them dearly. Just as I treasure the time I spent working on this quilt and thinking about my girl in the time leading up to her fourth birthday.