Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I did it.

Saturday was another baby shower day, or should I say, a "Sip 'n See".

In the South, we ladies have gotten into this tradition of hosting a "sip 'n see" for friends that have recently had babies. You get the general idea -- the guests are invited to drop by, have a sip of something and see the baby. A little less structure than a traditional baby shower, sip n' see's are a great way to celebrate 2nd-born, 3rd-born, etc. babies into a family.

Anyway, this Sip 'n See was a little bit extra special as the guest of honor, a beautiful baby girl, has had nothing short of a very special entrance into this world. After a rollercoaster pregnancy for her mama, she decided she wanted to come a little early and was born at about 31 weeks. She spent a long time in the NICU growin' and gettin' observed, so her homecoming has truly been an extra special one for everyone. We were thrilled to shower this tiny princess with lots of love and fun presents!

A few months ago I decided I would make this baby girl a quilt. I haven't made very many baby quilts as gifts, let me tell you, for a couple of reasons. Numero uno: quilting them -- I had been paying to have them done by a long-arm quilter, so that adds on $20-25 at a minimum to the cost. Numero dos: if I tried to quilt them, it was in a most basic fashion and sort of sad really, because I used my regular ol' zipper foot to "stitch in the ditch" (along the seam lines) and it always turned out mediocre due to the inevitable puckers, etc. on the back. Most quilters would poo-poo this idea because it's really not the way to get something quilted.

So, a couple of weeks before I needed the quilt back, I called up my trusty long-arm quilter only to find out no, she could not get it done in time.

Um, say what???

Yeah. And this quilt top wasn't exactly a stitch-in-the-ditch type deal. Of course not.

So I had no choice but to go out and buy a free motion quilting foot for my machine. I'd been intimidated by the idea for so long, but now I was forced into trying it. I have the most basic of all sewing machines, nothing fancy or quilt-related in the least, so I wasn't sure how it was really going to pan out. But since I wasn't about to try hand-quilting the whole thing, I had no choice.

I wasn't exactly running on loads of time, so I only practiced about thirty minutes or so on some samples before I jumped right in. I had no idea what to set the tension or stitch length at, so I just guessed. I fortunately had bought a pair of $2 quilting gloves at the store, and thank goodness for that as they were especially helpful.

Several hours and days later, she was done.

And boy howdy, was I ever proud.

This free motion quilting foot has rocked my world. I'm gonna be a quilting fool!!!!


Lisa said...

Just gorgeous Valerie! I'm so impressed! :)

Jennifer said...

Great job! I love to sew but feel like I have so little time to dedicate to it anymore...maybe I'll try quilting sometime - yours is lovely!

LJ said...

Oh I'm so proud of you!! Fun, non? :)

Angie said...

Good for you, Valerie. I love free motion quilting. I have a nice walking foot that I really should try sometime, though.

I'm from the south, but was introduced to the sip n' see concept from my Australian sister in law. I'd never heard of it.

The Busters said...

Oh my, you never cease to amaze me!! The quilt looks AWESOME!!! So glad that the baby girl who received it is doing well.

Happily Ever After said...

LOVE the baby quilt! You did a great job. It's beautiful!