You know you’ve been reading too many quilting blogs when you disparage your work before you actually show it to anyone. Day after day my blog reader is filled with finish after finish of seemingly perfect quilts. When you’re new to it all, it’s hard not to forget that no one person produces at that level unless it’s their profession and that they are carefully showing off their best work. When I went to this months Omaha Modern Quilting Guild I apologized for my poor execution before I ever even unfolded it. Wait a minute, it’s my very first finish and I’m proud of it! Of course I received nothing but understanding and encouragement from the women there. Not only am I already looking forward to our next meeting, but I left so inspired that I finally jumped into a new project that was intimidating me.
One of the initial reasons I became interested in quilting (I also briefly looked into it during the 90/s) was because my seven-year old daughter, Cate, needed a new weighted blanket. She was born 3 1/2 months premature and with an immature nervous system. As an infant she was hypersensitive with a defensive posture. She was unable to fall asleep without a lot of intervention on our part and wakes up with very little stimulus. Despite occupational therapy for Sensory Processing Disorder, she never was able to relax into sleep and stay there. Finding a weighted blanket for her when she was four transformed all of our lives. What a gift to be able to sleep well! While she’s still a peanut, she’s grown considerably over the past couple years and the small lap sized weighted blanket she has is no longer adequate. I searched for a new one, but couldn’t find what I wanted and decided I could make one. Then I got distracted (have you seen the fabric!?) and intimidated (nothing I make will ever look that good!) and forgot that it’s really about making something special for my girl to help her with her anxiety. Leo’s quilt is far from perfect and I LOVE it completely. The only way to get better is to make things, so with that in mind the morning after our meeting I jumped right in.
I decided relatively quickly that going with a simple square patchwork would be best for this type of quilt. The weighted part of the blanket is made separately then sewed to the top in a grid. Most people just make a solid top, but I’m hoping that I will be able to match up the top seams with the inner grid, so that it looks more like a quilted bed topper. It also needs to be fairly small so it doesn’t hang over the edges of the bed. Tutorials recommend that each pocket that holds the pellets be relatively small for even distribution of the weight. I’ve become accustomed to working with 5″ charms and decided the 4 1/2″ finished size would work perfectly. I decided to make my top 8 squares by 12 squares to measure 36″ X 54″. To give it a little bit of pizazz, I decided to arrange the squares in a plus quilt pattern. A quick sketch later, I knew how many full plus, 4-piece, and single blocks I needed and started the fun part of pulling fabrics.
Throughout the summer, I snatched up fat quarter bundles when I found them on sale to start growing a stash. Cate’s quilt had to include her favorite colors, pink and orange, and I added in yellow because I love it so much. I was surprised at how many different prints I’d collected. Since I wanted to go through my stash for the “Many Times Around the World” and “Rainbow Stripe” quilts I plan to make, I decided to cut strips for them at the same time. I keep reminding myself when my back aches that all this prep work will result in hours of sewing fun later! I have a few more pieces to cut, but hopefully next week, I’ll be back with a completed top!
Linking up to from blank pages