Wednesday, March 11, 2015

making Loveys

Lovey blankets in voile

There are precious few things I can do for my baby right now.  I can be with her, but not nearly enough.  I can provide her milk, learn about cerebral palsy, hope for the best.   This weekend I made her something, something she can use now... I think.  A friend of mine who has NICU experience suggested a scent blanket to leave with her when I cannot be there myself.  That I can do.

Lovey blankets in voile

I had already planned to make some lovey blankets with these voile fabrics.  They are silky cottons with a gorgeous drape all from FreeSpirit, the two prints by Anna Maria Horner.  Her Folk Song collection sports the same diamond mine print on quilting cotton.  You can find more voile options at Fabricworm and Lark Cottons.

 Lovey blankets in voile

The process was pretty straightforward.  I cut two squares for each blanket.  I made two smaller loveys, cut 16" square, and one larger one, cut 24" square.

Lovey blankets in voile

Since voile is a slippery fabric, I basted the two squares together (wrong sides together) before attaching binding.

Lovey blankets in voile

My binding is also voile, a first for me.  It actually wasn't too difficult to work with!  Maybe that's because I wasn't binding a thick quilt, but just two thin layers of voile?  So that my binding wouldn't come out wider than normal, I cut strips 2 1/4" wide, instead of my usual 2 1/2" wide.  Attached with a zigzag stitch, as usual. 

Lovey blankets in voile

I'm glad I decided to give voile binding a try as it keeps these blankets light as air and deliciously drapey.  That's three little loveys, done.

I know that so many of you are thinking and praying for Eleni and our family, so I want to give you an update.  On Friday she cried and on Saturday she opened her eyes.  What a relief!  Now she has sleep and awake periods, like a normal newborn.  We're so thankful!  She seems to make small gains each day in her muscle control - just little things like moving her head from side to side, moving her eyes more smoothly, using her tongue.  I can't tell you how encouraging each one is.  And, wow, how many things do we take for granted with healthy babies!  Muscles are everywhere. 

Thanks again for your support!  I haven't had a chance to read all your comments yet, but I so appreciate that they are there for me and will be there for me to come back to when needed.  You all are amazing.



91 comments:

  1. Lovely blankets, but what is more important - great news about Eleni. We all be praying for the next little gains and those big ones too!

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  2. Oh that's such wonderful news!!!! Those blankets will be a comfort to her.

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  3. Wonderful news!. Its dreadful just how much we take for granted and when life tales a detour how grateful we are for any small sign that we are getting back on track. Long may it continue. Eleni, you have so many people willing you on. x

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  4. I am so happy you can look in her eyes! What a pleasure!

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  5. Yay!!! I'm so glad to hear that!!! My whole family has had you & Eleni in our hearts and prayers. My 13 yr old sitting next to me said that doctors are miracle workers, and that it is amazing what God can do. I agree! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. Both my children have different disabilities and I highly recommend joining a parent support group when things settle down. ;-) Hugs,
    Noelle

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  6. My nieces spent time in the NICU when they were first born (they were premature twins). It's not easy for baby or family, but the scent blankets really do seem to help! I'm sharing in your happiness at this great news about Eleni's progress! :)

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  7. Oh Rachel! What wonderful news, I can't even imagine how much your heart must be swelling with each advance Eleni makes. Your family has been in my prayers and I wish for the healing to continue as Eleni's body and mind develop. Thinking positive thoughts.

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  8. So happy to hear of her progress! I think of you, eleni, and your family many times a day. Every little advancement means huge things as she grows. She is lucky to have been born into such a loving and devoted family who can give her the support she needs. I hope that you can feel supported too!

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  9. You and your family are still in my thoughts...

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  10. I'm so happy to hear that Eleni is awake, moving, and progressing every day! I hope she continues to improve and can go home as soon as possible. Continuing to send love and hope. xoxo

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  11. I can't even begin to imagine the joy you must have felt when you heard that first cry or saw her little eyes open for the firs time. Such wondeful news. I continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and hope that little Eleni will continue to improve day by day. Your blankets are beautiful and such a wonderful idea.

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  12. What great news about Eleni and I hope she enjoys the beautiful and soft lovies you made for her.

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  13. Those are great news about Eleni's progress! :) I hope that every day she will improve.

    Hugs,

    Teresa

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  14. Sending you hugs and support. I am glad to hear an update about Eleni, and so glad that you have gotten to see some concrete advancements. I have truly been thinking of Eleni and your whole family a lot this week, and continue to send you love and healing thoughts.

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  15. Gorgeous blankets and I know it did your heart good to make your precious Eleni something. I'm praising God for her progress and will continue to pray for her daily!

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  16. So happy to hear your little Eleni is doing so well and i hope for you and your family that it'll be better each day!

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  17. I know this is a really tough time for you but I strongly feel in my heart that Eleni will be coming home. She didn't make it through this far not to live and thrive. Before I finished reading this post and I had only seen the images I knew her eyes must have opened, just based on the items you made. I can't wait for the day when we read that you are bringing her home. Love and peace to your whole sweet family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and I hope all together we can help lift you up.

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  18. You can pray, Rachel. Pray often and pray hard. For your little girl and also for yourself and your husband. For a soft heart to accept what has happened and faith that God is with you, for strength to go on even when your plans have completely collapsed. He is with you in this storm and he will carry you through. I'll pray too. Alisa

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  19. Thinking of you all throughout each and every day. So many prayers for Eleni. She's such a blessing. Hooray for her muscle progress!!! Big hugs to you, Rachel!

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  20. Thank you for sharing your beautiful blankies and the update on Eleni's progress. You all remain in my thoughts and prayers...

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  21. Prayers lifted up again. Yesterday I had a reminder of the fragility of life. Things don't always turn out the way we thought they would, but there is always a new path. You look as if you have begun your path and I mine. Keep reading and learning. She is a gift.

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  22. Thank you so much sharing an update as I've been thinking about you and your family. So happy to hear there's been progress!

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  23. Such good news to hear! Brings tears to my eyes. Your family has been in my prayers and will continue to be.

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  24. I am so happy to hear that Eleni is making progress! I've been thinking of you xxx

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  25. So happy to hear the wonderful news about Elani! Those lovey's are so pretty and I know they will bring her comfort. Here's hoping that she continues to amaze you with her progress - keeping you all in my prayers.

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  26. Thankful for the bits of progress. And still praying.

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  27. The loveys are wonderful and perfect for little Eleni. I'm sure that making them also brought you some comfort. Continued best wishes and you are in my thoughts!

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  28. So happy to hear she is on her way now! I will pray that it continues and that you all feel better every day! Yay!

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  29. Such good news about Eleni! You will all remain in my thoughts!

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  30. Beautiful loveys -- and what wonderful news about Eleni! Thinking of you and hoping for continued progress!

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  31. Thank you for the update!! Praying for healing daily! What a rough thing to be walking thru! Will continue to pray for all of you!!

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  32. Rosemary B here:
    Rachel, all of you are on our minds daily! constantly! and we pray.
    I am thrilled with this news. Opening her peepers, moving her head. That is good, very wonderful.
    No worries about reading and commenting. You know where we are.
    We love you so much.
    These lovies are such a good idea. Wow, I remember when Lizzie spent 2 mos in the NICU and I brought in my nightgowns... lol, kinda too big.

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  33. What wonderful news about Eleni. Thinking of you all.

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  34. such great news. I will keep praying for her and you guys. Blankets are awesome! Beautiful.

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  35. Dear Rachel and Family: Little Lovies and Lil' Miracles - I hope they continue to come your way. You are profoundly open-hearted and that just makes us love you that much more. Thinking of you often with prayers. Many blessings to the Hauser family. Racine Linville

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  36. Oh my, what wonderful news. You and your family are in my prayers.
    Sending prayers and blessings....Sue.

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  37. Another wonderful update! Thank you for posting. Thank you Lord, for answering our prayers, and for loving us! So happy to hear about Eleni's progress. Beautiful lovies!

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  38. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers. So happy to hear this wonderful update!

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  39. What a good idea...something you can do yourself to help Eleni. So pleased to hear about her progress

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  40. Aww! Great to hear an update. Still praying!

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  41. So glad to hear that Elani is making progress. She has been my thoughts <3

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  42. I think of you so much every day and am praying for continued healing for Eleni. She is such a blessing for you and I am thrilled about her daily progress. Keeping you on my mind and in my prayers.

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  43. Rachel thank you for sharing your good news about Eleni. My heart has been heavy for you and your family - now it is a little lighter.

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  44. Thank you for the update Rachel. Please know we love you and continue to pray for you and your family.

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  45. I'm SO happy to hear about her progress! Each movement she makes is a triumph! Be assured of my continued prayers for precious Eleni and your family. P.S.- love the lovies...they're such a sweet way to connect with her.

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  46. So thrilled to hear of Eleni's improvement!!! Every stride is a big one and greatly appreciated!! You, Eleni and your whole family have stayed deep in my heart, my thoughts and prayers everyday. Those lovies are so beautiful and therapeutic for both of you. You all will continue to stay in my thoughts and prayers. Diana Bell

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  47. I am glad to read that your precious baby has made some progress. I will continue to pray for her and your family, and if love can travel from my home to you, then there is a bunch of it coming your way every time I think of you and Eleni. I believe in the power of love and prayers to do wonderful things and my husband is an example. Thank you for sharing yourself with your blog readers, all of whom care very much about you and yours.

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  48. That's wonderful news!!! I know you have been waiting to hear that precious sound. She's still in our hearts.

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  49. What wonderful news!!! My friend was telling me a few weeks ago the story of her daughter's birth and time in the NICU. She too used the lovies, putting one against her breast every night when she went to sleep, then exchanging it for the previous day's when she arrived in the NICU every morning. She said it made a huge impact on her daughter, who was bottom at just 26 weeks.

    I look for updates every single day and I will be sure to include you all again in my rosary intentions tonight. xoxo

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  50. Rachel, it's good to hear that you are comforting yourself with sewing for Eleni. It is so nice to hear about her progress. Love & hugs to you!

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  51. so thankful to hear of small steps forward each day. Hugs and prayers xx

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  52. I've never heard of these being called "lovelys" before ... what a perfect name for them. I'm so pleased to hear Eleni is showing some positive signs and movement. I'll keep sending my positive thoughts :)

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  53. So glad you could make her something and so glad to read good news. Still thinking of you. Wishing you the best.

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  54. So glad you could make her something and so glad to read good news. Still thinking of you. Wishing you the best.

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  55. Thank you Jesus! I have been praying specifically that she would open her eyes and make those significant small gains that you've seen. Ps 121 "my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."

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  56. Very happy to know that she is making progress!
    God bless you all!

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  57. Wonderful news! We're hoping you have more of the same kind to share with us soon!!!

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  58. So great to hear Eleni is making progress - will keep praying. The little lovelys are a great idea.

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  59. I am so pleased to here things are a little more encouraging. Sending you lots and lots of love xxx

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  60. The blankets are a great idea!! Wish I would of thought of that when my babies were in NICU. ( I had two of them there.) NICU used flannel blankies in the beds, for the warmth and the softness. I'm sure Eleni will enjoy her blankies :) Thats wonderful news on her progress. Continued prayers.

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  61. I was really hoping for some good news. Glad to read she can now open her eyes. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers (by you I mean the whole family of course).

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  62. So pleased to hear that there have been some more positive signs for you all. Your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. x

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  63. Oh, Rachel, I just read about the challenges your little one is facing, and am so sorry about the emotional turmoil and uncertainty. It made me happy to read of progress made, and I wish both Eleni and the rest of the family all the best, including lots of strength!

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  64. Prayer for you and your family... May all these prayers bring strength to you and your family... There is power in prayer!! The loves are soooo precious.. She will enjoy them for many years!

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  65. Such good news about Eleni! Thinking of you and your family ~ sending love your way ~

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  66. Rachel, it's so good to hear the positive update on Eleni! The loveys you made are beautiful with the voile fabric. xoxo

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  67. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear about a baby crying! I'm glad to hear that things are taking a turn for the better.

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  68. I think of you and your family and especially little Eleni every day. So very happy to hear that she is making these little gains - it's so encouraging. Like a true Maker, your blankets must have soothed you and they will comfort your baby. God bless you all.

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  69. Oh Rachel - I'm so so happy to read your post and see a positive update! Lovely lovey. :)

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  70. So happy to hear that little Eleni is making some progress.

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  71. I have been blessed with three grandchildren ( two girls and a boy). Whenever I have sewn something for them, they comment when they get home that it smells like Mimi. One of my granddaughters said about a sheet set I had given them that it smelled like Mimi's sweat. I was assured that that was a good smell. Well, the point is, the mommy scented blankets are a good idea and a great way to bond. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  72. I've been thinking about you and Eleni since your post about her dificult start in live.
    As a mother of a handicapt son I know how heartbraeking this period is. Try to concentrate on the love you feel for her and the progres she makes. And never look too far ahaed, go with the flow.
    And the blankets are gorgious and genius !

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  73. My son has CP and yes, there are so many muscles that we don't even think about. My only advice is early intervention. After you leave the NICU, and baby starts to grow, take advantage of all the services available through early intervention provided free until the age of three. I didn't know of them until he was 22 months. He's 8 now, and while he will never be typical (a word you will start to hear a lot) he's extraordinary and lovely.

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  74. Encouraging news on your little gorgeous baby and hoping every day will bring you more baby steps for Eleni to progress and get better. With much love

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  75. Much love to all of you! So glad to hear of her new gains! And how precious to make her something to use now. Many prayers are surrounding you all!

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  76. Thanks for the update, it's wonderful and hopeful news that Eleni's made some improvements over the past several days. I've been thinking about her and your family a lot.

    Love the little blankets -- voile is a dream to touch.

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  77. Rachel, it is so good to hear of some forward progress for little Eleni and I think the Loveys are a wonderful idea. Love and hugs to you and all your family.

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  78. Such a good idea and they are so pretty. Praying for you, Eleni and your family.

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  79. It's thrilling to my heart to picture her finally opening her eyes and seeing her loving family and hearing her cry. I can only imagine how that felt for you! Continuing to pray for small gains! Thank you for allowing us the privilege to follow along on this personal journey. You and family are loved.

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  80. Sounds like Eleni is a fighter. Good for her!

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  81. Even though we've never met and I seldom comment I am thinking of you and little Eleni all the time. So thankful she can open her eyes and cry. Yes we do take those things for granted. She is truly a miracle every day. The little loveys are sweet.

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  82. Oh Happy Day! I am so glad to hear this good news!

    This child is going to steal you heart away like it's never been stolen before. My daughter with CP did it to me :)

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  83. Such great news, thanks for the update, continuing to pray for you and your sweet new girl!

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  84. little steps are all little miracles....many hugs and prayers to you all! xo

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  85. what a great idea! we were gifted a scent blanket shaped like a bear when my daughter was in the NICU and is brought us peace...I hope you find some with yours. Thinking about you lots.

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  86. Such good news she's making little strides everyday!!

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  87. Such good news she's making little strides everyday!!

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  88. Such good news. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family!

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  89. I was so happy that Eleni is making small strides and we are all praying for her and your family.the little blankets are sweet and she will love the COLOR now she has opened her eyes..Hugs and blessings

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