Wednesday, April 22, 2015

a finished Picnic Blanket

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

True Confession: this weekend I had a bit of a midnight breakdown.  I just couldn't sleep for the stress of all the things I need to do.  And it went on and on.  Tossing and turning in bed between a sleeping husband and the cradle with sleeping baby... well, all their sleeping made me epically miserable!  Eventually I gave in, got up and did a little sniffly sewing, piecing together this picnic quilt.  It wasn't all that pleasant, but it was better than suffering through trying so desperately to sleep.  I'm sure you've been there.

Fortunately, since then I've had several good nights.  Eleni has been sleeping through the night some nights.  Oh, what a gift! 

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

And speaking of gifts, working with this fabric has been just that.  This is my first Cotton & Steel quilt.  I noticed that the fabrics have a slightly more luxurious texture and drape than usual quilting cottons.  But of course, it's the colors and the prints that truly delight my soul.  I'm particularly fond of the bees for some reason?  All fabrics are from Fabric Spot, a modern quilting shop based out of Canada with a snazzy online presence. 

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

After laying out my 8" cut squares in a 9 x 9 setting, I so enjoyed piecing and pressing long columns of happy squares.

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

Simple, repetitive sewing at it's best.

And do you spy the basket just over the edge of the table?  Our portable moses basket/cradle must be my favorite baby gear item.  My sewing space has some lovely filtered daylight, perfect for daytime naps.  It's so nice to keep her nearby!

but I'm not sleepy!

Eleni's the type of baby to act exhausted until you swaddle her and put her down.  Then her eyes fly open to say, "I'm not tired, mommy!"  Fortunately, she's not too fussy about it.  She's still a very sleepy baby, actually (maybe too sleepy).  I have to wake her up all day long to feed her!  But guess what?  Today her oral therapist referred her for a "suck, swallow, breathe" test, which is the first step to getting to try to feed her orally.  Crossing all our fingers and toes that she passes!

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

Oh, were we talking about a blanket?  I hope you don't mind the Eleni rabbit trails.  I certainly can't promise they won't keep popping up here and there!

But, the blanket...  I make my picnic blankets without any batting so that they're more compact for taking along.  The blanket is a patchwork quilt top with a pieced backing, sewn right sides together and turned right side out.   Then I edge stitch all around to close the opening and finish the edges.  Usually I've hand tied the blanket to secure layers, but this time I zigzag stitched around every other square.  Cute!

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

Happy, bright, playful fabrics!  Yay!

 Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

I can't wait to give this to our special nurse to show her how much we appreciate what she did for our baby.  Is it bad to say that I think she's going to love it?  How could she not!  These fabrics are just so fun.

Cotton & Steel picnic blanket

Wishing you sunshine and flowers and many picnics this year!

xo,

Rachel


57 comments:

  1. Thanks for the baby update. We LOVE hearing how she is doing. Your picnic blanket is beautiful. Nurse will love it as well.

    Blessings.

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  2. I, too, love hearing how little Eleni is doing. And am absolutely amazed at your productivity during so stressful a time. Hopefully, you find it therapeutic.

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  3. I'm always excited to find an Eleni update tucked into your posts! Do you use anything special for the backing on picnic quilts? I'm tempted to try a laminate to protect from ground moisture but can't decide if that would make it undesirable to sit on.

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    1. Good question. The laminate might be slippery on some surfaces (especially sand), but it would be nice for wet days. I like to use heavier weight cottons on the back, such as decorator's weight. I've used Ikea fabrics on several occasions since they're wide and heavy weight.

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  4. Beautiful fabrics turned into a beautiful pic-nic blanket! Love the update on Eleni!

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  5. I agree - I watch your blog to see baby pictures :) I love the quilt too!

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  6. I love reading the updates on Eleni! The quilt is beautiful. There appears to be a 4-leaf clover in the upper right quadrant of the last photo of the quilt. 😀

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    1. I do love clover! You notice we have white and red clovers on the property. We actually planted the red! It's good forage for animals.

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  7. I want to hear all about Eleni and your days/nights ;) And yes, I've been there!

    Such a perfect summer quilt for picnics but also for stormy days when you feel like curling up by the window and want to cover up but not with something too warm. And of course, the colors!

    I love clover! My youngest and I were out yesterday picking wildflowers to press and found a four-leafed clover. So fun :)



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  8. I love hearing about Eleni, I hope she passes her test! Beautiful quilt too!

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  9. No such thing as too many baby updates!! ;). I've never thought to make a picnic blanket without batting- but I can definitely see how it would be more likely to go along places if it were that much lighter. I may have to try this!

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  10. Eleni is so beautiful! Praying her test goes well. Beautiful quilt and just the fabrics for a less than restful night. Praying for your family!

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  11. Thanks for sharing Eleni's progress. The quilt/ picnic blanket is beautiful.

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  12. My goodness, Rachel. I can't get over that sweet little face. Eleni is such a beautiful baby... Keep going down those rabbit holes! xoxo

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  13. I love the blanket! Thanks for sharing pictures and updates of your little babe. She always looks just precious.

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  14. That is one beautiful baby!! I live the Eleni updates- she carries he prayers of so many, it just makes me smile to see her sweet face. :) & the blanket is gorgeous! Lucky nurse!

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  15. Lovely picnic quilt...I don't remember how I found your blog, but am so happy that I did! Keep sharing updates about your sweet little girl. You are a beautiful soul and thank you for inspiring all of us quilters/sewers with all the wonderful things you make.

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  16. Eleni is so adorable! My grandson does the same thing about fighting sleep... Guess they don't wanna miss the fun!

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  17. I enjoy hearing how Eleni is doing! Share as much as you want! The quilt is beautiful and I'm willing to bet Nurse will love it too.

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  18. She's just gorgeous! And so is the picnic quilt! It will be loved and appreciated for years to come. I, for one, appreciate hearing baby news! Keep it coming! XO

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  19. Eleni rabbit trails. I follow those. She is soooo cute. Oh my. Look at that baby face.
    she is adorable. So glad she is already moving ahead to learning how to use her mouth for her yummies.
    The quilt is beautiful, Like a jewel.
    We are having a baby shower this week-end, Christina is 32 weeks, I think. She is doing so great. I am excited.
    Love you Rachel ❤️

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  20. Love the picnic blanket but love the updates on Eleni more! Thanks for sharing. XO

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  21. What an amazing blanket and I'm sure this nurse must have been a true blessing in your dark days. It is so nice to see Eleni looking so serean. How are your big babies going? I'm sure they love having a little bundle to coo over.
    Sending you more love and prayers
    Abby

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    1. Another good question! Aria and Liam are truly doing well, I believe. Aria's goat successfully birthed her first kid. Aria's been milking her and enjoying that delight. Liam is a true angel with the baby. So sweet. I think she's brought he and I closer together. The trick is to keep them getting to have play dates with friends and such, even though I am needing to stay home with Eleni pretty much all the time. Fortunately, so far, so good!

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  22. I love hearing the Baby updates and seeing your sewing projects! I'm glad you're sleeping better. Insomnia is typical after childbirth but so frustrating. Yes, I know your nurse will love the blanket!! Still saying prayers for your family.

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  23. Your daughter is adorable! I'm glad she's doing well. I just bought some cotton & steel myself and was thinking of making a chessboard picnic blanket with pieces so that we have an activity built into the picnic. I saw a tutorial for one somewhere and have been thinking about it ever since. Your picnic blanket brings that idea to mind.

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  24. So glad to hear updates on Eleni. She has such beautiful eyes! Your picnic blanket is lovely and I'm sure the nurse will love it. I'm glad you had it to help you through a sleepless night. I've had some of those and, like you, I eventually just give in, get up, and go do something. They say that really is the best strategy.

    Hugs and prayers for you and all of your loved ones.

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  25. The magic of the online quilting and sewing community is the connections that we can make through typed words and pictures--so of course we want to see lots of Eleni, and Liam and Aria, and how you fit creativity and the joy it brings into the reality of everyday life, poopy diapers and all. Big hugs to all of you.

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  26. Thank you for sharing news and delightful pics of your baby...you are all still in my prayers! Wishing you the very best of news and a beautiful spring and summer with good times.

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  27. Love the baby updates! She is beautiful and so is that blanket!!

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  28. I love the Eleni rabbit trails. She's so adorable and her hair has grown a lot since birth - almost long enough for a little bow.

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  29. I also love to hear about Eleni! She looks so sweet! Keeping my fingers crossed for the test!
    At first I didn’t understand all the fuzz about the Cotton & Steel fabrics, but they somehow have grown on me. Love your Picnic blanket!

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  30. Thanks for the baby updates don't mind them at all! Hope she passed the test and can soon cuddle under the picnic blanket.

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  31. I love reading updates about Eleni. And the nurse would be so grateful for this picnic quilt!!!

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  32. Fingers crossed here as well for a bee utiful little girl! Can't get enough of that sweet little face.....

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  33. what a gorgeous picnic blanket - so fun to just sew gorgeous coloured squares together. And i love hearing all the updates about Eleni - thanks for sharing :-)

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  34. Eleni is beautiful! I'm so glad she is home with you.

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  35. Love the baby updates. Please continue to share them with us!

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  36. I always enjoy reading your posts; the lovely photo updates of Eleni are an added bonus :)

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  37. Love the updates on little Eleni. She is just adorable. I love the ideas of zig-zagging the squares. Your flower fields are lovely!

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  38. The blanket is beautiful. I wish you'd shown the back cause I'd love to see what effect the zig-zag on every other block has!

    Eleni is beautiful and her eyes definitely give the "but no, I'm not tired anymore" look. So sweet! Well wishes for you all!

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  39. Eleni is gorgeous!!! PLEASE keep on giving us updates on her progress. Good luck with that test. I hope the other members of the family are also doing well.

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  40. Your little koukla is beautiful! <3 I will keep you all in my prayers!

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  41. The quilt is a beautiful, thoughtful gift. Your baby is even more of a beautiful gift! Hope the sewing gives you peace through the cares and joys of motherhood!

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  42. Oh Rachel, those sleepless nights and baby being up! exhausting! She is SO LOVABLE! gorgeous! XXOO Cat

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  43. Oh, Rachel, I love going down Eleni rabbit trails and seeing her sweet little face!!! I find as I pray for you all during my daily prayer walk, that I sincerely long for more news of her progress. I pray for peace-filled, restorative and restful nights for you. I've "been there" under different circumstances...it's really rough to walk through the valley. I walk with several favorite verses: Phil 4:6-9 and Psalm 4:8. Shalom

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers, Andrea. You've encouraged me to share more specifics about her situation and our hopes for her when I post next about her.

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  44. PS: I love the Little Bees on her swaddle! Where did you ever find that?

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    1. It's an Aden and Anais swaddle blanket. Love them! Not sure if that exact pattern is still available. I think it was called "mod basics".

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  45. The Eleni rabbit trails are the best!!! I love that she accompanies you to your sewing space, and always love to see her bright eyes. Very cute picnic quilt, too!!

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  46. Beautiful blanket, simple and fun!!! Beautiful daughter too !!!! So happy to see her with you, good luck with the test results. Ofcourse you talk about her...and like to listen;)
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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  47. It is a beautiful blanket, and I am sure your baby's nurse will adore it! Your fabric picks are always delicious. And, I love your "Eleni rabbit trails" .... we all fit our quilting in amongst our lives, don't we?!
    Susie

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  48. Share away about that sweet baby! We are hear as your support system! I love how my social media quilting friends reach out with kind words when Im in need! You share so much of your creative self with us! Inspiring us! If you need to slip in Eleni please do! You are blessed in your family! Sometimes stuff gets in the way of remembering that. Im not as blessed in family due to health issues but I love praying and giving verbal support and watching children grow through my social media friends.

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  49. What stress you have been under... I often wonder how you truly do it. I am a Christian and without the help and patience of the Lord, I think I would fall over on a good day. I will pray for you that your body and mind gets the rest you need to function. Baby Eleni is beautiful and I love to hear about her. Feel free to email me with specific prayer concerns and I would be honored to hold you and your family up in prayer.

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