Maeve's Baby Quilt

7:00 AM

Baby Maeve's quilt was the most difficult project I ever had to complete. Probably because being pregnant really just made me want to nap, like all the time [thank you anemia!].  It was a struggle to convince myself to sit down and work on this. I wanted it done by time she got here but ohhh, I just didn't want to touch it either.

I managed to power through and get it done, I'm so glad I did. I just hugged it, all the time. I wanted nothing more than to cuddle my sweet baby girl and she was being stubborn about arriving. So until that time, I had a blanket to hug.

I made her quilt using vintage sheets I collected from sellers on instagram. I collected these sheets two years before she was even conceived and called them my hope scraps. I wanted a daughter badly, I love my son but I yearned to have someone to put in dresses and top with bows.

I looked at many designs and finally decided to do this "zig zag" because I wanted to quilt it to look like arrows. I didn't go native with her nursery design, at all, but I'm so eclectic I wanted to add a piece of that in subtly. My original idea for a girl's room involved lots of yellow, though I strayed from that later on, I still kept the yellow in her quilt with pops of pink. I love how the quilt is set off against her blurple wall, so it was a total win.

Once I got my pieces together I just wasn't happy, it wasn't complete. So I began experimenting with different designs for a border. The down side of using vintage sheets was my limits, I couldn't just run down to the fabric store and pick up more of this or that, maybe grab another coordinating fabric. Nope, I was stuck with what I had. But I couldn't make it work so I began to dabble with solids and decided to do this black and white border.

If I recall right, I had already picked the polka dot binding, so that's why I was drawn to the black and white "stripe." It turned out great, I've received a lot of compliments on the pop the border makes, so I'm glad I went with my gut and did it.

The polka dot binding was originally going to be my small touch of black and white, but when I put just that against my blocks it seemed like it still didn't quite work. Which is why I added the small border and then the binding. Now I love it!

I also finally learned to slip stitch my binding on to make it seamless and pretty. It's a little wonky, but it was my first try. I've done it on a few blankets since then and it looks great [Yes, I've made blankets since my baby was born. Mom needs a hobby!].

On the back, I originally planned to use this vintage poppy sheet I had, but I just could not bring myself to cut it. So I used solid white cotton, because it was the easiest match I could make last second. I probably could have shopped Etsy for more vintage sheets, but I wanted to get this baby done.

I love how the quilting looks on the back. I quilted with pink and yellow thread, so the colors show on the back. It's easier to see in real life, sorry.

I also chose to use a thick batting inside to make the quilt super puffy, the idea being that baby will play on it more than she will sleep with it. It's too big and heavy to be in the crib with her, so I planned for it to be more of a play blanket instead. I lay it out on the living room floor for her to play on almost everyday.

Plus, it's super fun to squeeze, like a stuffed animal.

I am really happy with how this turned out. It's far from perfect because I struggled with the vintage sheets so much, some of them stretched as I worked and made the quilt less than a proper rectangle. But that's okay, it's made with love, from Mom to Baby.

It looks beautiful in her room and works with the sheets I received as gifts, a yellow zig zag and a gray with white polka dots.

I'm glad I held on to those vintage sheets for so many years, I started to have my doubts about having another baby and then once I was pregnant, I kept thinking: "What if I have a boy!?" I suppose I would've been making new plans.

This is probably my last quilt for this year with the holidays moving in. No one else has announced a pregnancy at this time, so maybe, just maybe, my next quilt will be for me.

- Amanda

What's In My Bag? The Baby Bag

10:30 AM

Greetings! Hello! I am alive!

While I was still working on blogging all about baby coming, baby made her appearance!

I'll talk more about her birth coming up, but right now I wanted to catch up on my posts that I already had ready, just not written and scheduled. Plus, I have a new little thing coming up as it's time to work on that baby weight, I don't have a ton to lose [though I don't think anyone has every had to lose a whole TON] but talking about it and checking in somewhere really helps me stick to it. Plus, my weight loss doesn't have any gimmicks. Hooray! No expensive products necessary, just diet and exercise. But maybe, just maybe, I can make something of it, share some recipes and tips that help me.

So, to the baby bag! I'm going to tap into my sleep deprived brain here and try to remember what I wanted to talk about here.

I already showed you my bag and what was in it. I did actually get to carry that bag to the hospital and most of all I wish I had more snacks. Go figure. Birthin' babies makes a gal hungry, so does breast feeding them.

So the first thing you need is a bag, of course. I would say there are NO wrong choices when it comes to choosing a diaper bag. I had it a little easier and I didn't have to pick one! As soon as my friend, Mary, found out a baby was on the way, she began plotting to make a pony bag. The announcement that we would be having a little girl cemented that plan.

I could not be happier! I get compliments like crazy on my Pony bag, plus it has proven itself durable and useful. I was showing it to another friend that recently announced she is expecting and she loved that it's design would make it a great overnight bag for the little lass in the future. Hooray for Grandma's house!

If you interested in this bag or one like it, they start at $60 and they can be customized almost limitlessly. Her facebook page is the best way to contact her: Mary El Designs

Otherwise, pick what you like. Baby bags can get expensive QUICK, but set a budget for what you want and shop around. Prior to knowing about my pony bag, I was eying these to die for leather bags... until I saw the $400 price tag. I don't even buy purses that expensive, I wouldn't do it for something that's going to carry baby goods and in the future, toddler goods. I don't want juice in a $400 bag, but a small child will need juice. Pony bag will be much easier to clean, granted, I still hope we don't get juice spilled in it.

So that is my baby bag and this is what I packed...

Look at all that cuteness! We have here:

  • 2 Receiving Blankets
  • 2 Swaddling Blankets
  • 2 Newborn Onsies
  • 1 Set 3m Onsie with Pants
  • 1 Night Gown [0-6 months]
  • 1 Footie Jammy with Hat [for going home, size 3m]
  • 1 Pair Socks
  • 1 Pair Mittens
  • 1 Pair Slippers
  • A Set of Bows
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby Grooming Kit 
That's it! You'll notice I do not have diapers or wipes. The hospital will supply diapers and wipes during your stay, in my experience, it has always been pampers. So you do not need to bring any unless you are A.) Set on using a specific brand or B.) Cloth Diapering. I have no experience with cloth, except I do know that sometimes small babies don't fit them in the beginning. Just something to consider and plan for just in case.

Now, if I could go back and change anything, I would add to the bag. 
  1. More onsies! Our stay was a little longer than I would have liked, so extra onsies had to be picked up.
  2. More mittens! She had scratchy little nails and loved to run them all over her adorable little face, she needed all the mittens we could get.
That's actually it, that's the only stuff we needed more of, so not bad.

One little thing we had brought to us during our stay, were these swaddlers by Summer Infant. They're called SwaddleMe and I loved them so much. I had a hard time keeping the blankets tight on her, but these were so easy to put on her and kept her happy [Thank you, Grandpa!]. I was pretty sad when we outgrew them, mostly because she wanted to move and wiggle, so we stopped swaddling. 

That's my baby bag! Everyone is going to tell you different things you need and don't need, just go with your gut. Everyone has different experiences, different needs. I took pretty much the bare bones because I did not want to haul a bunch of stuff to and from the hospital. I'm simple, I like to keep it simple.

I'll tell you all about Little Miss' arrival soon, as she was as stubborn as I predicted, oh the fun!

- Amanda 
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