Last Saturday I showed you the Tic Tac Toddler quilt I made for Hopeful Thread's November challenge to make baby quilts for Tennessee Children's Hospital. Today I will show you the baby girl quilt I've been working on.
My first experience with the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) back when I was in the 8th or 9th grade, came when my mom's best friend gave birth to little Emily. Being 4 months premature she weighed just 2 pounds 2 ounces. Such a tiny little peanut. I remember the routine we had to go through just to step into the NICU. Hands and arms had to be scrubbed, including under the fingernails. Clothing, hair, and shoes had to be covered. Only 1 person was allowed in to see Emily with her mom or dad, so I waited my turn while mom went in first with "Aunt" Debbie.
Holding Emily for the first time was the most amazing, terrifying experience of my life. I was afraid I might hurt her just by touching her. When the nurse put her in my arms she hardly weighed anything. I'm pretty sure the blanket covering her and the tubes coming out of her weighed more. Instantly I fell in love with my new little "niece" in a way I've never felt before.
As exhilarating as that experience was, there is another memory emblazoned on my soul, that of leaving the hospital without her. The hospital was 2 hours from where we lived so Debby had to get rides to and from the hospital. She couldn't afford to stay in a nearby hotel so she had to leave her every time. I can still hear Debby's sobs as we pulled out of the parking lot.
Thankfully Emily survived and came home to spend many weekends at auntie's house. She would often stay in my room at night once she was a little bigger and I would get up with her if she needed a bottle or a diaper change. I loved taking care of her She was one of our flower girls when we got married. She is married herself now and lives in Australia with her military husband. Her life started in the NICU and that is why I made my girl quilt for a smaller crib at the Children's hospital.
As I designed and stitched this quilt I was often reminded of Emily. I spent many hours praying for the baby this quilt would go to and her for her parents, as well as extended family and friends. My heart longs to bring comfort not only to the baby this quilt will wrap around but the mommy standing beside her bed and having to leave her side at night. I pray the angels will watch over her sweet body and that the doctors and nurses caring for her will have the strength & wisdom they need to care for all the babies. Most of all I pray for healing and peace for this baby I have never met and will likely never know.
Now on to how the quilt is made. I have to give a shout out her to my Sistah's at StampNation who helped me when I couldn't decide where to place all the hexies. Hopefully you ladies like the finished project. Thanks for giving me the confidence to finish it.
Each of the hexagons are English Paper Pieced. I hand sewed the larger hexagons together and then sewed the hexagons on to my quilt top. (Moda Ombre Grey fabric... I LOVE it!) Although I wish I could have found a purple ombre instead for this baby quilt.
My friend, Melissa, from Sew BitterSweet designs got me hooked on paper piecing hexies. I can't seem to stop! For the fabric I chose to use the Lovely Charm Pack by RJR. Missouri Star Quilt company is offering these charm packss for $3.95 to go along with their Iron Quilter contest. I decided this would be a great combo. Lovely flowers for a baby girl. One charm pack gave me ALL these hexies and more.
To do the quilting I followed the hexagon lines and created this fun chevron pattern. It turned out great, considering my low skill level when it comes to quilting. The binding was cut from yardage in the Lovely line. I used Jenny Doan's youtube tutorial to attach my binding. I've discovered that I LOVE hand sewing my binding on. It's so relaxing!
If you would like to learn more about Hopeful Threads click on the picture below. Thank you again, Kristy, for giving me an opportunity to give to such a wonderful cause!
This is also part of my personal challenge for A Lovely Year of Finishes with Melissa and Shanna.