This quilt, or something like it, has been turning around in my head for weeks. I really haven't made much at all for this baby, and it was starting to bother me. So with Audrey back at kinder today, I made a start on a cot quilt. Just one strip for now - the first of four. The plan is for 2 green and 2 blue lengths like this with white cotton to separate them. It's very, er, free-form/make it up as I go along/fly by the seat of my pants type crafting: strips of a few favourite (stashed) prints at various widths all sewn together. Influenced quite a bit by all the white in this beauty from the Purl Bee. I'm going to use some of the blue 2D Zoo by Alexander Henry to back it, and once it's all pieced (and, er ironed), sometime in the distant future, I'll hand quilt it all together. Hopefully by the time the wee boy goes into a cot. Considering he seems in no rush to be born, that might be a while. :)
I am still here waiting. Baby's due date is only a few days away now. He still hasn't dropped very much, so I suspect I may still be around this time next week, too. But who knows? I have become a bit tentative about taking Audrey on big excursions far from the house by myself lest, you know, my waters break in the middle of a museum or something marvellously dignified like that. So we've been puttering about the house a fair bit. I discovered a new to me recipe for a humble cupcake base (from a little photocopied pamphlet given to me by my Nanna). I've been unable to sample it myself, but it looks so fluffy & light and I'm on good authority it tastes the same. I'll never use another cupcake recipe again. I had a birthday just before Christmas, so made these using my birthday/christmas/forever-and-ever-amen present of a long coveted stand mixer, so was able to beat the mixture within an inch of it's life - it seems to have worked! Also the fact that there's not much butter in there must help, too. Ok, enough crapping on from me - enjoy!
2 tablespoons butter
1.5 cups self raising flour
0.75 cups caster sugar
0.5 cups milk
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add sifted flour and milk alternatively. Beat into a nice fine batter consistency, adding a few drops of vanilla extract. Bake in cupcake cases 12-15 minutes in a moderate to hot oven (I think I baked them at around 175 deg. C) Ice or fill with whipped cream when cold.
Three more giraffes. I'd been referring to them as a flock, but a quick nose around the internet tells me that the correct collective noun is either a corps or tower of giraffes. Who'd've thought it? Anyway, Lucille, Albert and Mimi, (plus Nigel) all found new homes this morning - thanks to everyone who placed an order.
With about a week and a half until my due date, these will be the last I'll be making to sell for a little while. If time allows, I'm all excited about finally writing up my cat pattern, or getting a start on Audrey's quilt, or even starting a quilt for the baby. All no doubt fairly delusional on my part (especially given my pace at the moment), but Audrey did arrive 10 days past due. So, time will tell.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then a small box of stuffed and hand-sewn toy giraffe limbs is the product of the heavily pregnant woman who likes to sit on the couch.
Thankyou so much for your kind and thoughtful comments on my last post, indeed to all my pregnancy related posts of late. I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone who stops by to read, say hello and share some of their personal experience. I don't have any flowers, but a bouquet of colourful giraffe bits for you all!
Thirty seven weeks, and I'm starting to slow down a little. I'm so behind with responding to email and feel terrible about it, but hope those waiting on me understand that my pace is slowing to a plod. The only sewing I managed on the weekend was hemming the edges of these muslin squares for baby wraps. Not that I care much about gender specific colours, but there's rather a blue theme going on isn't there? I've been staring to wonder what the chances are of the sonographer being wrong... what if it's a girl after all? At least she'd have a name - boy's names are still a hot topic of discussion around here.
In any case, baby has turned so isn't breech any longer, and my doctor revised the size down to only 2 weeks ahead (instead of a whopping 8 which was the suggestion at my previous appointment. Phew!) So, after thinking all along that I'd probably be a candidate for repeat c-section (Audrey was born by emergency caesar), I'm staring down the barrel of a possible vbac. What a rollercoaster. And the braxton hicks started yesterday, so the time is nigh to read, read, read, to brush up my knowledge about delivery. This is a strange point of pregnancy to be at, and I find my mind preoccupied with questions that can't be answered, and situations that can't be controlled. Mixed in with the odd rush of excitement and burning desire to sew baby stuff. At least my bag is packed!
It was hot again today - 41 degrees hot. How ridiculous is that? I usually try to get out every day with Audrey to avoid cabin fever, but cashed in one of my heavily pregnant cards today and, armed with some essentials (grapes for the fridge and a washable fabric pen), scheduled a day at home for a joint project.
I've been wanting to try some embroidery-type thing with Audrey's drawings for ages. This idea has been doing the rounds of the crafting blog world forever, and I can't remember where I first saw it - perhaps here with Amanda way back when? There's this fabulous looking Japanese craft book on the subject, too. It's extremely addictive, and I couldn't help but think when I was stitching these today that they could be the most precious things I've ever sewn (spot the pregnancy hormones, anyone?!) I got Audrey to draw straight on the the fabric with the pen, and then machine stitched over the top. It took a bit of trial and error with my machine. I'd hoped to do it free motion, but once I lowered the feed dogs the whole thing looked like a dog's breakfast. Also, I don't have any fancy embroidery feet for my machine, so I ended up just straight stitching with a tiny stitch length. Not perfect (my machine's stitch quaility and I are often at odds with each other anyway), but it worked. Some stabilizing fabric probably would have helped, but, honestly, I'm too lazy! Her first picture of a cat made it's way onto one of the bazillion singlets we have for the baby.
And then I couldn't stop. A person.
A house. I was tempted to appliqué some patterned fabric into this one - maybe next time.
And my personal favourite (other than the cat), a person with flowers. I'm not sure what these others will become - perhaps part of a quilt one day? But for now, the process of preserving these pictures I love is half the fun.
Since I first started making giraffes, a few people have suggested that they look quite similar to kangaroos. So the other day I bit the bullet. With a few alterations to my giraffe pattern (shorter neck, the addition of a pouch and tail), a kangaroo called Nigel is born. Nigel will go in my next shop update, but I'm not sure how many cousins of Nigel I will make - a ton of handsewing went into this dude.
Please, no one tell me he looks like a giraffe! ;)
Thankyou for your reassuring comments on my last post. It was written at the end of a long, hot day when I was tired and my angst levels were at their highest. Not saying I'm not still petrified about the impending birth, but today is another day. Audrey is having a day at child care, and I'm puttering about my work room, catching up on email (still going!) and planning some (hopefully do-able) tasks for the coming weeks and year.
Also, we now have a side fence (needs painting, but the man of the house is keen on that job). So I can now give birth knowing that Audrey and her future brother will be safely ensconsed in our backyard by something that won't fall on them if they try to escape (as was the former arrangement). Thanks Dad!
I read an incredibly inspiring post over at the always inspiring Wish Jar last night which really changed my wound-up/tick-it-all-off-the-list/freak-out perspective of the last few weeks. I'd been asked to take part in a couple of really exciting projects this year, but several of the deadlines were for the next couple of weeks. Anyway, after reading Keri's post last night I woke up this morning and it seemed suddenly so obvious that I needed to let some of it go. (A couple of dizzy spells after spending too long at the computer also helped push me along). Well, duh, you might say. But I really wanted to be involved in these projects, so stepping back wasn't the clearest option. In any case I have, and my mental health is better for it. Can you feel the serenity? For now, I'm just focussing on getting the little guy in my belly out safely, and my own deadlines - those that I can control: getting some things in the post, a shop update (beginnings of that above), and maybe some pattern writing if time allows. Hooray for letting go!
Happy new year! Hope a lovely festive season was had by all. We had a wonderfully relaxing christmas. Since then it hasn't really felt like new year, or holidays, though. Matt has been back at work. The weather has been shockingly hot. Thankfully, my Dad has been about to keep us company - building us a side fence during his own holidays none the less (he's a champion). We're trying to finish a whole lot of house related projects and have lurched right from "Season's Greetings" to "Oh my god, there's a baby coming. Very soon". But with more swearing.
Come tomorrow, I'll be 36 weeks pregnant. I'm huge. And science will back me up on this because at my last checkup a week and a half ago I measured a whopping 42 weeks. Yikes. I'm sure I don't need to go into to how nervous that makes me feel about delivery. And then there's everything that comes afterwards. Plenty of fodder to lie awake at night thinking about, oh yes indeed.
So, after we've ticked all the house stuff off the list, and I've packed my bag for hospital, my remaining new years goal is to try to be calm about what lies ahead. Nothing like a lofty aim to ring in the new year, right?
I'm Fiona. I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband and two small kids. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly toys and quilts). Sometimes I also write about my little family, and the things that inspire me. Thanks for swinging by.