Tag Archives: milestone quilt

Finn’s Milestone Quilt Finish: Two Years!

Whoa summer! What better post to spearhead my return to blogging than this one!?

Finn's Milestone quilt finishThis is a bittersweet post to share. Finn’s Milestone Quilt, the quilt that I created to document his first year of life, sewing and photographing one block per month, is finally finished. It’s quilted and bound and was gifted to my sweet third child for his 2nd birthday nearly 3 months ago. Yes! Baby Finn is officially into toddlerhood and joining the ranks of the twos (I daren’t call them “terrible”).

Finn snuggled in his finished milestone quiltFinn is jumping into the twos with a gusto, expressing his emotions and emphatically requesting (demanding?) “I do it! I do it!” for just about every activity in life. He’s a joyful, social boy who absolutely adores his older siblings, and thusly, mimics their every move. While heart-meltingly adorable, this poses difficult when the 5 year old pitches a fit and storms off in a rage because he can’t cut up all the fruit and vegetables in the house and make soup in a giant pot on the stove at 8 in the morning. I should note that if he ate the soup, I would have no problem with this plan. Finn will watch, then as soon as Max storms off, will exactly replicate his angry sounds and stomps and follow him in an adoring rage. Life is… fun.

impish finn eating ice cream age 2Truly, though, I’m blessed. Even on the most challenging days, I know that I will look back at these years with longing, wishing for Finn to come ask for kisses only so that he can impishly wipe them off with a giggle, then ask for more. Remembering how magically a mommy kiss can heal a hurt, and how simply holding my hand makes even a fearful task manageable. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to hold onto the blissful moments, and like childbirth, block out the chaotic torpedoes of childhood destruction? Or will I miss those too? Only time will tell. For now, I’m happy to have completed Finn’s quilt and hope to see him drag it around behind him on his adventures.

Finn's Milestone quilt finishFinn's Milestone quilt finishFinn's Milestone quilt finish

Now, how about a bit about the quilt?

Finn's Milestone quilt finish freemotion quilting aurifil threadAfter debating whether to use different quilting designs in different sections, or going with an all-over quilting design, I decided to mix it up. I quilted with a variety of Aurifil thread to blend with the different sections of the quilt while creating a variety of textures. I used 40wt 1148-Light Jade with 50wt 4093-Jade in the bobbin for the dark turquoise sections, using a free motion quilting boxy spiral motif.

Finn's Milestone quilt finish freemotion quilting aurifil threadI used my go-to 50wt 2600-Dove to quilt wavy straight lines with my walking foot in the lightest areas, creating a smooth flowing feel.

Finn's Milestone quilt finish freemotion quilting aurifil threadThen I used 50wt 2692-Black to stitch nearly in the ditch, tracing the seam lines in the black log cabin section. This helps define the log cabins while emphasizing their boxy nature. I like the way the squared quilting in the darker sections plays with the smooth flow of the quilting in the lighter section. I certainly need to practice my free motion quilting more, but I’m happy with this quilt finish!

Finn's Milestone quilt finishI opted for the Stoff fabric that looks like birch trees as the backing, and honestly until writing this post, I forgot that I had mentally decided on the *other* fabric I bought back when Finn was 10 months old! Oh well, the birch trees look lovely, too!

Finn's Milestone quilt finishI used a scrappy binding, perhaps for the first time, using up some of my black and dark grey strip scraps. I machine stitched the binding to the front of the quilt, and then hand stitched it to the back with 50wt black Aurifil thread. Normally, for a baby quilt I would machine stitch the binding completely, but I wanted some extra time to reflect on the making of this quilt, and stitch my love into it just a tiny bit more. Or maybe I’m finish-averse. I haven’t decided yet! Either way, I know that if the binding ever begins to fall off, I know just how to fix it, so no worries! I think it will be nice and secure.

Finn's Milestone quilt finishI hand wrote a label and stitched it down with the binding on one of the back corners. Doesn’t it look delicious?  For as easy as labels normally come to me, this one was tough. I wanted to write more than the usual “Made for x, by y, date, location” but also didn’t want to write a novel. I definitely could have written a novel. This will have to do. My love is there. My silly boy clearly knows it! (Click the photo above to see a larger version for easier reading).

Finn's Milestone quilt finishFinn's Milestone quilt finishSo, thus ends the era. The exciting, fun, endearing, and so sentimental Milestone Quilt project has officially come to an end. Finn will continue to grow, quilts will continue to be made, but I can’t help but be more than a little sad that this project is finished. Next up: I hope to create a photo book with all of the progress photos and growth updates. One more way to drag this project out juuuuust a little bit longer! I will also be lecturing about this and other quilts to mark milestones at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, so please come have a listen if you are attending QuiltCon!

I also started another version of a milestone quilt in my Summer Adventure Quilt, about which I’ll share more updates shortly! Just because you don’t have a newborn baby doesn’t mean you can’t create a quilt to document your days!

snuggling with Finn under his finished quilt
Early morning story snuggles with Finn and his quilt.

Thank you so very much for joining in with this fun project, and I hope it has inspired you to find ways to make the creation of a quilt a manageable task even when impossibly busy, and to find ways to document your days through the construction of a quilt. Here’s to the next fun adventure!

For direct links to each of the monthly posts, visit the Milestone Quilt page here. Later in the week, I’ll link up with Let’s Bee Social, Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and TGIFF hosted at Finished or Not Friday since this is a pretty epic finish and I’m excited to finally share it!

 

Summer Adventure Quilt Beginnings

I’ve recently begun a really fun summer project to help replace the absence of Finn’s milestone quilt, now that that’s completely finished (blog post coming soon!).

summer adventure quilt milestone quiltIn the spirit of documenting our days through the creation of a quilt, I’ve decided to create a Summer Adventure Quilt with each block representing a different family adventure. Each block will accompany us on its adventure, be photographed along with our fun, and then become a part of a quilt stitched together in the fall.

summer adventure quilt milestone quiltSince our adventures primarily consist of hikes and beach days, I am making an improv tree block for every hike and an oceany, quasi-improv block for every beach day. The beach day blocks are entirely inspired by the Beach & Boots block from Piece n Quilt’s 30 Days and 30 Blocks sew along in 2015. I really wanted the white negative space to be a big part of the block to match the aesthetic of the trees and this block fits the bill! To go with the improv trees, I am making mine a bit wonky and imperfect, so I’m not using the exact measurements in the tutorial, but the overall design is the same. I decided that I will be making mine in full and half blocks to increase the wonkiness of the quasi-improv nature of my piecing.

tall ship quilt blockI will be making a few unique blocks here and there to represent other adventures, such as a tent for when we go camping in the Adirondacks with my parents, a bridge for when we visit my husband’s dad and stepmom (GrandDude & GrandPrincess) in Pittsburgh, and a big sailing ship I made for a Camden Harbor tour we went on last weekend while GrandDude and GrandPrincess were visiting us here in Maine, shown above. I hope to fit these blocks in smoothly with the rest of the quilt and think it will work nicely!

summer adventure quilt milestone quiltHere’s my progress so far!! As of today, we’ve been on 8 hikes and 1 Camden Harbor tour (on a lobster boat, but the tall ship is representative of the harbor, not the vessel!). We have not yet “earned” the ocean block to the right of the ship block, but I included it for the photo to help show how the block will work into the overall quilt.

birdsacre trails ellsworth maine silly kidsPerhaps the most fun aspect of this quilt is that one block accompanies us on each adventure, and therefore appears in memorable photographs.  I’m hoping to be able to put a photo book together at the end of the summer with photos from each adventure. It’s a big hope, since my list of hopes is endless, but I really think it would be the icing on the cake for this project.

hiking friends summer adventure quiltI’m grateful to have a wonderful group of mom friends who also have kids the same ages as mine and who love to get out and hike. We have created a Mommy Hiking Club (unofficially coined Mountain Mamas Lugging Babies & Towing Trekking Toddlers… it’s a bit of a mouthful, but gets the idea across!!) and we are determined to hike at least once per week with all of the kids. Our hiking groups vary from 3 moms plus kids to up to 5 or 6 moms plus kids, just about every mom is also carrying a baby or toddler in an Ergo or similar carrier, and everyone is welcome. Sure, sometimes there are crying babies, whining toddlers, bug bites, scratched knees, and I’ve been known to have to carry both of my boys (ages 2 and 5) simultaneously on some hikes, but it’s all worth it! Here are some memories from a few of our hikes (since we are 8 hikes in, I am not including every one, but from here on out I will try to share regular updates!).

Blue Hill Mountain, Blue Hill, Maine
The FIRST hike of the summer!!blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt blue hill mountain summer adventure quilt

Great Pond Mountain, Orland, Maine

great pond mountain hike great pond mountain hike great pond mountain hike great pond mountain hike great pond mountain hike

Ecotat Garden Trails, Hermon, Maineecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine ecotat garden trails hermon maine
Camden Harbor Tour, Camden, Maine

camden harbor tour camden maine camden harbor tour camden maine camden harbor tour camden maine camden harbor tour camden maine camden harbor tour camden maine camden harbor tour camden maine

BirdsAcre Trails, Ellsworth, Maine

birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quiltbirdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quilt birdsacre trails ellsworth maine summer adventure quiltHere’s to many more adventures, and to keeping up with the quilt blocks so that there’s always one on the ready for any given adventure. I currently have 3 extra trees and 3 beach/ocean blocks ready to go, so right now I’m feeling ahead of the game!

What adventures do you go on with your family? I’m brainstorming other blocks I could make, and *might* make a few rainbow segments to include for every time we see a rainbow this summer. Rainbow sightings are always exciting!

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social since it’s been a while!

Happy stitching, and happy adventuring!

 

My Best of 2016

Ahhh, the time of year when busy is an understatement, yet still the desire to stop and reflect over the past year–perhaps in the twinkle of some Christmas lights with a hot mug of something sweet–is strong. The phase of feeling more stressed than blessed has passed, the excitement of Christmas Eve and morning has calmed, and now I’m enjoying the holidays in a relaxed, family-filled, grateful way. What better time to do some reflection?

best of 2016 meadow mist designsOnce again, Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her “Best of” linky party, inviting bloggers to share their five best posts from 2016, so I thought it was a perfect time to take a look at the statistics and reflect on the highlights of the past year here on Night Quilter. I’ve put together five of Night Quilter’s “bests” for the past year (plus one personal added bonus), and I invite you to reminisce along with me.

Most Viewed Blog Post

5 steps to sewing perfect curves tutorial nightquilterWithout a new baby announcement like last year, this year’s most viewed post was the tutorial on how to sew perfect curves. I’m especially excited about this one, since one of my goals for 2016 was to tackle curves, and I feel like I made great progress in that category. I love this method as much as you do, and I’m so glad I could share this with so many of you!

Most Viewed Non-Tutorial Blog Post

alison glass quilters planner coverSince my most viewed post from 2016 was a tutorial, I decided to also share my most viewed non-tutorial post. In Planning a Colorful Year, I shared the Riot of Color planner cover design I made for the Quilter’s Planner (which is still available for free, here–and fit’s the 2017 Quilter’s Planner! if you haven’t gotten yours yet, I highly recommend getting one here–this planner is life changing!), as well as a giveaway for a planner. It’s hard to say whether the gorgeous melding of Alison Glass fabrics with Essex linen is what drew the most attention, or if it was the chance to win a most coveted planner, but I am proud of this post all the same and I’m glad you liked it, too.

Most Viewed Blog Post
(not including Tutorials or Giveaways)

one hour basketIf you take all tutorials and giveaways out of the running, the one hour basket (that took me six hours to make!) was the most viewed. This was such a fun make, once again featuring my favorite Alison Glass fabrics paired with Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen, but also is a favorite since I made this basket while attending a class with quilty friend Sarah from Berry Barn Designs at one of my fabulous quasi-local quilt store, Alewives Fabrics.

Most Exciting New Endeavor

2016 was a big year of new endeavors for me, so this category requires a tie:

Yvonne Fuchs quilt in Quilters Planner 2017
Quilt by Yvonne Fuchs, included in the Quilter’s Planner 2017

I kicked off my quilt photography business venture by doing all of the photography for the 2017 Quilter’s Planner, photographing 14 quilts and quilted projects in gorgeous natural locations along the coast of Maine. The photo above features Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl’s lovely Starlight Crystals quilt, photographed along the coast in Acadia. Quilt photography combines three of my loves: quilting, photography, and the beauty of nature, so I’m so excited to be offering it to anyone seeking to get epic quilt photos for publication or just for fun.

quilt theoryocean path quilt white brick quilt theoryI was also one of seven quilt designers to launch Quilt Theory, kicking off with my premier pattern Ocean Path. With the enthusiasm and drive of fearless leader Michelle Bartholomew, we are working on our second round of patterns and are constantly expanding the reach of the Quilt Theory pattern cards. You can find much more information and the full line of available patterns here.

2016 Best Nine on Instagram

Instagram best 9 2016 minus repostsSince I love Instagram so, I would be remiss if I did not share my top viewed posts there as well. This collection is a fun one, including lots of posts about my stress-free stitch-wherever-the-wind-blows embroidery hoop, a fun Alison Glass table runner I don’t think I’ve shared here yet, a progress shot of my Eye Spy Picnic Plaid quilt, a progress shot of all of my thrifted City Sampler blocks, the free Safe with Me pattern I made in an attempt to spread positivity and support for those who need it, and a glimpse of one of my favorite quilt photos for the Quilter’s Planner, the epic sailboat shot of Cheryl Brickey’s Canvas Lines Quilt.

Favorite Project

finn milestone quilt 18 monthsTechnically this is my sixth category, but I can’t let my highlights pass without remembering the completion of the Milestone Quilt Blocks for my son Finnian. While the project didn’t make my top viewed posts for 2016, it is still the project that filled my heart the most. My little babe is now 18 months old, walking, talking, signing, dancing, jumping, exploring, and smiling his days away. His quilt top is together, and I hope to get the quilt layered, basted, quilted and bound early next year. There’s something about making a quilt for your child, marking his progress and growth with a bit of stitching, that really takes quilting to a new level. I’m so grateful that my silly husband made the crazy suggestion (fully in jest) on the day our third child turned 1 month old that I should make a quilt block each month for a photo shoot, since without that little laugh-filled exchange, this project would have never come to be.

2016 was a big year, with many new endeavors and a seemingly endless list of fun projects and adventures. I’m still working on the fine art of saying no and understanding my own limitations, since I really truly want to do it all. I’m a maker through and through. I’m hoping to keep 2017 fairly low key, focusing on finishing projects I’ve already begun, and participating in a few sew alongs with a relaxed mentality. Then again, I have some big goals I’d like to pursue, so we’ll see when and if those kick it all up a notch. I’ll write more about that in a future post, since after reflection comes planning and goal setting. I’m so glad I have my Quilter’s Planner for that!

Thank you, as always, for following along with me here, sharing in my inspiration and project progress, and creating the community I hold so dear. I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday season and look forward to a colorful, productive, and FUN 2017.

Finn’s Milestone Quilt Flimsy Finish

It’s about time! Six months after finishing the last block, I finally squared up and assembled Finn’s Milestone Quilt top! For those of you new to this project, I made a quilt to document my third child’s first year–one block per month for one year of his life. I finished the blocks at his first birthday, and until just this past week, they have sat quietly reflecting on what a year it had been. You can see all of the blocks taken with monthly photos of growing Finn HERE.

finn's milestone quilt flimsy I finished this quilt top two days before Finn’s 18 month milestone, which was the mental deadline I gave myself, so I guess that’s what I get for giving myself such a far-off deadline! But life with kids is busy, this summer was a whirlwind of new endeavors and family adventures, and it, like so many other projects, got tucked away out of sight and out of mind. I’m glad to have it out, quilt top together, and ready for basting and quilting. I won’t count on a Christmas finish since I have two other projects I also want to finish and Finn truly won’t mind waiting a bit longer, but I can hope.

finn 18 monthsSo, Finn! He is as wonderful and cheerful as ever, growing into such a bright soul of a little boy. In these photos he’s wearing a shirt gifted to him at birth by Nancy, one of my quilty friends met through conversations over blog posts–thank you, Nancy!

finn's milestone quilt flimsyI really wanted to get some photos of Finn wrapped up in his quilt, but he wouldn’t have it. When I tried, he enthusiastically shook his head no and ran off. When I flopped the quilt to the ground, he at first picked it up and looked at me as if to say, “What are you doing, Mama? This doesn’t belong in a pile on the ground!” Even still, this post is full of photos. I know you wouldn’t want it any other way!

finn 18 monthsWhen I asked Finn to put his quilt on his head, he ran off to jump on the trampoline instead, impishly grinning at me the whole way. He loves to jump, loves to run around with his older siblings, playing chase or attempting hide and seek. He loves “shooing” the chickens and exploring the natural world. Finn is so independent, and will often focus on a project (shaking a toy around in a bowl, or putting something in and out of an empty bottle, for example) for quite a while. If you will play with him, Finn would throw and catch a ball for hours.

finn 18 monthsHe’s so much fun to watch, constantly learning and exploring the world. Finn is starting to talk a bit more, but still primarily communicates with “Daaa” and pointing. His signing is just now starting to take off, which is fantastic since we’ve recently discovered that he has hearing loss, same as his older siblings (and same as me, his mommy, although mine started much later in life).

finn's milestone quilt flimsyI was finally able to lure him back to his quilt with a block tower. Finn loves to stack blocks and then knock them over! I love to play the game of seeing how tall I can make a tower before he decides it’s smash time. Unlike his big brother who excels in demo, Finn likes to help build just as much as break down the towers.

finn's milestone quilt flimsyfinn's milestone quilt flimsyOnce I spread the quilt out on the floor, Finn was all about it. I was able to get some fun photos of him playing with blocks on his quilt with fun little upward grins when he discovered that I was standing on a chair photographing from above.finn's milestone quilt flimsyfinn's milestone quilt flimsySuch a sweet boy!

finn milestone quilt 18 monthsThen of course, as soon as I was off the chair, he wanted to carry it around and climb up on it, too.

finn milestone quilt 18 monthsfinn milestone quilt 18 monthsHe loves flexing those muscles of his, and boy does he learn fast!

A little more about the quilt. I ended up switching around some blocks to get a better aesthetic balance. Since the quilt design developed as I went, I didn’t necessarily make the blocks in any order, so this rearrangement was pretty easy to accept. Sure, the final layout is different than the ones that appear in the progress posts, but that’s okay with me.

victory lap around the edge of quiltAfter I sewed all of the milestone quilt blocks together, I did a “victory lap” of stitches around the entire perimeter of the quilt, about 1/8″ from the edge. I saw Christa Watson of Christa Quilts encourage people to do this after finishing a quilt top, and figured it’s a great idea for holding everything together, especially when a photo shoot with a toddler is imminent.

victory lap around perimeter of quiltAlthough Finn didn’t drag the quilt around as much as I thought he might, the victory lap was definitely worth the extra time it took to stitch!

finn's milestone quilt flimsy finish 18 monthsNow all I need to do is get this layered, basted, quilted, and bound. No biggie, right? I think I’m going to use an all over boxy meander free motion quilting motif with my favorite neutral, Aurifil 2600-Dove in an attempt to keep it simple. I’m looking forward to getting this quilt into the circulation of family use, but am also savoring the journey.

Thank you for following along, and hopefully your final update on this quilt will be before Finn turns 2!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday. Gosh, it’s been a while! A flimsy finish is still a finish worth celebrating, though!!

All in a Year: 12 Months

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltAnd just like that, all of the blocks for Finn’s milestone quilt are finished and my baby is officially one year old. They say “babies don’t keep” but somehow it feels like the past year flew by especially quickly. I won’t even try to pretend I won’t miss this project dearly now that it’s mostly finished. I do still need to piece the top and quilt it, so no worries–you haven’t seen the last of Finn and his quilt!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltWithin the past week, Finn has fully mastered walking and now prefers it over crawling. He joyfully walks circles around the house, his wobbly steps getting stronger and smoother by the day. This joy of walking certainly made this photo shoot the most difficult yet! I got one, only one, photograph of Finn relatively near his final quilt block, and while it’s not as clear as I’d like, it’s staying.

Finn 12 months milestone quiltTwelve months is 12 months, and not even mommy’s most sincere and pleading attempts will keep a newfound walker from walk, walk, walking! Just as a reminder, here is Finn with his very first milestone quilt block, 11 long months ago:

Finn 1 Month quilt block tealIsn’t it absolutely mind-blowing how much babies grow and learn in such a short time!? Life is an amazing thing.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltMy big kids brought home a couple of balloons from their cousin’s first birthday this weekend (we had a full family birthday weekend with both Finn and cousin Reagan born 26 hours apart), and they have become the favorite toy for all three kids. (Safety note: Yes, I know that balloons are not technically safe for babies, so I will reassure you here that I only allow Finn to play with the balloon when I am directly supervising him!) I figured giving Finn something fun to hold was my best bet at having him stand still for even a moment.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltEven still, Finn would rather walk around than stand still, despite my best efforts. C’est al vie. Such is life with a brand new walker!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltAdd an eager almost-four-year old big brother helper, and the majority of my photos looked like this:

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltor, more accurately, like this:

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltThis is part of what I have loved about this project, though. It has given me an opportunity to sit down, reflect, and write about life in the current moment. By documenting each month of my baby’s life, I’m also documenting our life as a family. With our busy lives, how often do we take a moment to write about our day? I have loved that this project has given me the motivation to write, reflect, and document the joyful milestones in Finn’s first year.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltFinn continues to have a sweet and joyful disposition, complete with his newfound ability to express frustration and flop himself face down, crying, on the floor. Overall, though, he is a happy boy and a super helper. He loves to help me unload the dishwasher, taking out each utensil and holding it up for me (as long as I’m quick enough to take it within a second or two). When he does that, I always say “Thank you!” and now it sounds like he says, “Thank you!” right back. This morning while I was getting dressed, he joyfully opened my dresser drawer and started taking out folded clothes, tossing them on the floor one at a time and saying “thank you” after each one! Oh, the innocence of babes!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltFinn has helped take these blocks off the wall for the very last time. Next up is squaring up the blocks and sewing the quilt top together. I’m going to give myself a month in which to do it, since it feels like an attainable goal. Setting realistic goals is still something I’m continuously working on, and something this project has helped with greatly. As much as I may have itched at times to make extra blocks, or up the ante to two blocks per month, I’m SO glad that I stuck with my original plan of one block per month, since deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on me. Sure, it took an entire year, but all of the blocks for Finn’s quilt have been made! A finished quilt is just around the corner.

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. The blocks are all completely finished now, and just as planned! You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey! I’m not considering the journey over just yet, since I will check in with quilt finishing progress, too, with Finn’s help of course!

I’ll end this post with a few peeks from Finn’s first birthday party. He had such a great time!

finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Cheerful boy + good light = sweet shot!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Figuring out those stacking cups!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Those eyes!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
The big sibling blur during gift opening. Big siblings are great gift helpers!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Birthday cake!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
“Oh yes, I am eating it all!”

Here’s to many more years of growth, joy, and family fun!

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday, and Sew Cute Tuesday tomorrow.

 

The Final Stretch: 11 Months

I’ve been here every day, experiencing  every moment, yet still it’s hard to believe my baby is nearly a year old. Finn is walking more and more, beginning to talk a bit (he clear as day said “yes” when I asked him if he wanted more milk last night, and “mama” is a regular), he’s learned how to tell me when he doesn’t like something, and his wonder of the world around him only grows. I know that he has a lot more growing and developing to do, but his milestone quilt is nearly finished. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsI had to laugh to myself a bit a few weeks ago when Finn threw his first fit. You know the kind, where he gets his hands on something he really shouldn’t have (in this case, a pony bead that he surely would try to eat), you take it away, trying to distract him with something else, but still he whines, arches his back and makes it known that he is NOT happy. My first thought was, “Awww cute! Finn learned how to throw a fit!” True tale sign he’s my third child. While it’s still a bit cute when he throws a fit, I’m sure it will get old long before he outgrows it. But still, he’s such a blessing. Looking at these photos, you’d never think he’d be capable of throwing a fit. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsNow that walking and moving is old hat for Finn, this photo shoot was quite a feat. Just about as soon as I set him down standing, he’d start to walk toward me. Adorably cute, yes, but jolting movement doesn’t bode well for clear photos. Still I managed to get a few good ones, and of course I’ll be sharing them here. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsThis month, we had some friends over during his photo shoot (which actually happened this morning!), so his friend Ronin joined him for the photos. Ronin is a few months younger than Finn, but it was fun to see them interact. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsHere I was asking and signing to Finn, “Where’s your friend?” I’m trying to sign all the time to Finn and it’s slowly starting to show. He finally signed “more” while eating eggs the other morning, and I think is beginning to sign “milk” and perhaps “all done”. He seems much more interested in verbal communication, and it sounds to me like he says: mama, milk, more, Maddie, Max, water, yes, and perhaps a few more. The development of a human brain blows my mind. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsfinn milestone quilt 11 monthsOnce again, the highlight of the day was ripping the blocks off the wall. Here Ronin looks on as Finn takes the first block down, and turns to check with Emily (Ronin’s mom) to make sure it’s ok. finn milestone quilt 11 months

finn milestone quilt 11 months
How happy do they look!?

Once I gave them the go ahead, it was a quilt block grabbing, tasting, throwing free-for-all. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsRonin especially enjoyed the tactile-oral quality control job. Such adorable kids.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltAs you may have noticed in some of the photos above, I recently found potential backings for Finn’s milestone quilt. While doing a bit of quilt shop hopping during Maine’s April quilt shop hop, I spotted two prints that stuck with me at Mainely Sewing. After walking through the shop, I found myself coming back to these two.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltThey are by Stof Fabrics, which is a fabric company unfamiliar to me before now. The fabric feels sturdy and smooth, and based in Denmark, I anticipate high quality. After much deliberation, I bought a couple yards of each print, just in case. I haven’t seen them elsewhere, so I thought it was a wise purchase.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltTo be honest, the print that looks like birch trees was the one I thought I’d use for the backing, until seeing them hanging next to the quilt. Looking at the photo above, I’m leaning strongly toward the print on the left. I love the pops of gold in both of them, since some of the fabrics I used in the quilt blocks for the front have gold details, and the square geometric pattern reflects the log cabin structure. I can see this quilt coming together, and it’s such a fun sight!

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsI deliberated over which photo of Finn to use for his 11 month block photo, since this one of him carefully standing is pretty adorable, but I ultimately chose the one with him leaning over, peeking out into the kitchen where Emily and Max were talking.

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsThis photo seems relevant to his stage of life right now–wanting to get into the mix, discover everything, and communicate and run with the big kids. He’s getting awfully tall, too! One more month before he’s a one-year-old! I’ll check in again next month to share the celebration.

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Upward: 10 Months

It’s hard to believe that my baby will be a year old in less than two months. They don’t lie when they say “babies don’t keep”. Finn is in the final stretch, as is his milestone quilt. I’ll warn you now: I took a LOT of photos this month. If you don’t feel like seeing far too many cute baby photos, you may want to just stop here. The rest of you may want to get a beverage and find a comfortable seat! 

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn is itching to run around with his older siblings, and that motivation is clear in his movement and development. A few days before 10 months, he took his first few (three, to be exact) small, tentative steps. Were they to mommy or daddy? No! They were to big sister Maddie, with whom he really wanted to play. He has been mastering climbing down as well as up stairs, and absolutely loves to dance. His solo standing is now quite steady.

finn 10 months milestone quiltHis quilt is growing, too. Creating the blocks has become second nature, and with the extra precut strips saved from previous blocks, the new blocks go together quickly. As anticipated, the toughest part about this quilt now is the monthly photo shoot. Finn was *really* helpful this time!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWhile I taped the blocks to the wall as quickly as I could, Finn was helping me sort the project box for this milestone quilt. In baby terms, this means pull everything out of the box then proceed to mix around as much as possible. Oh, and taste all the things!

finn 10 months milestone quiltTaking the blocks off the wall is also a really well known and delightfully entertaining game. This month’s photo should really look like the photo above. As Finn adorably revealed. I’ve been hiding an outlet behind the blocks all these months! In a house with a million outlets and hardly any clear walls, you have to make do! He’s so proud of himself.

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn now has four teeth, and his top two grow bigger daily. You can barely see them peeking out in this photo. Such a sweet mug!

finn 10 months milestone quiltPlaying throw and catch is another favorite of 10 month-old Finn. Here we are playing with my newly made repurposed denim ball.

finn 10 months milestone quilt
I caught this gem action shot with the ball in the air!

He actually has quite an arm already, and almost always throws the ball forward instead of behind him!

finn 10 months milestone quiltHe’s just SOOOO big! There are those top teeth!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWith teeth comes the ability to eat more adventurous things. Toward the end of the photo shoot I discovered one of the reasons Finn was so intent on taking the blocks off the wall.

finn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltHe was aiming to eat the blue painter’s tape right off the wall! Must be delicious!

Finn 10 months milestone quiltSo there we have it. Ten months old!

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Tipping Point: 9 Months

Finn has officially been growing on the outside as long as he grew on the inside. (Well, if you want to get really technical, he has another two weeks since he was born at 42 weeks gestation, but I’m just going with generalities a bit). This feels like the tipping point, for some reason. It’s amazing to think about the amount of growth that has happened over the past 18 months. Mind boggling, really. 18 months ago he was simply cells, and now…. wow! Life is miraculous, there’s no doubt. With month nine, I’m now working on the final row of his Milestone Quilt. Only three more blocks until it will be finished and ready to assemble. That means only three more months until my little baby will be a year old.

finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootWhen I was thinking about what monthly milestones he’s been working on and meeting, and therefore which ones I wanted to document here, I immediately thought of his experiments with standing. He is getting steadier on his feet and will sometimes *briefly* let go of whatever it is he’s holding and stand on his own. Up until the photo shoot yesterday, though, these standing bouts lasted only a second or two.

finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootYou can imagine my surprise when Finn stood on his own for a few minutes, albeit propped against the wall! There’s my 9-month old boy!

finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootAs you can see, he’s still putting just about everything in his mouth, chomping at the bit as his teeth work their way in. He still has only those bottom two, but his top teeth look like they are getting close to breaking through. The drool faucet is often turned on.

finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootI’m really loving seeing his quilt come to life. It does take some restraint to make such a simple quilt in such a long, drawn out time, but I think it is so worth it. I’m seeing my quilt-making mature as I watch my son grow, and I’m keeping the project completely manageable. This month I’m proud to say I made his block a few days in advance, and did the photoshoot yesterday. I won’t try to count how many months saw a last-minute day-of rushed shoot and late night sewing sessions. This month, I’m winning.

finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootfinn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootfinn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootOne of Finn’s new favorite positions is on his knees. He “stands on his knees” as Maddie likes to say, and bops up and down, chewing on a toy, or dancing along to music or just about any repetitive sound. He LOVES to dance. He still loves to smile, too.

Finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootWith his increasingly steady stance, he is exploring the world with earnest. Those little hands reach and grab, trying to figure out every little thing. I’ve had to reevaluate the “safe zone” height in our house, since there have been a few large items pulled to the ground due to his exploring reach. No worries–all furniture and large items are securely fastened to the wall. Fortunately, Max made that a necessity so we are well prepared for our next active boy.

Finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shootFinn still loves watching the chickens, and has begun to “talk” to them, as well as to the phone when it rings. He’s working on waving “hello” and loves to interact with others, especially his siblings.

Finn 9 month milestone quilt photo shoot
Finn “talking” to one of the friends who was here during the photoshoot. An epic 6-kid playdate was underway yesterday, but actually made the day more harmonious since everyone had a playmate. 

As a year draws near, I’ve begun to think about how I want to preserve these milestone posts. While his baby book has been sorely neglected, I do have these updates each month and I’d like them to be in a preserved form. I’m thinking I will turn at least the highlights of each post (the photos and milestone accomplishments) into a book via Shutterfly. That way, Finn will have his quilt and his First Year book to look back on. I love this project more every month!

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Exploration: 8 Months

If I thought Finn was on the move last month, this month takes it literally to another level. A few days ago, I was helping Max get his socks on in the morning and casually glanced over to make sure Finn wasn’t eating anything he shouldn’t. I am so glad I did, since Finn was three steps up, headed gleefully up the stairs! He can crawl, pull up to stand, walk along with movable items, eat solid foods, and now climb stairs. I think he’s beginning to explore communication more, too, since he clearly understands the words and signs for “milk” and “food”, and anytime he sees his brother, he says, “bop!” I’m hoping he starts to sign back soon, since then the fun really begins! This kid is amazing!

finn 8 month milestone quiltAs we know, as Finn grows, so does his quilt. With the eighth block finished, this is really beginning to look like a quilt!

finn 8 month milestone quiltEvery month when I’m writing this post and looking at the quilt, I think perhaps I should up the ante and make two blocks per month to make it a bit larger when finished. But then, when the monthly milestone comes (and sometimes goes before a block is complete… ahem, this month), I remember that the reason I am keeping this project small is that it is meant to be attainable and fun, NOT stressful.

finn 8 month milestone quiltI’ll keep it to one block per month and will focus on the fun. At 36″x48″ finished dimensions, I think it will be the perfect drag-around size for Finn. Plus, this way if he feels like he outgrows his quilt, it can go right into the memory box (in tatters, hopefully) and I will make another one!

finn 8 month milestone quiltfinn 8 month milestone quilt

finn 8 month milestone quilt
Such a helpful boy!

As you can see, Finn enjoyed helping with this month’s photo shoot. All predictions related to the complexity of successfully photographing a fully mobile infant were absolutely correct! All part of the fun!

finn 8 month milestone quiltWho knows what kind of new explorations he’ll be tackling next month! Maybe he will be able to help me tape the blocks UP onto the wall instead of just pulling them off?

finn 8 months milestone quiltIf you want to see the full quilt layout plan, I showed it HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. It’s wild to see how he’s grown in such a seemingly short time. Four more blocks to go! Thank you for joining me in creating Finn’s milestone quilt.

On the Move: 7 Months

Time is not the only thing that has been flying by. Finn is already seven months old and is officially on the move! While he still moves primarily through his inching army crawl, he is getting a lot more adept at moving his body around from belly to sitting to up on all fours, *flop* to belly and across the floor!

finn 7 month milestone quilt blockWhile I didn’t finish it before Christmas, I did finish Finn’s 7 month milestone quilt block. I’m on course to have 12 blocks by his first birthday. The photography part is definitely getting fun, since as soon as I sit Finn down, he wants to move. That squirmy wormy desire to *move* just shows his growth and personality, so I’m embracing it. It’s one more opportunity for creativity!

finn 7 month milestone quilt blockThe biggest news this month is: teeth! Finn’s two bottom teeth are in and now big enough to see when he gives his gummy smile. Teething is never fun, but Finn (and mommy & daddy) have been handling it like champs.  Between his big sister’s birthday, Christmas, and holiday travel, it has been a full and busy month!

finn 7 month milestone quilt blockNot much stands in Finn’s way these days. Trying to get him to stay on the quilt near his quilt block was tricky, so most of the photos this week are movement or snuggle photos. I’m sure you don’t mind. This was what I saw less than a minute after putting him down right next to the wall. “I want to play, Mommy!”…

finn 7 month milestone quilt block…until he got distracted by a design in the carpet. He is also really working on his fine motor skills, trying to grab tiny bits off the carpet and floors. I love watching his little mind at work. Babies are amazing; they learn so much so quickly!

finn 7 month milestone quilt block
“I like this one, Mommy!”

finn 7 month milestone quilt blockFinn’s quilt is really taking shape! You can see my full layout plan here in case you missed it a few months ago. I’m tempted to begin sewing blocks together but I think I will wait until the end to be consistent with photos. Here’s a quick photo burst since who doesn’t want to see babies in front of gorgeous quilt blur?

finn 7 month milestone quilt block

finn 7 month milestone quilt block

finn 7 month milestone quilt block
He loves to stand while holding onto my knees, and was trying to eat my colorful knees.

This project is so much fun, and I love that even if I procrastinate, sewing up a block takes less than an hour; sometimes it comes together as quickly as a half hour. For a busy mom with a million things on her plate (Hi, that’s me!), this project is a breath of fresh air and a chance to see and make progress without a huge time commitment. Plus, it’s such a fun way to document Finn’s growth and milestones.

finn 7 monthsThank you for following along!