Strings with Lime

I have been making a quilt this fall for a 4 year old I have never met.  Her mom asked me to make it and I couldn't say no.  This is my first commissioned quilt.   I posted a bit about it at the beginning, but this quilt has really dominated my sewing time over the past 3 months and I'm happy to finally  have time to share some more of it.
I have loved working on this quilt.  It measures 80" x 87" and it is the first full sized bed quilt I have made and quilted myself.  I've done kings and twins, and plenty of throws, but never a full.  It's a shame I'm not keeping it, I really need a quilt on that full sized guest bed...

 The back is Sketch flannel in Royal and it is amazing!  I may just be a flannel back convert after this one.  I pieced Madelyn's name into the back-- the letters are about 4" high.  I hope she likes it.
 I cut and attached the binding to the front today, and plan to spend blissful hours tomorrow hand stitching it down.  That sounds like the perfect way to spend my birthday~

The quilt has taken me longer than I expected.  Is it that the foundation string piecing was more involved than I remembered, or my free time more scarce?  Either way, I made it as fast as I could.  Like every quilt, I learned a lot with this one.  It's the largest piece I've ever quilted on my Janome, and it fit just fine (for the record, I could probably do a queen..).  I underestimated how much thread I'd need to quilt it and ended up waiting in line at JoAnn's on Black Friday.  Never want to do that again (though buy one. get one free is a hard deal to pass up).  I also underestimated how tired I'd be at the end of each day, and how short Jack's naps would be.
When George was a baby, I remember getting a lot of sewing done while he napped.  Somehow I thought things would be the same this time around, but I'll tell you, the biggest shock I had this fall was how much I wanted to be with George when Jack was asleep.  If I'd turn on the tv and sneak off to sew, I felt guilty leaving him alone.  I missed him. 
Other moms of 2 or more can probably relate.  I spent so much time this year focused on the baby, feeding, changing, pureeing, packing and repacking the diaper bag, pushing the stroller.  I miss the feeling of George's hand in mine as we walk to school.  It's like I blinked and he went from being 2 1/2 to being 5.  I can barely pick him up and he doesn't fit in my lap anymore. 
Something has changed (is changing?).  I used to be me first.  A person, a woman, a Smithie, a quilter.  But now, no.  Now I'm Mom first. 
So this quilt took me a long time, but it helped me discover this change, see who I am now.  And I'm glad I can write that here, because I'm not sure non-quilters would quite understand.  I love this quilt, and I'm happy the end is near.  I hope to have it in the mail this weekend and let it become part of someone else's story.


  1. The quilt is beautiful - the colors, the patterns of the fabric and the piecing, as well as the quilting. I'm sure she will love it.
    Your stories of being a mom are interesting, although I have no common stories. I never thought I'd be a parent, and I know if I had become a parent, I'd have been a bad one. It's comforting to read about you and your children and see the evolving role stitching has.
    Enjoy your birthday.

  2. Hi
    Wow, what a wunderfull Quilt! Madelyn will enjoy it a Big Time of her Life! The Colors are fantastic!

  3. Sorry, I forgot! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    Greetings from Norway!

  4. the quilt is beautiful! she is a lucky girl. Yes being a Mom first is a transition I made 30 years ago as a stepmom. no 9 months to get used to the idea, just here you go but it was the best transition in my life. I now have two children who call me Mom and 6 grandchildren and YES they grow up too fast! enjoy every minute with them that you can.

  5. What a gorgeous quilt! And I can totally relate on the kiddo stuff, you really captured the heart of the challenge. I always feel guilty when I turn on the t.v. to sew too :-) But what a blessing to have a job where we can stop what we're doing and kiss the top of their little heads any time we want to!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

  6. Have a very happy birthday! You know soon enough those 2 will be sneaking off to play together and will spend less time with Mom! Enjoy it while you can! I have 3 and mine are 18, 13, & 12. They grow so fast! Oh the quilt is BEAUTIFUL!

  7. Happy Birthday! The quilt is beautiful and Madalyn is a very lucky girl! Enjoy your boys because they do grow up fast.

  8. Your boys are so dear! Be sure to take lots of photos! We watched old home movies I took of my "baby" (48 now) when he was here on Thanksgiving Day. Watched him take his first steps. Hilarious!

  9. It looks AMAZING Jess and I am soo incredibly proud of you. You are a wonderful mother, sister, wife, quilter and much much more. Hugs and Love. Lauren


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