May. 17th, 2010

norsegirl: (Default)
I'm torn as to whether this is a hobby I should love or hate. There are some definite positives.

What I like about quilting:
- the pretty fabrics
- the design process
- piecing a top

What I hate about quilting
- the actual quilting part
- not having anything to do with all the finished quilts

I'll admit, the fabrics are attractive. They lure me in and call to me from aisles away. Doesn't help that half of every fabric store seems to be devoted to them as few people who sew anymore do anything but quilting.

I enjoy the planning that goes into a quilt. Solving design dilemmas, picking the fabrics, doing the planning it takes to put together blocks. Everything goes just swimmingly until I'm confronted with the inevitable and tedious task of forcing what seems like miles of unruly fabric through an unwilling machine to add the batting and back. I know I could outsource this part, but then it feels like I'm not really doing this quilting thing, so what's the point?

Then there's the problem of what to do with the results. Quilting isn't really a look that fits into my design aesthetic. It just isn't. On my beds it's duvets. On my walls it's oil paintings (yeah, for realz, I have original oil paintings in my home) or prints. Over the backs of my couches it's laundry (yeah I'm a bit of a slob sometimes) or nothing. Georgia's room has a quilt on the wall. She loves it. It's the only room in the house with a quilt. Storage is also a huge issue for me without a basement, so I'm disinclined to collect anything that doesn't have a purpose, and let's face it, in Texas, quilts have a very limited window of usefulness as anything other than decor. Can I really justify spending all the time it takes and the cost of materials for something that will have no purpose at the end?

Anyway, this week I let myself get bitten by the bug again. While wandering through the baby fabrics I spotted a lovely flannel and realized that I have enough bibs and burp cloths to sink a ship right now so I needed to find another excuse to buy it for. A quick run through the normal flannel section revealed solids on sale for 60% off and that was it, I decided on a rag baby quilt. Rag quilts are neat things in that they solve my major problem with the whole hating quilting thing. Any of the required quilting is done while the pieces are still squares. By the time you put the whole lot together that's already taken care of. And in the case of this particular quilt I've skipped the batting entirely to make it more Texas-appropriate. 2 layers of flannel and nothing else is just about perfect for baby and I to curl up under.

I'm about half way through this project and I've run out of thread otherwise I might be tempted to push it to completion tonight. I've got all the blocks assembled and laid out on the dining room table. 2 of 4 rows are assembled, so it's just a matter of assembling the last 2 rows, joining all the rows together, edging it and maybe clipping the seams. I've never actually finished a quilt before so I've never gotten to the edging part so that will be an interesting learning experience. I feel like this one needs to be edged, but in future, if I felt so inclined, I could skip it. Rag quilts don't always have edging. Heck, when this one is mostly done I might even reconsider whether it needs edging either.

Anyway, quilting on the whole is not really my thing. But this rag quilting I could really get into. Unfortunately the selection of flannels down here is pretty abysmal. Ironic since 2 layers of flannel makes a much more comfy warm-weather quilt than densely woven cotton and batting. It's like wool, works in both hot and cold weather but people see fuzzy and think it's for cold weather and that's that.

Maybe when I've got the car tomorrow I might hit Jo-Ann's and see if the sale is still on. It may be that there are more rag baby quilts in my future.

As much fun as I've had today I'm feeling a bit guilty. I've got nothing to wear to Pennsic and neither does G. Now while I could have spent today addressing that situation I instead spent it with this new obsession. Might have to find a way to curb the urge until the fall when I'll have more time.
norsegirl: (Default)
Had our 9-month pediatrician's check up today and little mouse is very little indeed. For weight and height she's dropped down to the 4th percentile. The pediatrician commented that we'd keep an eye on it, that I should be feeding her more foods with fats (drizzle olive oil on her veggies, feed her avocado, butter her bread etc) and that she'd be worried if she dropped into the 3rd percentile or lower. What difference does that single percentage make? Also I'm wondering if I should be worried at all. We aren't all going to be perfectly average, and my family and Jason's both run small, so it's not like this is an entirely unexpected result. Also, she's proportionate, and it's not like she's looking slim. I'd be more worried about a baby that was 75th percentile for height but 25th for weight for example, even though both of those are within the more "normal" range.

She's still getting most of her daily calories from breast milk, but this is making me doubt that decision. Am I stunting her growth by not offering her more food?

On the flip side, her head has gone from 10th percentile last time to 30th percentile. There's a little part of me that's wondering if all this measuring isn't just a little bit subjective. By which I mean that other than the weight, two people could measure the same baby bit and come up with different answers depending on how baby stretched her legs or bent her head down or how the string around the head went over certain bumps.

I'm torn between wanting her to flourish and offering her more food and wanting to continue my laid-back parenting. Feeding food is a bit of a pain in the butt compared to breast milk, so I just tend not to do it as much. There's also conflicting info that I've read that implies that up to a year most of the calories are supposed to come from milk and eating is just to get practice with the act of eating. Is that really true or am I starving her?

Aaargh, this parenting thing is difficult.


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