DrEAMi baby quilts

DrEAMi baby quilts…50745159_10216095807682516_5117445054918557696_n

So, I have a young colleague who, after many years, finally finished her post postgrad education and got pregnant. With twins. Life as a surgeon is not easy, and when I last worked with her in early December, her arms were getting too short. Well, not really, but it’s hard to reach far into bellies when your own is full of babies. At least, that’s what I thought as I sat in my comfortable anesthesiologist’s chair, remembering the challenges of being pregnant many moons ago.

I was off work for three weeks around Christmas and came back to find the babies had been born. That was not really good news. They weren’t due until April. I thought I’d make her tiny quilts.  I consulted one of our nurses who’d spent years in the neonatal nursery, and she recommended  at least 36″ so they could be used to keep light out of incubators. So much for tiny quilts. She also recommended tiny dolls that the mother could put in her shirt and that could then be put in the incubators, bringing the babies the mother’s scent. I dusted off my knitting needles, and this is the result.

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The quilt idea wouldn’t go away. Talk about a persistent squirrel! Then, last weekend, I was rummaging and found a box of a half dozen blocks and multiple unused strips from a quilt top I made last year. You’ll hear about that one soon; it’s in the quilting line up. I realized I could have two baby quilts done in no time, and use up some orphan blocks and scraps. I set to work. The tops were done in a couple days. The yellow, white, and grey colour scheme was even gender neutral, although I’m enough of a traditionalist that I made a pink block for one quilt, and a blue one for the other. And later snuck in a little of the pink and blue into a corner of each binding. After all, you need to be able to tell them apart. The quilts, I mean.

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Since my longarm wasn’t functional, I spray basted sandwiches in preparation for quilting them on my DSM. And then got up the nerve to replace the tension assembly in Tin Lizzie. I’d had the part for months, but my first attempt at installing it didn’t work. I tried again. Got my friend Roxanne over. We both tried. She went home and got on facebook and stayed awake trying to figure it out. Next morning, she sent me a text and link about how to tighten the screw in the middle of the assembly. I did. And now I have two finished baby quilts and a working longarm.

You know those wonderful clothesline pictures? Here’s my attempt.

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Not so good. So I took them down to the pond (which would be a lake to most of you) and tried for an artsy shot on the rocks.

50996698_10216095807562513_5530869784968691712_nA photographer I’m not. Maybe the upcoming workshop on quilt picture taking at Quiltcon will help. In the meantime, this is my life and these are the quilts.

And now they are going in the wash to become all clean and crinkly before they are gifted.

Thanks to Sandra of mmmquilts for her recognition that there are projects that make you drop Everything And Make them. I’m linking up with her.

Oops! I should have told you that the pattern for the block is from Film in the Fridge

30 thoughts on “DrEAMi baby quilts

  1. Oh my goodness, this is such a heartwarming post. Love the sunshine quilts and the two dolls are so thoughtful. I thought they were just that – two little dolls but the fact that they transport warmth and mommy scent to the babies makes them the most angelic and magical little dolls. Thank goodness for the squirrels and thank heavens for you!!!

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  2. What absolutely perfect DrEAMi! baby quilts and little dollies. I’m so glad you listened to that squirrel. I didn’t know about keeping the light out of the incubator, but duh, that makes sense. All of this story makes me want to do something for our Neonatal unit. I do hope these babies are okay, and that their mama (and papa) are too; seems unfair that someone who saves lives has her own babies’ lives in danger. I love the sentence you wrote about her hands in others’ bellies while working around her own or something to that effect. 🙂 I love the photo shoot; looks like the wind plays a major role for you too! Thanks so much for linking up, Ann!

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  3. I feel like you had my photo shoot, but in the snow. Mine never go as planned, and other folks make it look so easy! Beautiful quilts!

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    1. Thanks, Gail. There’s been a bit of up and down with the babies .Fingers crossed and prayers sent for them. And yes, the pond is frozen, but we had a thaw a couple days ago, so I’m not positive it’s safe.

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    1. I thought they’d be a good idea too. They were made from a tube of 27 stitches in double knitting, 16 rounds for pants, 14 for sweater, 16 for head then decreasing fairly quickly. The neck, arms and legs are defined with stitching in matching yarn. I’d gotten a pattern once upon a time from a friend but it’s long gone. I’ve made lots of slightly larger ones with 32 stitches that have been hits in the past.

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  4. Aww, Ann! You and your photos always crack me up. Blocks randomly floating on water . . . now quilts blowing around on snow. Yay to squirrel projects and getting them done. And thank you to Sandra for hosting all of our madness. Nice work!! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  5. What a fun post to read. Those squirrels can be persistent, and sometimes their timing is interesting. I hadn’t ever thought about the difficulty of surgery while pregnant. Makes me smile, though, seeing it from your perspective. Those two little quilts are wonderful. I get the whole photography thing. I need to photograph my mini today, and it will be an inside shot. It was -16 this morning, and a bit breathtaking. I’ll make an inside shot work!

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  6. Thank you for your lovely story and for your kindness! I’m sure that your kindness and support will help your colleague immensely.

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