Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Late Nights

Do you ever have nights when you can't sleep so you think, "I might as well get up and do something constructive!"? If you can empathize, then welcome to my world till 3 a.m. the last two nights.  I didn't drink too much caffeine and it wasn't hot flashes, although sometimes those are the sources of my insomnia.
  No, this time my sleeplessness has been brought on by mind boggling, raw sadness for one of my best friend's loss of a four year old grandson in a tragic death. The words are hard to even form, but just in case it could save another child's life, I will tell you.  He died from suffocation when his head was caught between the mattress and the safety rail on a wooden bunk bed. So, please, if you, or anyone you know, have children that sleep on the top bunk, be certain that there is no way for their little body to fall between the mattress and the rail while they are sleeping.
  I can't sleep because my mind won't stop. So, I get up and sew......and pray.
Here's what I've been working on:
First, I made blocks for Shaina and will just barely get them in the mail to meet the May 31 deadline in the Nittany Block Party.  Shaina wanted liberated stars in fabrics she provided. I loved working with the aqua and orange color scheme. What a fun quilt this will make.

You probably thought that I had forgotten about the special project that I was working on last week for a very special person.  Nope, didn't forget.  I just had to put it aside to do fun things like empty sodden boxes in my basement; plant flowers that have been waiting for two weeks in their little plastic containers while the rain poured down; have a sleep over for my grandsons; and recover from a 24-hour bug.  But now, I  finally got back to my brown and pink project. The late night sewing marathon got me all caught up.

I decided to quilt the wall hanging on my Bernina, so I had to get the layers all put together after I finally got the borders added.  This step in the quilt-making process is not my favorite, but I have found that if I am diligent about stretching out the backing on a table or floor and taping it down so it is very square and tight, it makes for a quilt without any puckers in the finished product.
(If the quilt is larger than my table, I pin it to my carpet with straight pins since I don't have a large wooden or tiled floor to tape to.)  Carpeting works just as well, but is kind of hard on the pins....and my knees! I then layer on the batting and smooth it out.  Finally, I smooth, smooth, smooth the quilt onto the batting and start in safety pinning the three layers together. When I'm done pinning, I remove the tape and am ready to quilt.

My late night quilting was soothing and healing as I stitched and prayed for my friends to find hope and healing in the days ahead.

I added more quilting detail than I had originally planned...but like the way it turned out.  Here's some of the view from the back. *Note: lighting at 3 a.m. is not great for picture taking! The only thing left to do is add the binding.............................
I got that accomplished this afternoon, so I'm ready to put up my feet, drink some decaf tea and watch the season finale of CSI New York as I hand stitch the binding to the back.
Tomorrow I'll show you the front and let you in on who gets this special quilt.

Are any of you awake in the middle of the night?  What do you do instead of "just laying there?" Surely, I'll sleep tonight.


  1. That just breaks my heart for your friend and her family; you're right, the words are hard to come by. Just so very sad... I will certainly keep them in my prayers.

    Ooooh, I feel for you because I have week (sometimes weeks) long bouts of insomnia. Although you have been productive, I hope you get some sleep tonight!

    I love the preview of your quilt and I can't wait to see it finished!

    Jennifer :)

  2. Have you tried using T pins when you pin to the carpet? I think I readthat's what Alex Anderson uses. I tried them and they are much stronger.

  3. Sometimes, there aren't any words. :( So sorry, Carla.

    I have insomnia lately, too. It's just because i spend too much time looking at beautiful quilts and fabric online.

    I should get some sleep!

  4. Who sleeps? Sewing can be very healing, I love that about it most. Sorry for the loss of your friends grandson.