Josie’s Quilt (This one’s a tearjearker)

Alright people, get your tissues out……

Remember these 2 cute baby quilts that I blogged about a few days ago? I also quilted a coordinating quilt to go with them.
free-motion machine quilting

Michelle, my customer, made all three quilts for a pregnant friend. Michelle’s friend had tragically lost a baby earlier last year. This is what happened, in her words:

On the evening of Sunday, Jan 30, 2011, I became nauseous and just could not get comfortable. I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia with placental abruption. Preeclampsia is a syndrome characterized by the onset of hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. Unfortunately at just 24 weeks and 2 days gestation, there was no choice but to deliver our baby. The original plan included transport to another hospital which specialized in high risk pregnancies and preterm delivery. In preparation for transport, my pressures were continuing to rise and the preeclampsia had become life threatening. There was no choice but to deliver at the hospital where I was initially admitted. I was prepped and immediately taken for an emergency C-section where I delivered a little girl weighing just 1 pound. The Children’s Mercy neonatal team had been called in to assist in the care of our baby immediately after arrival. However, despite all efforts our little girl, Josie Michael, passed away a short time later with her father (Mike) by her side, holding her hand.

Once Michelle found out that her friend was pregnant again, shedecided to make all three quilts. Here is what Michelle says about it:

Before all of this had happened Kristin (my sister) and I had already picked out and purchased the blue and pink version of this fabric for the entire nursery. Once Josie had passed away we (I especially!) felt it was only right that we make something for the big bed that was going to remain in the “nursery” with hopes that if she did have another child that the quilt would be a memory of Josie and still match the nursery “theme!” And finally… that is what will happen! This quilt will be on the big bed in the nursery room and the pink baby quilt that you quilted will be for her baby sister “Quinn”! I am so amazed at how the quilting really pulled this whole quilt together!!! I know every time she looks at it she will think of baby Josie and it will truely be cherished in their home. I feel so fortunate to have been able to make this for her and her husband Mike!!

I warned you that this was a tearjearker! When Michelle sent me the quilt, she asked me to quilt Josie’s initials into the middle of the quilt and to quilt her full name in one of the borders.

machine quilted letters

machine quilted feathers

When I quilted her full name, Josie Michael Fuhrman, in the border, I used a dark brown thread to help it show up…but it still is a little hard to see.
machine quilting

(Josie was given the middle name Michael because that is the only person she got met during her short time here.)

Here are some more detail shots of the quilting:
custom free-motion quilting
machine quilting

Just recently, Michelle’s friend delivered a healthy baby girl and I wish the whole family loads of joy and peace!

This isn’t the first emotional quilt I have quilted (see here or here for others that I have done) but this one sure got to me! There can be so much nastiness on the internet and in life in general. Let’s all take a moment, say a thankful prayer for all we have and go out of our way to be nice to someone today!

Happy Quilting!

A Quilted Hug (revisited)

I blogged about this quilt last week and have received so many questions that I thought a second blog post may be needed.


Here are a few of the questions I received:

Just curious, why didn’t you quilt the words first to insure spacing and blending into the circular pattern?

Since I quilt on a longarm, the way that I go about quilting a quilt is different then if I was doing it on my home sewing machine. I load the quilt, and work from top to bottom, instead of from center out. It is easier for me to quilt the top, along each of the sides and then the bottom leaving the center unquilted. If you were doing this on your sewing machine, it would be much easier to do the center words first and then fill in around them.

After I quilted the verse, I filled in around it with the circular quilting design to make sure that there were no blank spaces.

Why didn’t you just load the quilt upside down and quilt it all from the back?

When using a quilting machine, the back of the quilt must be bigger than the top. This allows room to pin the backing onto the machine. Since neither Shea nor myself knew that we were going to be doing it this way, the pieced portion of the quilt (the top) was smaller than the back.

How long does it take to load a quilt?

There are so many products available to help load a quilt quickly, however, I just use pins. Since I have had just a little practice loading quilts, I am pretty quick at it. Of course it depends on the size of the quilt, but this seeing squares quilt only took about 10 minutes to load.

Did you mark the words before you quilted them?

I wanted to make sure that the verse was centered on the quilt as much as possible so I wrote out the words using a water soluble marking pen.

How did you prevent tucks in backing since you left it unquilted?

If I am leaving a large space unquilted, I always baste it with lots of pins. I pin it with the pins parallel to the bar on my quilting machine so that they can be rolled up with the rest of the quilt.

I think that about covers it! I love talking about quilting so if you ever have any questions about anything that I discuss, please feel free to comment!

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