Monday, July 30, 2007

Getting Closer

Today we drove for almost an hour to the long-arm quilting lady's shop (we'll call her J.) I hope J didn't mind the parade I brought along with me. The kiddos were curious about what was going to happen next to Meili's quilt top and wanted to help.

J was very kind and gave the kids a great explanation of how the machine works which is pretty cool. I thought that it would be all computerized but it is not. She actually stands behind the quilt and guides a red light over a template of choice (we chose ladybugs, of course!) The machine is a foot or so away from the template and light and mimics the pattern onto the quilt. I might be able to describe the process better after a good night's sleep...;o)
Anyway, the quilt should be done minus the binding (Bless Betty's heart-She is going to do that too!) and tag(will have that embroidered this week) my mid August. We are getting so close-what a fun ride this has been! We spent the drive home talking about all of the things that we did in anticipation of the rest of the chidren which was fun. Granted, with my early deliveries, we only had about 7 months to prepare for each of them!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Christmas in July!

Look what I picked up today!!! (Double click on the picture to enlarge and see if you can find your square!)It's been almost 2 years in the making but the squares have been united and Meili's quilt is almost done! I think that Betty did a wonderful job. It turned out even better than I had imagined it in my head! I love the red and black fan border! Here's a closeup:
It is so cool to look at each of the squares and think of the people who sent them along with their wishes for Meili. What a treasure! I can't wait to look at it with her one day and talk with her about all of the people who were thinking of her and waiting for her along with us...
After I spread the quilt top out on the floor to snap a few photos, the kids had a great time looking for each of their squares and finding the squares from their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I so appreciate all of the squares from friends we know and friends from blogland!

On Monday morning, I'm off to an appt with the long arm stitch lady. She is hunting for a ladybug stitch design for us. If she can't find one, I may just opt for a meandering 'red thread' design. I'm also hoping to have a small tag embroidered that says, "100 Good Wishes for Meili-2007" to stitch into the binding on the back of the quilt. It could be done as soon as late next week-I'll be sure to post more pics!

Betty has done a fantastic job and she was quick and very reasonably priced! If you would like her to do a quilt top for you, send me an email and I'll put you in contact with her.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Plan

Well, it's been over a year since we began collecting squares and wishes for Meili's quilt and the happy day has arrived. We have 100 squares! Thank you so much to those of you who have contributed. I realize that it is just one more thing that you had to add to your 'to do list' but we so appreciate it!

So, with Phase I (The Collection) behind us it is time to transition into Phase II(The Plan)! I probably could piece the top together myself if I were just going to put the squares together. I've done one before that turned out 'okay' but it was a rather stressful process for me. I have decided to do a 10 square x 10 square design with 1" black sashing (strips of material) between each of the squares to frame them and unify the quilt. I've also picked up a black and red 'fan' patterned material for a 4" border. There is too much that can go wrong here so I've decided to hire professionals to complete the task.

Jackie is my sw, boss and friend. Her mother-in-law, Betty, lives with her and is a quilting pro. She has agreed to piece the top together and bind the quilt! I have also found a lady across town who does long arm stitching. She will sandwich the top, batting and backing together and run a ladybug stitch throughout the whole thing.

I hope that Meili likes ladybugs because she will probably be surrounded by them by the time she comes home. Ladybugs are said to be good luck in the China Adoption community. Some say that this originated in China but I have my doubts. Either way, we are going with it! I've found a ladybug patterned flannel that will serve as the backing and in keeping with the theme I just found a scrapbook with a ladybug on the cover that looks very much like the quilt backing.

What I like most about Meili's quilt is that the entire thing will be stitched using red thread. If you are running in China adoption circles, then you already know why. If you're not, here's the 411. There is a Chinese legend concerning people who are destined to marry. The China adoption community has adopted (no pun intended) this legend and applied it to the children who are destined to join their families. It goes something like this:

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet.

The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."

When I first came upon this, my first question was, 'If the thread is invisible, how do we know that it is red?' =) It does, however, sum up how we feel about Meili and our desire to have her join our family. It is amazing to me that in a house that is as full as ours, we can still sense that someone is missing. Since we have begun the adoption process, we have definitely felt the stretch and there have been tangles along the way but we know that the space in our home can only be filled by going to China and bringing our daughter home. So, red thread it is.

Now, onto Phase III (The Execution)! Be sure to check back for updates and pictures!