Christmas Countdown

I'm shaking a bit as I write this, knowing that all these projects below--and a few more I haven't pictured--have a deadline.  And that edict is coming from me, a knitter who absolutely hates putting time frames on knitting projects.  But a Christmas gift is a timely thing, and I have ruined one past Christmas Eve by staying up late trying to finish a knitted gift, only to crash at 2AM with it unfinished. To make sure that won't happen this year, all other knitting has been banished, and only these projects will get any attention in November and December!  I have a few car trips (where I'll be the passenger!) and a long train trip planned before Christmas and these are my travel knits for sure.

I finished the Amy Herzog Options KAL and hopefully will have a modeled picture to share soon.  I love it, and loved knitting with the yarn--so much so that I purchased more to make the Floyd Vest from Martin Storey for my son.

The Owl Ways Scarf and Chouette Hat from Ekaterina Blanchard of KatyTricot is for my 15-year-old granddaughter who thought these were just so funny and cute.  I'm using some stash-with-no-name that feels like a homespun wool.  Check out Ekaterina's Rav store.  She has some very clever designs.  Annie also asked for some fingerless gloves and headbands and think those will go pretty fast.

Two Harbors Poncho by Sarah Smuland is for my daughter.  This is my first time using this Columbia from Imperial Yarn.  It has a very hearty hand.  I'm liking it--it's nicely spongy!

IF, and only IF it looks like I'm not going to have a problem finishing the above gifts, then I'll see if I can finish this for me.  I try to wear a touch of red every day during the holidays so would love to have this done.  This is Bevin, from Kim Hargreaves Hush.  It's an over-sized boyfriend cardigan using that lovely Rowan Brushed Fleece.  Last year I ordered 10 skeins knowing that I would have to make another coat with this lovely stuff.  The pattern I chose needs only 9 and that one extra skein became the anchor and the inspiration for the hot red/claret/pink color combo for the Tower Of Yarn giveaway.  If you haven't entered, there is still time--I'm keeping it open for a few more days.  Go here to enter.  Good luck!

I'm finished with my Options KAL Pullover, love it, and also finished Dulwich in Rowan Alpaca Merino DK plus just finished a hot pink poncho for Annie.  I hope to have modeled pictures very soon.  If you're also waist deep in Christmas projects, take a deep breath, stay calm and knit on!  xo Kristen

I often write my posts ahead of time, sometimes weeks in advance.  This post was written last week and scheduled to publish Monday AM.  But after the events last Friday, I had to come back and say hello.  I'm just so heartbroken that Paris has been targeted again.  I've been watching my share of CNN, and I'm sure just like you, can make no sense of this tragedy.  This has gone on for too long--killing and raping, how can this sick behavior be tolerated any longer?


tower of yarn giveaway

Yay!  It's that time of year--time for another tower of yarn giveaway!  I've had some fun collecting Rowan yarns (in hot reds and pinks this time) to celebrate some blog milestones.  This is my favorite giveaway to have, as it includes some of my favorite yarns--yarns that knit beautifully and wear beautifully--and happen to be some of the most gorgeous yarns available for hand knitters today.  I'm thrilled to share these with you and wish you good luck!  The descriptions are below, plus plenty of ideas for what you can do with one skein.  The end of the post describes how to enter the giveaway.

This is my wobbliest tower ever.  Even kebab skewers didn't help much.  
It fell dozens of times before I could get it to stay.  I just couldn't breath!

My towers are usually blue, but I decided to go a different direction.  How do you like these hot colors?

Let me tell you about each of these from top to bottom:

Summerlite 4-ply was introduced Spring/2015.  It's a lovely, soft, fingering weight yarn made from the finest Egyptian Giza cotton.  The very soft hand makes a fine, even fabric; it's like no other cotton you've knit with before.  One skein is enough to make the Diamond Purse from the Rowan Swarovski Evening Collection.  Look for Rowan to add to the Summerlite line in 2016.  100% cotton, machine wash.

Softknit Cotton is a DK weight with a chain construction and beautiful drape.  It's easy to achieve an even tension and looks great in cables.  Light and cool, it's an easy-care, machine-washable blend of cotton, 92% and polyamide, 8%.

Wool Cotton DK, a 50/50 wool/cotton blend, is another easy-care machine-washable yarn.  Great for year-round knits, it's a favorite of mine for children's knits.  It comes in a fingering weight too.  Great stitch definition and is another yarn that's easy on the hands for a great knitting experience! 

Baby Merino Silk DK is just that, a blend of soft merino wool and silk that is machine-washable and another favorite of mine for children's knits.  I've just put a sweater's worth (for me!) of a bright blue on my Christmas wish list!  Combine the above pink Softknit, the orange Wool Cotton and this claret Baby Merino Silk DK for a totally adorable/totally free striped baby sweater!  It will be beautiful!

Kid Classic, ahh, you beautiful yarn you.  A blend of wool and kid mohair, this is perhaps one of my favorite yarns to knit.  I have some deep, almost black navy in my stash to knit a bolero as soon as my Christmas knitting is finito!  Kid classic acts like a bull-dog--it wears like iron and resists pilling, yet lives like a lady--the fabric is elegant, downy, and simply gorgeous.  The color I've chosen is a sexy, deep, wine/purple.  With one skein you can whip out several pairs of my Boot Cuffs for stocking stuffers this year.

Brushed Fleece, so maybe I saved the best for last.  I discovered Brushed Fleece because I wanted to make this coat.  Had to.  Even though I thought I was allergic to big needles, I found that I loved the knitting experience of Brushed Fleece.  It's bulky but uncommonly light weight, like it's been jet-puffed with air.  The resulting fabric is soft enough to wear next to the skin and light-weight enough to make a big over-sized coat without heaviness--your coat won't stretch out with added weight--there is none!  I am in the process of making another coat, more like a big boyfriend sweater, using this red.  I'm hoping to have it done by Christmas, but my gifts are a priority right now--wish me luck!  What can you make with one skein?  Perhaps a hat, definitely some boot cuffs or wristies.  Either way, you'll at least have fun petting it!

It's easy to enter.  Just leave a comment below (one comment per reader) and LEAVE ME YOUR CONTACT INFO!  Don't forget that little thing because you can't win if I can't find you.  Either your Rav id or email address will work just fine.  For a second chance to win, go to the Knitionary Facebook page, and under the post that has the Tower of Yarn picture, make a comment.  I'll leave this open for about a week.  Good luck, and thank you for reading!


options KAL progress and a V-neck tutorial

I'm more than halfway though knitting Amy Herzog's Options Sweater KAL.  I've enjoyed learning Amy's techniques and have also incorporated my own fit and easy-knit techniques which I'll share below.  This post has the details about how I shape a V-neck and how I put in sleeves.  I hope these tips will be helpful on a sweater you're knitting now, or on the sweater you'll be knitting in the future. 

These pictures show un-blocked fabric.  A luke-warm swish in water, or even a steam-iron will work wonders on uneven stitches.  I went far with just one skein with the Pure Wool Superwash DK--137 yards got me almost half way up the back.  PWDK has quite a bit of life on the needles, but not too much, just enough to make it behave and snap into place.  This makes it great for touch knitting.  It is not needle fussy and I've found my Knit Picks Caspians are perfect for this project. The color is a heathered, pale sea-green called Marl.  Do you see the two sets of decreases just off the center?  Amy places her waist decreases and increases here rather than on the sides.  This gives a much more flattering fit and is going to be my waist shaping method from now on. 

I was finished with the back in no time and made no mods.  Working on the front now and I'm almost to the armhole shaping.  The completed back is underneath and has been blocked.  You can see how a light blocking evens out the stitches. 
This photo doesn't show the color very well, but here I'm finished with the front and back.  I pinned it together and slipped it on and it fits like a dream.  Yay!  Amy has not yet posted directions for the v-neck option for the pullover, but I have a confession:  I rarely follow the pattern's v-neck instructions anyway.  I do my own thing. Here's how:  You have options when you are creating a V-neck.  If you want a low V, start the V-neck decreases one inch before the armhole shaping begins.  If you want a medium V, start the v-neck decreases at the same time as the armhole shaping, and if you want a higher V, then start the shaping about a 1/2" or 1" after the armhole shaping begins.  How simple is that?  This is a simple customizing technique that will further help you create the sweater you want to wear. I wanted a medium V on this sweater and so began my neck shaping at the same time I began the armhole shaping.   See more below.

Here's what I do:  The neck shaping decreases and armhole shaping decreases are usually happening at the same time, but at a different rate.  To make this part simple to follow, on a separate piece of paper, write out row by row what decreases are to be made.  Keep this paper with your pattern.  When shaping the V-neck, start with an uneven amount of stitches (prior to the beginning of this shaping you may have to alter your pattern one stitch to achieve this) and knit to the center stitch, mark it, then complete the row.  You will have the same amount of stitches on each side of the center stitch. Next row, with WS facing, P to 1 st. before marked stitch, and turn, now working one side at a time.  (You can now put the stitches for the other side of the neck on a stitch holder if you wish, but I don't bother.) With RS facing K2, K2togTBL, K to end.  Repeat this neck decrease row every RS row 7* times, then 7* more times every 4 rows AND AT THE SAME TIME, make your armhole shaping as per pattern.  *These numbers may be different for you and can be adjusted.  This particular neck shaping was appropriate for my gauge and my size, yours might be different, but don't be afraid, read on!  There are several factors that will change this number:  your gauge, the depth of your neck and/or the size you are making.  In general, the first 1/3 of the V shaping will have decreases made on every RS row, and the last 2/3 of the V shaping will have decreases made on every 4th row.  This is just a general guideline, and not etched in stone.  Every pattern and size you are making is easy to adjust:  Before binding off, just make sure your front shoulder has the same amount of stitches as your back shoulder so they will match up when you seam.  Depending on the sweater, you might have to slow down, or speed up your neck decreases.  Often the neck shaping is finished several inches before you will bind off.  That's fine, just work straight until the front arm scythe length matches the back.  Work your second side exactly as you have done the first, but this time, with RS facing, knit to 4 sts. before center stitch, K2tog, K2 and turn.  That center stitch is left alone until it's time to pick it up for the neck ribbing.  This type of decrease is called a "full-fashioned" decrease and is my favorite type of decrease for a V-neck.  Before we move on to the ribbing, can you see how, by fudging the rate of decreases, you can also make a very open and wide V shape, or a long, skinny V neck opening? Now, on to the ribbing!

(The picture above is unblocked so it looks a bit lumpy.)  When your front is completed, seam both shoulder seams.  You will be knitting the neck ribbing in the round.  With short circulars, and starting at a shoulder seam, pick up and knit 1 st. for every back neck st.  Down the front, pick up and knit 2 sts. for every 3 sts., pick up the center stitch, then pick up the other front at the same ratio as before.  Make sure you have the same amount of stitches on either side of the V fronts:  if you have 30 on the left side of the V, you should have 30 sts. on the right side with the center stitch in the middle.  Begin your ribbing, it can be any ribbing you like, but here I have done a K2P2 rib to match the rest of the sweater.  You may have to add or remove a stitch or two to make the ribbing work out--I like to do this on the back neck.  You will be knitting in the round.  Round 1: rib to 2 sts. before center st., K2tog, K center st., K2togTBL, continue with rib.  Round 2: Rib, knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches, always knitting the center stitch.  Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until your ribbing is a scant less than 1" (or whatever depth ribbing you prefer) and bind off.  If you are binding off on a round 1, make your decreases as before, binding off at the same time.  I know you've tried on your sweater many times since you've started, but now is a good time to do it again, as it's really starting to look like something!  Now, on to the sleeves!

The next few pictures show how I put in sleeves.  Rather than knit a separate sleeve and sew it in, I knit top-down, set-in sleeves.  This is a simple technique and is my preference for knitting stockinette sleeves.  You pick up stitches all around the arm scythe and starting at the very top where the shoulder seam is, knit short rows to complete the "bell" shaped top.  When the bell is complete and you are down to the bottom of your armhole scythe, you simply knit the sleeve down to your desired length, making decreases every 2", and finish with the ribbing or your desired cuff.  I've written a post that has the complete tutorial here to show how you can make top-down, set-in sleeves.  You'll also find a PDF that you can download and print out.  It's an easy sleeve method and I love the results as they always fit well.  I'd love to know if you try it and please tell me what you think.

I'm almost finished with the short-row shaping of the bell.

I'm pinning it together and just ready to pop it on to see how the sleeve fit is.  (It was perfect, so yay!)
This picture makes my sweater look super long, but it's not really.  I did add 2" to the length, and it falls to just below my hip and right where I want it. This simple, straight-forward pattern allows for many opportunities to learn new techniques for fit.   Once you get the fit right, keep good notes and I imagine you'll come back to this pattern again and again, making different sweaters choosing the different options.  I highly recommend Amy's pattern, especially if you are new at sweater making or new at customizing your sweater to fit well.  You will learn a lot!  If you don't have time to knit it at this time, download the free pattern and save it for when you do have the time.  If you're thinking about joining the KAL now, it's not too late.  Many people have just started swatching.
As for the yarn, I've enjoyed the Rowan Pure Wool DK so much that I purchased more to make the Floyd vest for my son for Christmas.

Here's the links!

Download Amy's free Options KAL pattern here.
Hopefully you can find Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK at your local yarn store,
but if not, it can be purchased online at most online shops including:
Jimmy Beans
Black Sheep
Fiber Wild

Here's the post that explains the sleeves.

 Lots of discussion on the KAL Ravelry page.

Amy Herzog's blog

You'll be happy you've watched these excellent YouTube videos:

Amy's first video, how to choose the correct size.
Make sure you watch Amy's second video with more details on fit modifications.
Is your hand-knit fabric sweater ready?

pumpkins for sale

We try to get to the coast at least once a month and Half Moon Bay is a favorite coastal destination.  On Friday, my husband suggested we take his beloved 62 Corvette out for a drive to the beach.  My husband takes his little hobby car out almost every day for a little spin, but I admit that I'm not often with him.  Even for a short ride, I have to pull my hair into a severe pony tail, put on a tightly fitted baseball cap and commit to the fact that my hair will look awful for the rest of the day.  But the day was simply gorgeous--cool and crisp with bright blue skies, and lunch was involved, how could I turn it down?  While we're driving along, people stop and stare, smile and wave, give thumbs-up and take pictures--seems like everyone likes a vintage red sports car.  It feels happy to be in it.

We have several restaurants we like for lunch, and we wing it and go wherever there is a table on the patio or if indoors, at a window.  If we're at the beach, we want to look at the water while we're eating!  We ended up at Mavericks Beach, where they have the Big Wave Surf Competition in early winter.  Years ago, before the spot got so famous, we use to walk our dog out to the spot where we could watch the big waves crash in.  Only a few brave souls would paddle out the quarter-mile to surf where those big giants break.  Now Mavericks is known as one of the top big-wave spots in the world.

Half Moon Bay is famous for their pumpkin festivities in October, but in November things wind down.  We stopped on the way home and bought some gorgeous and enormous pumpkins for $1 each.  I would have bought more, but my husband put his foot down and stopped me at five.  He also drove me to the yarn shop in town, Fengari.  My husband stayed in the car when I went in, but this guy in the photo above just made me laugh.  I can't count how many times my husband has snoozed outside a yarn shop!  By they way, those gray-blue pumpkins are the Jarrahdale variety.  Aren't they beautiful?

how to make a group baby quilt

This post has been a long time in the making.  I've been a part of so many group baby quilts over the years that I knew one day I'd have to share my foolproof "recipe" to make a crib-sized quilt.  In the United States, presenting special-occasion group-made quilts is as old as the colonial days.  My posse of girlfriends and I have been making baby quilts for 15 years; the first one being presented to my grand-daughter Annie when she was a newborn--the first grandchild of our bunch.  We've since made a dozen plus, and we've got it down to a science.  We are "all-in" for every one, because we know it will be our turn soon!  We give ourselves about 4 or more months from start to finish, and throw a group shower at the end when we present our quilt that was made with so much love.  Every baby quilt has been made for our children's children and since we all met when we were young mothers, we have quite a history.  I've know every child since they were little, attended every wedding, and now get to be part of celebrating the growing of their families.  Our children call the quilts, the book club quilts or the grandmother quilts.  Making, giving, and receiving them is a very sweet tradition, and one that we all, grandmothers, mothers and grandchildren, treasure. One day I'll make a post and share all the gorgeous quilts we've made over the years.  Today however, I'm going to show you exactly HOW we make a group quilt.  Bookmark this post so you'll have it handy if ever you find yourself thinking about being part of a group baby quilt.  Perhaps it will help you start your own tradition!  It's easier than you think, and very little previous sewing experience is required, just an old-fashioned can-do spirit! 

This will make a 40" X 52" (approximate size), 12 block quilt.  Since our group has made so many, we have decided it's best to make them all exactly the same size and in exactly the same way.  This consistency and familiarity makes participation easier for the less experienced sewers. I'll go into detail here and just assume you don't know a thing about quilting.  If you want to print out the directions, here's the PDF for that.

One person will be the facilitator.  For us it is the mother (or mother-in-law) of the mother-to-be.

Step 1:  Choose your embroidery design and colors.  You may want to contact the mother-to-be to see what her nursery colors are going to be and coordinate with that.  Often, the mother-to-be will come to my house to peruse my large collection of iron-on patterns.  The most commonly found hot-iron transfer patterns for quilt blocks are from Aunt Martha.  They've been around for years.  You'll see the price above is for 19 cents, but they've now gone up to a whopping $1.50--still a bargain!  They are found at most quilting and fabric stores and can be purchased on-line here.

Step 2:  Purchase your supplies.  Buy only high quality, machine washable, 45" wide, 100% cotton.  If in doubt, ask the sales lady if she recommends your choice for hand quilting. You can purchase almost everything on-line these days, but if you have a fabric or quilt shop near you, please go there!  It may cost a few pennies more than shopping online, but you will be supporting an actual brick and mortar location AND you'll be able to pop in and ask for help if you need it!  Here's your shopping list:

   1 set of iron-on transfers from Aunt Martha (the pattern baby animals pattern above is 3047 and is the easiest for beginner embroiders)
   1 1/4 yds. white or off-white muslin for blocks
   1 yd. Color A for the sashing (blue in the above quilt)
   1/4 yd. Color B for the connecting squares (above in yellow)
   1 1/2 yds. coordinating fabric for back (the above quilt used white but it's fun to use a jazzy pattern too)
   1 spool sewing thread to match Color A
   1 spool quilting thread in white or natural
   1 skein each of various colors of DMC 6-strand embroidery floss.  I think brights and bright pastels work best  as they really pop and show up better than the softer colors.  Don't forget to get some black, brown, red and gray for small details.
   1 package embroidery needles
   1 package quilting needles
   6" embroidery hoop
   2 packages of Wrights Bias Tape, Extra Wide, Double Fold (3 yds each and .5" wide) in a coordinating color.
Do NOT make a mistake and get Wrights Quilt Binding!
   1 roll of crib-quilt sized thin poly batting.  My favorite is Mountain Mist.

Step 3:  Pre-wash, tumble-dry, and iron your fabrics.  Nothing else needs to be pre-washed.

Step 4:  Cut your fabric.  (All measurements below include a 1/4" seam allowance.)  Here's where a self-healing cutting mat, rotary cutter and quilter's easy-view ruler with grid comes in handy.  If you know a friend with these supplies ask for her help; quilters are generous.  This step will take less than an hour for an experienced cutter and I do it all the time for my friends.  You can absolutely cut these by hand with sharp scissors, but it will take a longer time.  Either way, accuracy in cutting is a must.  Measure twice, cut once--your finished quilt will suffer from even a slight inaccuracy.

   Cut 12 10" x 10" white blocks
   Cut 31 3" x 10" sashing strips from Color A
   Cut 20 3" blocks from Color B

Step 5: Transfer the hot-iron designs to the blocks.  Follow directions on package.  My only hint is this:  don't wiggle or rub back and forth with the iron, firm and and steady pressure is best.  Do not use steam.

Step 6:  Cut your floss, make floss kits and distribute the blocks for embroidery.  Six friends?  Each friend takes home and stitches two blocks each.  Twelve friends, or three friends?--well, you get the idea.  Now make little thread kits for each block.  Cut the 6-strand floss into 18" lengths.   Kit up a few strands of the main color, and a strand of flower, eye and hoof color or whatever you need for the embroidery design.   Include embroidery needle and hoop if they don't have one. As you work, separate the 6-strand floss into three strands for the embroidery.  That means that each 18" length will have two 3-strand lengths to embroider with.  The most commonly used stitches are stem stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy and French knot.  They are easy to learn and a good tutorial can be found here.  Gather your friends together and hand out their kits.  Give them specific instructions about what color to use where, and what stitches to use.  For consistency's sake, I asked each friend to embroider eyes, hooves, center of flowers, etc. in black, see close-up photos above.  This helps these small but important details to pop, plus the blocks will look simpatico when these identical features are harmonious.  Also, consistency will help your finished quilt look balanced.  Ask your stitchers to have the blocks back to you by a certain date, usually a week or two.  Ask them NOT to wash their finished block.

Step 7:  Assemble the quilt top:  It's nice if you can get a few friends to help.  For the above quilt I seamed half and gave half the pieces to a friend to take home and finish.  Assembly can be hand or machine pieced.  Using the quilt picture as a guide, lay out your pieces in order on the floor.  With a 1/4" seam allowance and beginning at the top: Row 1, seam first yellow connecting square to a blue sashing strip.  Seam this sashing strip to another connecting square and continue until row 1 is complete.  Row 2, Sew sashing strips to blocks as above and repeat until all the rows are completed.  Iron seams open.  Connect rows by first pinning and basting: Row 1 to Row 2, then Row 2 to Row 3 until your quilt top is completed.  Match each seam carefully so all the "points" match!  Iron seams open.

Step 8:   Mark your quilting design.  I keep the design simple because of the different levels of sewing skills in a group quilt.  For the above quilt I cut out a template of a heart and traced that onto each square with a soft lead pencil.  This will wash out in the last step.  Quilting will also be done 1/4" away from each seam on connecting squares, sashing strips and quilt blocks and does not need a marking as it's easy enough to eye-ball.  See the close up pictures above.

Step 9:  Assemble the quilt "sandwich":  You can invite a friend or two to help, but crib quilts are easy enough to assemble on your own.  Lay out the quilt backing fabric face-side down on the floor.  Pat to smooth out all wrinkles.  Lay batting on top, again smoothing out wrinkles.  Lay the quilt top face-side up on top of this.  You've now made a quilt sandwich, with the backing on the bottom, the batting in the middle and the embroidered quilt top on the top.  Smooth again--wrinkles are a no-no--and with thread and needle, baste the 3 pieces together using large basting stitches.  Baste all the way around  the quilt top, up and down and side to side, about 3" apart widthwise and lengthwise.  You don't want these layers to shift when you're working, so they need to be fairly close together, 3" is fine.  Your basting stitches don't need to look pretty at all as they will be removed at the end. The backing and batting will be slightly larger all around than your top.  You can trim them to 1" all around, but no more.  You'll cut off the final excess in the next step.

Step 10:  Quilt the top:  Here's where we change the word "quilt" from a noun to a verb.  The quilt stitch is what will make all the layers permanently stay together and turn the 3 separate pieces into one quilt.  The quilt stitch is basically a running stitch.  I don't use a hoop, but like to quilt with the quilt loose on my lap.  I prefer a very small quilting needle, but you should offer your friends a variety of sizes to see what they like best.  There are hundreds of tutorials on the quilt stitch and I love this one from Sew Mama Sew.  Gather your friends around one last time and ask them to bring their calendars.  Show them how to do the quilt stitch and have each person sign up for a week of quilting.  We ask that they commit to spend at least an hour a day on the quilt, then after a week, deliver it to the next person.  If there are 6 quilters, hopefully they've been able to quilt 1/6th of it.  Have a deadline when all the quilting should be done, at least a few days before you'll present it, which is probably at the baby shower you are all giving!

You might opt to "tie" the quilt rather than quilt it.  It's a very fast way to finish a quilt.  I've never done this because I don't like the look, but if you like it, I found a tutorial here.

Step 11:  Bind the quilt:  Cut the batting and backing to match the top exactly.  Un-fold the bias tape and read the most excellent post ever written about binding and how to apply it and then go ahead and do it her way!  From her post you will download a terrific PDF tutorial.  The first part covers how to make your own binding, but we did it the easy way and purchased ours ready-made so you can skip that.  The only thing I do differently is on the last step I hand stitch the binding to the back.  She shows you how to machine stitch it, and I think either way is fine.  Pull out basting stitches.

Step 12:  You're done!  Before gifting, wash your finished quilt in the washing machine with cool water and mild detergent.  Tumble dry on low.  The pencil markings, hot-iron transfer markings,  and any grime will come right off.  Quilts are sturdy things and make sure your recipient knows that. It's meant to be used daily and washed weekly--loved and cuddled, and take a bit of a beating if need be.  It will last through several children, and God willing, several generations.  The quilt above was made by ten women in our church and was given to our pastor and his wife who are expecting their first baby at the end of the month!