I’m Back!

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23 comments » Behind the Scenes, fun, news

As many of our wonderful blog followers know, I have been out on maternity leave for a couple of months – and what a couple of months it has been! I want to start out by saying how lucky I feel to have such awesome coworkers here at CT. During my time away, my colleagues took on so many of my duties and truly let me focus my energy on my new job: taking care of my baby boy.

Speaking of my little guy, meet Hunter James…
HJMan

While he’s smiling in this picture, he hasn’t always been such a peach. Hunter was born on January 1st and was the second baby to arrive in Oregon for 2014. Unfortunately, while New Year’s is generally a time for celebration, the new year started out with quite a scare for me. Hunter was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and when he finally arrived after 25 hours of labor, he wasn’t breathing. He needed to be resuscitated and spent about 20 hours in the NICU. Needless to say, my husband and I weren’t feeling all joyous right out of the gate. I actually wasn’t even allowed to see him for about four hours after he was born. I was traumatized.

Enough of the sad. When I finally did get to see my little man in the NICU, I was so touched to see that he was gifted a quilt by a local guild called Lullaby Quilts. The quilt guild donates quilts each year to children in the NICU so that the new parents can snuggle up with baby in something other than a hospital receiving blanket. I can’t even express how meaningful this gesture was; it definitely brought me to tears.

quilt5

quilt6

Here’s a picture of Hunter and our pug Lucy snuggled up on the quilt…
Hunter and Lucy

While the weeks since we’ve been home haven’t been the smoothest – Hunter had colic for the first six weeks of his life – we are starting to get into the groove of things more and more each day. I can’t even tell you how much we love and adore our new addition. Experiencing the world through his eyes is something that I could never have imagined, and we are having the time of our lives.

blakeandbaby

The quilts that we received both before and after his birth have made such an impact in our lives. Here are some of the other gorgeous quilts our loved ones gave to us upon Hunter’s arrival…

quilt1

This beautiful quilt was sent to me by my dear friend, Stephanie from Loft Creations. I was so honored that she sent this one to me because it was featured in her beautiful new book, Uncommonly Corduroy!

quilt2

This snuggly number was given to us by my sister and brother-in-law. We use this quilt constantly for Hunter’s tummy time!

quilt3

You might recognize this quilt from my previous blog post about nursery decorating. We got this quilt from my mom and it is a treasured piece in Hunter’s room.

While all of these quilts mean so much to me, the quilt we received while Hunter was in the NICU really makes me appreciate the work that our company does with guilds throughout the US and Canada. We receive hundreds of requests for door prizes and fabric on a weekly basis, and while we can’t respond to all of them, we do try and send as many donations as we can. I personally want to thank all of you out there who donate your time and resources to making and delivering these quilts to people like me. ¬†Furthermore, I want to thank Carol Sue from Forest Grove, Oregon for making that very special quilt for me and my family. There are so many amazing guilds out there, and so many unique charities and organizations who benefit from the work that these people do. If you’re part of a non-profit guild and are looking for fabric to use, we actually have a really great program where we will send you a 35lb box of scraps for just the price of shipping — $30. You can learn more about this here: Charitable Donations

Are you a member of a quilt guild that makes quilts for charities or other causes? Have you ever received a quilt from a guild? I would love to read about your stories in the comments so I hope you will share your experiences with me.

Thank you to everyone for all of the love and well wishes you’ve sent to me and my little family. We are eternally grateful.


23 responses to “I’m Back!”

  1. Jenna Says:
    04/03/2014 7:46 am

    ahhh congrats again on your sweet baby boy! I love the variety of quilts you have too!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/03/2014 8:47 am

      Thanks, Jenna!

      Reply
  2. Stephanie Dunphy Says:
    04/03/2014 8:08 am

    Oh goodness such a scary time. Did you know babies don’t come with an instruction manual? I was certain I’d be given one with the birth of my first child. :o) Hunter is just adorable and new parenting certainly has a learning curve. He’s obviously well loved.

    A guild I used to belong to in California made quilts for the local hospital. We’d have well orchestrated sewing sessions…cutting, sewing, fun, friendship and of course, eating.

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/03/2014 8:48 am

      I actually wasn’t aware that so much of raising a baby was instinct! Instruction manuals would be such a nice gesture for hospitals to give out. :)

      He is very well loved, yes. He’s the light of my life.

      Reply
  3. QuiltinGram Says:
    04/03/2014 9:02 am

    Congrats on your gorgeous son. I totally understand your stress at the delivery as I went through the same thing with my daughter. She will be 37 in July. Enjoy every single precious moment (and the not so precious) because it is true that they grow so fast! My guild makes “Wee Care” quilts and donates to the hospital.

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:07 am

      Thank you, QuiltinGram! We are definitely appreciating every minute we have. He’s so fun. I think it is so wonderful that you and your guild make quilts for hospitals. That is such a great gesture of kindness.

      Reply
  4. Michelle Marr Says:
    04/03/2014 10:13 am

    My two youngest sons both spent time in the NICU and both of them received quilts. I can’t put into words how much those little quilts did to lift my spirits — both the quilts AND the hand knitted hats! During the two weeks of our first NICU orderal, I spent a lot of time trying to discreetly peek at the quilts on the other incubators. They let me go through the box of hats. :-)

    Since my boys have grown a bit and life has settled down, I’ve started making quilts to donate to the NICU and several local pregnancy centers. I think I’ve made more than a hundred by now. I’m not part of a guild or in-person group, but I do create baby quilts patterns to share on my blog and host a weekly linky party that I hope will get others hooked on making baby quilts.

    Those NICU quilts really do make a difference!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:12 am

      Michelle,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me! I love that you are paying it forward now and are encouraging others to help as well. You’re awesome! Just out of curiosity, what is your blog? I would love to check it out!

      -Alisha

      Reply
  5. Sally Says:
    04/03/2014 10:31 am

    Congrats on your new baby boy. My first son was born under similar circumstances, but 40 years ago there were no guilds donating to NICUs. Two years ago my grandson was in the NICUS and received a number of quilts and afghans donated by various groups. My son treasures those gifts of support. Today I belong to two guilds that support local NICUS and foster programs. So great to be able to give to those on need.

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:15 am

      Sally,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! That must have been so scary when you had your son. I am glad that everything worked out alright. I know that the work that your guilds do is appreciated so much!

      Alisha

      Reply
  6. G Cianci Says:
    04/03/2014 11:47 am

    I am so happy to hear that he is doing well now. It really is amazing having a baby in the house! My boys are six months and two and a half and my toddler LOVES his quilts (and tries to claim each new one he sees me working on!) I just made two cuddle quilts to donate to our local nicu unit but they look so small! Just wondering what size yours is from the hospital?

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:16 am

      You are one busy mama! I can’t even imagine having the time to make a quilt right now. You are so inspiring! The quilt we received in the NICU is 36″ square. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  7. Judy Abel Says:
    04/03/2014 12:32 pm

    Alisha, Thanks so much for sharing your personal life with us. I was touched by your emotions that rang true in your words. How precious life is and how comforting those quilts are to you and your dear Hunter! So wonderful to celebrate with you the gift that God has given you and your husband! What a blessing!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:18 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Judy! We truly do feel blessed!

      Reply
  8. Debbie Rogowski Says:
    04/03/2014 5:15 pm

    Hunter James is adorable!! I’m glad you all pulled through such rough times. I love the quilt that he received in the NICU. I think you have reminded us all how much those are really loved. I try to make something to donate often, it makes quilting even more enjoyable. Thanks for sharing and welcome back (glad you didn’t post this on April fools day)

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:20 am

      Debbie,

      Thank you so much for your comment, and for your donation work. It truly does warm the hearts of the recipients to receive such a selfless gift.

      Alisha

      Reply
  9. Dianne La Says:
    04/03/2014 8:36 pm

    Alisha, thanks for telling us about Hunter’s birth. I know it must have been a very scary time for you and your husband. My twin grandchildren were born 8 weeks premature and were in the NICU for a month and had quilts on their incubators within minutes. They are now 7 years old and you would never know they were once preemies. I am a quilter and my obsession is making preemie quilts, donated through our local guild. We know what comfort and joy our quilts bring to families, and to ourselves. Enjoy your new baby!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:22 am

      Dianne,

      That must have been so scary! I’m so happy to hear that things worked out beautifully with your grand babies! What an absolutely blessing. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      Alisha

      Reply
  10. Kathleen Says:
    04/04/2014 7:38 pm

    So happy everything is going well now. This is a nice post. I especially like the picture on the steps. That is just precious!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:23 am

      Thanks, Kathleen! That’s my favorite, too. My husband sure does love that little baby. Melts my heart!

      Reply
  11. Pam Nieman Says:
    04/07/2014 5:40 am

    Congrats on your new little son.It must have been such a frightening experience, but he looks wonderful. Parenting is the most difficult rewarding thing you can do. The quilts are gorgeous and made with so much love…but, you will always favor the first one that helped Hunter get through the NICU stay. Good luck raising this cutie pie!

    Reply
    • Alisha Says:
      04/07/2014 8:27 am

      Thank you, Pam!

      Reply
  12. Carla Says:
    04/24/2014 11:20 am

    Congrats on the little cutie. He looks to be a happy little guy now. At least in that picture.

    Reply

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