Saturday, April 25, 2015

Storybook Burp Cloths and Bibs

This weekend I'm attending the baby shower of a friend from college. It's the first shower I've been invited to since becoming a mom, so I wanted to make something special and useful that wouldn't take too much time in the sewing room.  (I'm also playing the piano for a school musical this week, so I've only had a few nap times to spare.)  I decided to go with something that I use everyday, many time times a day: burp cloths.  I had a fat quarter bundle of 'Storybook' lying around. The soft blues and browns would work for a boy or girl, which is perfect, because this baby's going to be a surprise.

I lined the burp cloths with one-sided terry cloth. I've seen it called 'baby terry' or 'French terry'.  It's thick enough to absorb various consistencies of baby fluids, but thin enough to tuck a whole burp cloth (or two) into your pocket. I made the burp cloths about 10-inches by 16-inchesa much more practical size than the long skinny cloths I've seen in stores.

My son, Freddy, is a few months into eating solid foods, and we are going through a couple bibs every day.  So I decided to also make a set of matching bibs, using one of Freddy's bibs to make a pattern.  I traced his bib onto Swedish tracing paper (which is seriously the best stuff for making or copying patterns, go buy a roll!)and I added about a 1/4-inch seam. In retrospect, a 1/2-inch seam would have been better. It was difficult to make sure that I had securely closed the hole for turning when I did the top-stitching.

Instead of cutting the terry cloth out with the pattern piece, I just left it as a big rectangle. This saved me the hassle of wrestling with it through the machine.

I sewed 1/4-inch from the edge of the cotton (again, a 1/2-inch seam would have been better), and then trimmed away the terry.

A hammer is a necessary part of every sewing room, don't you know.

The finished gift: 6 burp cloths and 6 bibs. I used 6 fat quarters, ~1.5 yds of terry, and six size 15 snaps.

Freddy agreed to model one for me. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another Kind of Paper Piecing

I wasn't looking for a crazy new project. Really, I wasn't. But sometimes they just find me. I came across this new pattern today, and I was instantly inspired. I've never done any foundation paper piecing before, so this evening (after watching a short tutorial) I gave it a try.

My verdict: Mostly fun. Kind of messy (lots of little scraps and threads). Quite a bit of going back and forth between cutting, sewing, and pressing. I've still got some things to learn.

I was concerned about removing the paper, but it was really easy. The stitching perforates it, and it tears out without any problem. The hard part for me was joining the two sections of the block. My seams didn't quite meet up. I'm sure there is an easy way, so I'll hunt for another tutorial tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


A square of batting. A bin of fabric strips. A quarter of an hour. A little imagination. A ton of freedom. Quilt-As-You-Gofor the late night sewer, the tired mom.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tulip Fever

Last Friday, Freddy and I drove up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival with my mother.  We brought a picnic lunch and spent all of the late morning/early afternoon at RoozenGaarde.  The sun came out as we walked out to the fields.  There we rows upon rows of red, purple, and yellow tulips; and fields of daffodils, too.  I brought home nearly five dozen tulips, which have been cheering up the dining room and living room all week.

The trip really put me in the mood for spring.  So last weekend I updated the linens in the dining room and started working on a quilted wall hanging.  The "Tiny Tulip" pattern is one I have from Quilting in the Rain, and I just used fabrics from my stash.  The quilt top took about 5 hours to cut out and piece.  Quilting and binding were another 3 or 4.  All together a very quick project.

To hang the quilt, I decided to try out this method from the Craftsy blog.  A friend gave me a yardstick and Command hooks, which saved me from a (possibly rainy) walk to the hardware store. If it stays up overnight, I will call the project a success.

Happy Spring!