Same-Old vs Something Different for National Sewing Month

I’m interested in knowing if any readers are beefing up their sewing agendas in honor of National Sewing Month. I know my friend Ethel has been busy making curtain tie backs. Check out this cute pair of scissors she brought with her to Knitting group last week:

scissors

Ethel’s scissors

So far, I’ve done several “same-old” projects for the sake of doing something, anything, for Sewing Month.

Besides the things I’ve already posted, I’ve also done a few others:

Jalie leotard

leotard Jalie 3354

baby blankets

flannel reversible receiving blankets

McCall's 4185 pattern

fleece quilt McCall’s 4185

I’ve made the fleece quilt so many times before I can’t even count them all. McCall’s pattern 4185 is now considered a “vintage pattern” and can be found on ebay and Etsy and such places. For me, a remnant hoarder enthusiast, it’s the ideal thing for using up smaller pieces of fleece that one has bought 50% off regular price, in the remnant rack at the local fabric shop. This time, I used 3 different Curious George fleece remnants, plus a couple of non-printed remnants in contrasting colors red and blue.

fabric

remnant repository

I hesitate to show the part of my sewing room that houses some of my remnants, as viewers might be offended by such excess, but there it is. I also had plenty of fleece binding in either red or yellow, purchased on clearance.

fleece binding

fleece binding

Good thing I had those extra remnants of binding, because I needed just a few more inches and a little extra length saved me from opening a brand new package.

fleece binding

yikes! need just a few more inches of binding

fleece quilt

finished Curious George fleece quilt

Here’s an excerpt of the conversation I had with my DH this morning in honor of National Sewing Month:

Me: I’m so excited about the project I made with those Curious George Remnants!
DH: Oh, you finally opened up the barrel and found them in there?
Me: Yeah, I think I hurt my elbow trying to reach them!
DH: You might be able to sell that as a Vintage Quilt. That fabric must be as old as that monkey.
Me (cracking up laughing)
DH: So what are you going to make this afternoon?
Me: During The Bloodlettin’?
DH: Yes. During the Gator game when we play Alabama…it’s probably going to be a slaughter…
Me: I thought I would try to do something new…

Weekly Photo Challenge — Unique

newest "leaf" on the family "palm tree"

newest “leaf” on the family “palm tree”

For more Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique go to the WPWPC page.

& Baby Rag Quilt

I said I would post when I got the rag quilt finished so here it is.

Pink flannel remnants

Pink flannel remnants

It started as a pile of remnants that were smaller than .85 yard. Usually I can make a baby receiving blanket with a remnant that is .85 to a yard in size. If smaller, the remnants can be cut up and sewn together. Woo hoo! More work! But sometimes worth it…

Cut up on this Accuquilt-Go cutter thingie

Cut up on this Accuquilt-Go cutter thingie

blocks for a rag quilt

blocks for a rag quilt

I used a 10-inch rag quilt block template. It saves a lot of elbow (and wrist) grease, cutting all those bazillion little snips around the edges. You position 2 layers of flannel on the template, right sides of both facing out and wrong sides facing each other.

Sew blocks together with 1-inch seams, fringe on the right side

Sew blocks together with 1-inch seams, fringe on the right side

You can cut 6.5-inch blocks of batting or muslin to insert between the two blocks, or not. I chose not to, because here in Florida it doesn’t get that chilly. You don’t want the poor infant sweating to death at nap time underneath her rag quilt. If you don’t stuff anything between the layers, with right sides facing out, once you’ve run them through the cutter they are ready to be sewn to the next block. Oh, I almost forgot: you sew the front and back block together with a big “X” from southwest to northeast and northwest to southeast. Then you sew one block to the next with a 1″ seam.

Easy little Florida baby rag quilt

Easy little Florida baby rag quilt

Then after you’ve sewn the blocks together and rows together in an orderly sequence, top stitch around the edge of it and machine wash and dry it to fluff up the rag edges. This ends up being rather small. For a larger-than-newborn baby, I’d add another row or two. And wash it a couple of times and shake out all that fiber debris from the raggy edges. But it was so super easy, and cute, and economical (once you figure the Go gadget has paid for itself) and it kept some flannel remnants from going into the landfill!

Babies, babies…gator babies

You know you have a baby shower coming up. What is your favorite baby shower gift to give? Are you the one who likes to give the practical pack of t-shirts, onesies, receiving blankets, diapers and staple layette items in white or yellow? Or are you the one who likes to give exactly what the new parents requested on their gift registry, never wavering? Or are you the giver who likes to come up with something unique? I have been in all three boats, but lately my go-to gift is –well, you know if you’ve read other blog posts here–the reversible receiving blanket from youcanmakethis.com and sometimes coordinating burp cloths.

“I think you should give gator presents,” says my DH in a commanding sort of tone of voice. After all, we live in a college town and of course, the majority of new parents we know are college students, here today, and out into the world tomorrow, cherishing their memories of swamp life. Others who are not going to UF but who just live here, are (for the most part) not opposed to getting gator gear too. We think that gator memorabilia just makes everyday life seem more like a big ol’ tailgate party. But better to keep it in the vicinity, I guess. When I traveled to Nashville during last football season, my daughter-in-law said she spotted several Tennesseans mean-mugging my gator purse in public places. You wouldn’t want your innocent infant to be the victim of some other SEC team’s mean-mugging, so keep it in the vicinity, please.

burp cloth

Click on the photo to see it in its entirety.

I like that for a burp cloth, you can use just a smidgen remnant of licensed collegiate fabric, and then simply embellish it with plain text. This one is in the Kids font that came with my Husqvarna Viking. The cloth diaper is a prefolded one I got in a big package from K-Mart. You can also find birdseye and gauze diaper fabric at JoAnn’s Fabric in the back of the store, and make your own. And you can get very creative with synonyms for “burp.” I think Tiffany’s babies are going to get some that say “I spew chunks of orange and blue!”

Two inches of flannel

This remnant project is easy as can be, so I hope you don’t think it’s a rip-off! My aim is to use up remnants, fabric and notions that otherwise might go to the trash and fill up a landfill.

The main not-remnant project was a receiving blanket for a special baby. I found the pattern on www.YouCanMakeThis.com , a wonderful site, and it was free for the downloading at that moment, with great, easy-to-understand pics and instructions. It shows you how to make a blanket with either piped, rick-rack or ribbon edging. This has been my go-to baby shower gift for so many new parents in the past couple of years. To see some others like this, but boyish, and read a little homily about baby barf, you could search up my previous post “Baby Boys.”

baby blanket and burp cloths

For the matching burp-cloths, I used a remnant of the brown and pink cotton flannel hounds tooth check fabric. For some reason unknown to me, the fabric manufacturers seem to make cotton flannel in different widths, so I had a couple of inches left over from the checked fabric. What are we supposed to do with a 2″ by 1 yard strip of fabric? Anyway, as you can see, I cut off some of the strips to fit the width of two prefolded cotton diapers (wash everything first, especially the diapers because they draw up a lot.) I also had just about enough jumbo rick-rack left from two packages that edged the blanket, to edge the printed flannel strips for burp cloths. Turn under the edges of the flannel strip then slip the rick-rack underneath so that half of it is visible, then sew it very close to the edge, and again 1/4″ away to catch the other end of the rick-rack beneath the flannel. Final touch, I machine-embroidered the baby’s name in the center of the burp cloth right above the decorative flannel strip. And I added an embroidered motif to the blankie that is special to the loving grandma Baby is named after!

Not rocket science, but a cute little personalized baby present!

Baby boys

More baby boys! This design is becoming my signature baby gift. I know it isn’t new but I love this pattern and how terrific it turns out in flannel with piping edges!

And the patterns for blanket and burpies were FREE for the downloading on youcanmakethis.com.

The burpies are made of flannel blanket fabric, backed with prefolded, padded  gauze diapers cut to fit. I know these must be appreciated by moms of projectile-vomiting baby boys such as my boys were, and their boys.  Jonah, the newest grandson, would be smiling like an angel, cooing like a dove, then spewing the contents of his stomach like a sailor three sheets to the wind. 🙂 Oh well, even celebrity babies hurl prettily. I was channel surfing a few weeks ago and saw a Kardashian baby barf all over his mama and aunt, from a king-size bed in a Miami hotel room. Throw-up: the stuff of great reality TV.  Suffice it to say that Jonah’s mama REALLY likes cloth diapers for burp cloths, and a jaunty print on the other side makes a utilitarian cloth soaked in sour partially-digested formula seem a little nicer than a rag, before it embarks on its journey to the laundry hamper.

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