Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (with remnants)

Nappy time mat

Nappy time mat

I’m combining a remnant project with this week’s photo challenge, the better to

“help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.”

see more Weekly Photo Challenge here.

Pinterest has troves of adorable nap mats for babies and toddlers, and I want to make one, or two, or more… But after looking at tutorials, I decided my project was best going to come about through eye-balling and sew-as-I-go shenanigans.

snuggly fabrics

snuggly fabrics

Deciding to make a sewing project has everything to do with the fabric remnants I have on hand. I like to buy remnants of minky fabric whenever I see them in the bin, because Soft & Comfy minky is $14.99 per yard if not on sale for 1/2 price as a remnant. This red minky matched perfectly with the Yo-Gabba-Gabba cotton print. I had a remnant piece of quilt batting, which I used double thickness because I wanted a cushiony mat. I also had a 12″ x 16″ pillow form in the stash. I used a strip of red cotton flannel remnant to seal up the end of mat, like a large, fat, quilt binding.

flannel remnant

flannel remnant


hook & loop velcro to fold as a bedroll

hook & loop velcro to fold as a bedroll

In a nutshell, this is how I made the nappy mat.
1) sewed pillow case out of minky to eye-balled dimensions of pillow by sewing one side seam, right sides together, and folding the edge of the other side under and hemming it
2) sewed folded cotton mat fabric to pillow (left side and bottom seams open)
3) sewed minky fabric for blanket onto top of cotton mat fabric at side seam, wrong side of mink to right side of mat fabric (right side of minky facing up, sitting on top of right side of cotton), then sewed fleece binding to raw edges of blanket
4) turned inside out and sewed side seams of mat fabric together, right side of bottom layer of cotton mat fabric to right side of minky with top layer of mat fabric sewed underneath minky
5) turned right-side out, then stuffed quilt batting, folded double, into tube of cotton mat fabric
6) quilted mat fabric layers together by sewing long vertical rows
7) cut a piece of red flannel remnant the dimensions of open bottom of mat; sewed edge to top layer of bottom edge of mat, turned under raw edge and sewed to bottom layer of bottom edge, through all thicknesses. Turned under raw edges and caught them in the seam.
8) sewed on two strips each of hook & loop velcro fastener tapes where the bottom edge of mat met the underside of the nap mat

I like the idea of bedding and toys coming together like this. It reminds me of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem “The Land of Counterpane.”

perhaps my next mat will have this space theme

perhaps my next mat will have this space theme

Quickie Quilt 2 With Remnants

Here is a pic of the remnants I used for this project.

remnants

I like to have an assortment of flannel and soft minky in the baby-blanket-making stash. The pink flannel became the designated backing, since it was the biggest piece. The others would have to be pieced together, which I did on the serger; having decided how many blocks would need to be cut to fit on the backing piece.

lining up the blocks on the backing

I did a little machine embroidery on the pink flannel backing. I had a couple of options for finishing: satin blanket binding or white jumbo rick-rack. Which would you have chosen?

I wasn’t going to add batting, until I showed the work-in-progress to the Wednesday Night Knitting Group, and Lois asked “What kind of batting are you going to use?” After mulling it over, I knew that I would insert batting (polyester because that’s what I have in the batting stash just now), use the satin blanket binding, and tie-quilt the patches with white baby yarn. Thanks, Lois!

finished

the backing side

Friendly Neighborhood blankie

First remnant project in June, jeny tries quilting again. WHY? you may ask, as our brief spring turns into long 90-degree days and weeks. ANSWER, remnants were on sale. And stash cries out to be reduced, so blankets use more up yardage. And little kids like blankies, rain or shine.

flannel remnant

I had a cute blue and white flannel piece that would have made an excellent baby blanket if it had been a little bit bigger. It ended up being cut into sashing for a Spiderman quilt top, as you see here.

Spiderman Quilt top

The light blue flannel came from JoAnn’s and the Spidey flannel was mail-ordered from fabric.com. Now, for a backing I chose light blue minky with raised dots. I could have opted for the traditional batting and plain flannel backing sandwich, but the minky is so much more cuddly.
The next one I do [and there will be a next one because the recipient has a brother] will be a different Spidey flannel with a darker blue sashing and minky backing.

stuff for blanket #2 in the works

Construction: originally I measured the dimensions of the backing fabric and then calculated how many 2-inch strips (actually cut 3-inch strips because I added 1/2-inch for a seam allowance on each edge) plus x-inch blocks would fit in that measurement. I ended up making the blocks about 13.5-inches square, including 1/2-inch seam allowances each side. The blocks were serged to the strips and the seam allowances pressed down on the wrong side. I plan to tie-quilt it with yarn—-rather than machine-quilt since the minky is a knit and the flannel top is a woven; what a headache it is to sew two unlike fabrics together. From past experience, such a combination means lots of slipping and distortion for me (maybe someone who reads this can counsel me on that?)

Last week I ran into a customer at JoAnn’s who told me all about a web site she loves, called patternreview.com. It costs about $30 a year to join it, but you can pay by the half-year and it’s only about a dollar more that way. Why does she like it so much? “You don’t have to waste your time buying a pattern that doesn’t turn out well, and you get to see what are the most popular [garment sewing] patterns. People–like us!–let you in on where the glitches might be, what they did to overcome problems, and their opinions,” she told me. “I don’t even buy a pattern anymore without checking with them.” I had to check it out, for a 6-month trial, and I liked it! The first project I looked into was someone’s experience sewing a swim suit. It was humorous, loaded with methodology, and well worth the lookie, I thought :). For joining, you get to choose one of their online sewing classes taught by sewing personalities like Kenneth King, some of which normally sell for $50. And members get a 10% discount at JoAnn’s.

The Big Woobie

This project came about from a request. The twins (3 years old now) have always relied on their woobies, two identical little blue minky blankets about the size of a washcloth each, with a satin blanket binding all around, and a stuffed animal head in the center. They like the satin binding; it’s very comforting to them. When they feel tired or upset, they rub the satin binding edge between their fingers and it makes them feel mo’ better. I’ve seen a similar reaction with the little satin tags sewn into seams of baby items. Anyway, their mom suggested that I make them a big woobie, one with lots of satin. I remarked that I believe I have a remnant that would lend itself to such a project….

flannel-backed satin remnant


After a big debate in my mind of what to pair it with, I chose white minky because I have a ton of it.
I don’t want to go into all the details of the construction and the failures and shortcomings, which were many. I wanted to anchor the minky to the satin, by sewing long strips of a decorative machine stitch, so my DH, a seasoned woodworker, suggested his method of aligning edges on wood before cutting: dropping a chalk line on it (the fabric). That worked like a charm and was the best thing about the whole ordeal. Actually sewing the decorative stitch was a pain, trying to keep it from getting mired up in the feed dogs. And the minky underneath slid and stretched, giving me some less than perfect results. I finished by adding a store-bought satin blanket binding that was on sale at JoAnn’s; they are apparently liquidating their Mickey Mouse and Carz blanket bindings so get ’em while they’re cheap! And I sewed on a Mickey Mouse embroidery patch. Next one (and there will be a next one because they’re identical twins) I will drop the chalk lines on the minky side and add strips of water-soluble stabilizer to the decorative stitching line as I go. Live and learn.

Finished blanket

Putting Big Woobie to the test


Meanwhile, went to St. Augustine for the holiday. DH was excited to look up a yarn shop he’d found on a google search. We drove to the location, and it wasn’t there. So we checked out a couple of fabric stores listed in the local phone book. Lonnie’s Fine Fabrics is now a dry cleaners and Simply Sew is a computer shop. And there’s not a JoAnn’s; people have to go to the Mothership in Jax or to the other Big Box, Hobby Lobby. Discouraged, but I did get a few clearance items and oddities for future projects.

St Augustine's big box


We did go to the beach before any of the other nonsense, though.

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