quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing

Upcycled Baby Blankets

A friend of mine called me a few months ago needing some help. Her dog chewed up her husband’s favorite childhood comforter and she wanted to cut it up and turn it into 4 blankets – one for each of her children. But she doesn’t sew so….

The comforter is super cute, and I see why husband loved it. White background with cute, brightly colored bicycles on it. It’s your standard sorta 70’s or 80’s era comforter with invisible thread and a poly backing that is somehow magically attached to the bike fabric. Except this one had holes.

Lucky for me, the blankets didn’t need to be the same size and I was able to cut around the holes to get four decent sized blankets. Decent enough for kids, at least. Cutting it was a bit of a challenge since the comforter has some puckers in it from the original quilting. Once I did get the pieces cut, I measured them – I arbitrarily picked sizes based on the space I could work with – then I cut flannel to size.

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The easy part was getting a square piece of flannel cut. Because of the gathers in the top, I had to ease in in a few spots from the top and that made sewing down the binding a little less straightforward. I sewed binding to the flannel on two of the blankets, folding the binding to the top, and for the other two I sewed the binding to the top, and folded the binding to the back. I’m not sure which I liked better as they both presented some challenges.

Sewing the binding to the flannel was much easier but stitching the binding to the top of the blanket was harder because I had to work with all the puckers, folds and gathers from the top piece. The inverse is also true. In the end, though, they all look great and my friend is super excited with them.

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I used a yellow and white polka flannel on the back of each blanket and each blanket has a different binding from my pile of scrap bindings. That also allows each child to have his or her own blanket that they can identify by the binding. I consider that a big win, especially for the littles that can’t read a name or a label.

Even bigger win is that she picked them up this morning and is going to surprise her husband for their anniversary tonight. Sweet!

 

book, featured, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing, Uncategorized

Piecing Makeover Blog Book Tour + Giveaway

What a week it’s been! Wow! Thanks for all the love, y’all! The week was such a success and I couldn’t have done it without C&T Publishing, AnneMarie, Jodie, Teri at GenQ, Sandi, Mary, and Kristin. Really big thanks to each of you!

My biggest tip to share is to ask for help. I mean – How easy is that!? Seriously, though. When I first started to quilt I always asked my mom but not everyone has a mom that sews, or is near. However,  if you are fortunate enough, your local quilt shop has staff on hand to help you work through your problems. Yes, it means another trip out, and you might come home with more fabric but getting inspired while getting help is fun! And I promise they LOVE to help figure out your quilting problems! If the shop can’t help, they will find someone that can. Honest.

If you don’t have a quilt shop near you, go online to see if you can find the answer to your problem, or send a message to a quilter via a blog or read a book – perhaps, mine?  A little time to noodle on the issue might work for you, too. Don’t be afraid to explore possibilities. And if you are worried about messing up your favorite piece of fabric, experiment with some muslin, or old scraps until you’ve solved your problem.

Most importantly, remember it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how we learn. I have quilts riddled with errors and almost every quilt I make throws me for a loop at some point or another – I really should plan more! But I’ve learned a lot. Some of my (ahem) older friends have been a valuable source of knowledge, too.

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C&T is giving away one copy at each stop along the way and today is your last chance to win a copy of Piecing Makeover  for yourself (printed copy in the U.S. and e-book outside the States). Leave a comment on the blog and we will announce the winners tomorrow.

Here’s the list again so you can check to see if you have won on another page. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org number generator.

9/13  AnneMarie Chany http://www.genxquilters.com/
9/15 Teri Lucas/Gen Q Magazine  http://generationqmagazine.com/
9/16 Sandi Hazlewood http://www.craftyplanner.com/
9/18 Kristin Esser https://kristinesser.com/
Happy piecing, everyone!

*edited on 9/20 – Congratulations to Sally for winning a copy of Piecing Makeover!

friends, sewing

Dressing Up

I needed to take a break from the seven commission quilts I’m making (more on that later) and decided to make a skirt. The pattern is from my from my friend Mary’s book, Little Girls, Big Style. This book is a must have for anyone that wants to make a boutique wardrobe for little girls. It’s amazing beyond words. I’m possibly a bit biased, but really, it’s just awesome.

Anyhow, one of my favorite little girl turns 4 at the end of the month. She’s beautiful, and fun, and a free spirit. We adore her! I love to sew for her and was feeling particularly motivated today.  Little Mister helped me pick out the fabric. The spiders on the purple fabric glow in the dark. How cool is that? So cool.

We gave the skirt to her a little early (today) and what a big hit! She loves it! Yes, I left the bottom edge unfinished with just a serge…it works for her, I swear!

craft, sewing

Burp

A friend of mine gave me some adorable burp cloths when I had Q man in March. I absolutely LOVE them and use them all the time! She bought them at a boutique shop just north of town. I quickly realized that burp cloths like these would make perfect gifts. They are super easy to make and I have a lot of friends having babies right now.

To make them buy a pack of white burp cloths (or colored or patterned if you want). Embroider child’s name about 4″ above the bottom of the burp cloth. I kept the name centered on the thickest part of the burp cloth – actually, my Mom did since her machine does embroidery. Thanks, Mom!

Next, make a pocket and insert the bottom of the burp cloth in it. I chose to have a 3″ high fabric border, leaving a few inches between the bottom of the name and the top of the fabric border.

Stitch down close to the top. I used a 1/8″ seam.

I like to give these as a set of two. It makes a nice presentation and it’s something you always need when there is a baby in the house.

Folded and bundled with a ribbon makes the perfect presentation!