It is all about Christmas prep this week. I feel like an elf in Santa’s workshop except rather than making toys, I have been creating items for my shop. This is the biggest shopping time of the year and I try to take full advantage of it with regard to my Etsy shop.
A friend asked me to make a set of burp cloths to gift to a friend at her work. It gave me a push to add some new baby items to my shop. Sewing with these soft flannels is a blast. Putting on a little music and creating little cuties for babies makes for a lovely afternoon. If I had to pick a favorite, it might just be the duck and dots print. I love yellow and gray together.
Here are a few of the Chemex Cozies I have recently listed. It is a challenge to be sure that I have lots of colors and choices available. The upcycled burlap pieces sell very quickly but they are a beast to create. There is always so much mess from cutting and stitching burlap; it just flies around the sewing room and fills my sewing machine with debris. As for colors, it feels like deep colors and basic patterns sell best. Also batiks – those are usually snapped up quite often.
French press cozies are another strong seller in my shop. (Remember I wrote up a tutorial if you would like to make some for Christmas gifts – they are a fast project for the coffee lover in your family.)
I am also working on a baby quilt — I cut into a bundle of Maureen Cracknell’s Fleet & Flourish line. It is going to be adorable. I think I may soon share this as a finish. We will see. Our house has been passing this winter germ fest to anyone who enters. Julia had it and then I caught it and it turned into pneumonia. Now Ray has it. Ick. Don’t come near Grass Valley or we might infect you! Hoping you all are staying healthy this season and enjoying whatever time you can find in your sewing room!
Remember, I am hosting a giveaway where one lucky person will win a copy of the 2017 Quilter’s Planner. Be sure you have entered as this is one very cool prize! The giveaway will remain open through Wednesday Evening (tomorrow). Good luck! I will post the winner on Thursday morning.
A few posts back, I mentioned that our family will grow by three great-grandchildren in the first part of 2017? Guess what? One of those babies will be my first grandbaby. Does that make sense?? It sounds weird. Probably because I have been patiently waiting for this for a long time. No, not really all that patiently. Sometimes Ray has to give me the stink-eye, reminding me to quit asking my kids about grandbabies. Finally, it’s going to happen– yahoo!! I get to be a Grandma, or Grammy. Probably Grammy, I like that better. My oldest and his wife are expecting their first baby, a sweet little girl, the first week of March!! Awesome news, this is.
I have sent a few little things to them for the baby. (They live in Vermont – Clearly, it’s not going to be all that convenient to play with my granddaughter.) Last weekend I really wanted to make something for her. It was raining like crazy though, making a trip to the store somewhat unappealing. (Seriously, it was raining that hard.) I dug around in my closet of more-fabric-than-anyone-could-need and pulled some flannel scraps. These were scraps in every sense of the word. They didn’t really go with anything and were not very big. Certainly I could turn them into something. Babies start out small – these were small scraps, I didn’t need to make anything huge, right?
I also found a reasonably sized piece of white flannel and a tiny piece of white terrycloth. After an afternoon of playing around, this is where I ended up.
I squeaked one bib out of terrycloth and flannel and the other bib is backed with white flannel and trimmed with white rick-rack. I used velcro closures because I was out of the little gripper snaps and it was raining….. remember?
Joy (baby girl’s other Grammy), if you are reading this, the “I Love Grandma” bib is for both of us. This girl is going to have two really cool grandmas.
I also made three burp cloths. These are definitely scrappy. The elephant fabric was just a few bits so I mixed it with white flannel strips to get a large enough rectangle. The lime green stripe was a narrow rectangle so I sewed it to a larger rectangle of white flannel, causing the white to wrap around to the front and create a large enough rectangle. That pink polka dot is adorable and I even had coordinating ribbon to embellish with. Fancy schmancy burp cloths for my special girl. I sent them off to the kids with a note telling them that three burp cloths was not nearly sufficient but this would at least get them started. 😉
When I first started blogging, I posted a tutorial for burp clothes that wrap the backing to the front, like the green one. If you want to check it out, click here.
I can’t wait for this baby’s arrival. My son and DIL are so good about keeping all of us posted with ultrasound pictures and baby bump photos. She is clearly adorable already. For my birthday last week they sent me a lovely frame that says granddaughter on it and this TGIF mug. It is the perfect mug for me – holds a huge cup of coffee and reminds me I am soon to be a Grammy.
Linking to lots of fun places – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
This weekend my sister asked me if I would make something for her to give as a baby gift. Her yoga teacher is expecting a little girl in October and she wanted to bring something to her before she goes on maternity leave from the yoga studio. I had made some burp cloths and embellished some onesie tshirts for little boys (which are in my Etsy shop) but had not yet made anything for baby girls. After talking a bit and looking at ideas on Pinterest, Tina decided she wanted something simple and soft. Here is a photo of the end result. I think it is just adorable.
I thought I would take some pictures as I made the items and create a tutorial. These are such cute gifts and sew up in no time at all. They are great ways to use scraps if you have any flannel scraps accumulated.
Ok. Here we go! My apologies in advance for the pictures. They aren’t the greatest.
Here is a shopping list for you:
Onesie (they come in a package of five so you will have plenty to make for gifts.) For the onesie, I used size 0-3 months. The newborn size was sooo tiny (5-8 pounds) so I chose these which are just a tad larger so the baby could wear it for more than three days before outgrowing it!
White flannel rectangle, cut to 21 1/2″ x 13 1/2″
Accent flannel rectangle, cut to 21 1/2″ x 7 1/4″
Ribbon trim, 1 1/3 yards
Lace trim, just a scrap if you have it. You will need about 9 inches.
Water soluble glue stick.
I prewashed everything and dried it in the dryer. Both the flannel and the onesie did shrink quite a bit. Before prewashing the flannel I ran a stitch the length of the raw edges. This prevents it from fraying too much. Otherwise, flannel has a tendency to fray quite a bit when washed and that is just annoying. All those threads to deal with plus you lose a bit of fabric that way. Once all is prewashed, press your fabric and the onesie.
Let’s start with the onesie.
The lace that I used was ruffled on one side. I took two pieces that were 4 1/2 inches long and put them side by side.
Overlap the straight edges and fasten them with a pin and/or a bit of glue from a washable glue stick.
Run a stitch down the center to hold them together. I used a small zig zag stitch. Fold over one end of the lace and hand stitch it to finish the raw edge. I just did a running stitch along the end. It was nicely camouflaged by the lace. Repeat with the other end.
Center the lace on the front of the onesie. Tack it down with the washable glue stick.
Cut a piece of ribbon that is 1/2 inch longer than the finished lace. Turn under each end 1/4″ so it matches the length of the lace. Tack this down the center of the lace with the glue stick. Set this aside and let the glue dry for about 20 minutes or so. By the way, I use the glue stick instead of pins because when I am working with such a tiny pieces, the pins are just too big. They can make the ribbon and/or lace buckle up. The glue stick allows it to lay nice and flat when you are stitching and it doesn’t move around like it would when removing the pins. (The picture below was taken before I turned under the ends of the ribbon.)
Once the glue is dry, stitch a straight stitch down either side of the ribbon and across each end. That’s it! All done. Let’s work on the burp cloth now.
Lay the white flannel on your work table. There was not a right side or wrong side to the flannel that I used. If yours has a right side, lay it right side up. Make sure that your accent piece is the same length as the white flannel.
Turn the accent piece over so that the right side is down, against the white flannel. Line up one of the edges of the accent piece with one of the edges of the white flannel. (We are going to sew both sides together, creating a tube made of the white piece and the accent piece.)
Stitch a 1/4″ seam, joining both pieces of fabric. Press your seams, open or to the side, whichever you prefer. Then line up the other two edges in the same way and stitch a seam, joining them.
Again, press your seam. To do this, I just moved the seam to the center of the “tube” so I could lay it down and press it. The next step is to center the accent fabric on the white fabric. Do this while the pieces are still right sides together (seams are still showing). To be honest, I just eyeballed this but if you wanted, you could measure the amount of white fabric that shows on each side of the accent fabric and make sure it is equal.
Once you have the fabric centered to your liking, you need to pin the end together. Stitch that end closed with a 1/4″ seam.
Then you will sew the other end. However for this end, leave an opening of about 3 or 4 inches in the center.
Use this opening to turn the burp cloth right side out. Once you turn it right side out, press the whole cloth. Turn in the open ends and pin shut. You can hand stitch this opening or top stitch the whole perimeter of the burp cloth, catching the open section at that time. I chose to top stich the perimeter. Unfortunately, I didn’t choose to take a picture at this point. 😉
The next step is to cut two pieces of ribbon that are 1/2″ longer than the burp cloth. Turn under the ends and, again, use a swipe of your glue stick to tack the ribbon down to the burp cloth. Center the ribbon over the seam that joins the white flannel and the accent fabric. Let the glue dry for a bit and then stitch down both sides of each piece of ribbon, as well as across the top and bottom edges of the ribbon.
Finally I always stitch down the center of the burp cloth. This will help the burp cloth keep its shape after being laundered. I run a seam from top to bottom, beginning just below the top stitching that runs around the perimeter of the cloth. Hoping you can see the seam in the picture below.
Hoping this tutorial makes sense to you. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will get back to you. If you make these items, let me know. I would love to see a picture.
Linking up to Freemotion By the River, Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, Anything Goes Thursday, Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF and finally Confessions of a Fabric Addict. These are all wonderful link-ups. Take a peek to see what others have been working on this week. The links are all listed at the top of my page, under Link Ups.
I was honored to attend a baby shower a few months ago. The mama is a sweet woman that I have known since she was two years old. Her mom (Susan) and I are dear friends and way back when, we were stay at home moms with our littles. Each of our children were born within months of each other. Sarah (the new mama) was born three months after my oldest, Andrew. The kids played together all the time and Susan and I would watch each other’s brood as needed. When Sarah and Andrew were seven years old, we moved across country and their friendship didn’t get to continue. Luckily, as time went on, Susan and I ended up living back in the same area. Life is busy so even though we only live an hour’s drive from each other we don’t get to see each other very often. When I received the invite to Sarah’s baby shower I was so excited.
Susan told me that Sarah was expecting a boy so I started to think about what sort of gift I wanted to bring. A short while before all of this, my sister made some adorable baby items to donate to a fundraiser for the Food Ministry that I volunteer for (I posted about the donation quilts that I have made for them here.) The items included some bibs, burpcloths, and little onesies with a necktie appliqued to the front. The onesie was outstanding. I loved it. Before I gave them to the fundraising committee, I made a copy of the onesie on my copier so I would have the template for the necktie. It was clear that this would be an adorable gift.
I used an argyle print flannel for the necktie and also for some coordinating burpcloths. So simple yet so dang cute. I prewashed the onesies and the flannel because both are sure to shrink. After coming out of the dryer, I pressed the onesie nice and flat. I cut out the necktie and then placed a (used and lightly ironed) dryer sheet on top of the right side of the necktie. I sewed around the perimeter with a scant 1/4″ seam. Leaving a few inches open on the side, I was able to turn it rightside out. After pressing this, I had a clean edge to applique. This is a great technique that was posted here by Christina at A Few Small Scraps. (If you haven’t read her blog, I highly recommend it. She had so many good, practical tips; especially with regard to free motion quilting). Back to the project….. after pinning it tight, I appliqued the perimeter. I also quilted a few lines across the little tie, following the lines of the print. Just wanted it to hold tight to the fabric when laundered. For the burpcloths I used Gerber prefolded diapers. I prewashed and dried those as well. I took a strip that measured 1/4″ larger than the center strip of the diaper and pressed under the edges. This was then pinned tightly to the diaper and I stitched the perimeter. Once again, I quilted the center of the flannel with straight lines, following the pattern on the fabric.
The gift was a hit at the shower. See?
A few weeks after the shower her sweet boy was born. Recently Sarah tagged me in a picture on Instagram. Her sweet boy was wearing the little onesie. So adorable.
Don’t you think he looks sophisticated for such a little guy.
These projects were so simple and fun to make. I had some supplies leftover so I made another set.