Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Baby Blankets & Burp Cloths

  

We are expecting our first grandchild!  A precious, little baby boy in May!  And we are SO excited!  I used to sew for my three kids all the time and now I'm getting to sew for a little one again and let me tell you, it is SO much fun!  Aside from buntings, I've been working on blanket and burp cloth sets.  I did some research and found that the kidney shaped cloths are preferred so that's the shape I went with.  There are lots of tutorials but I found that this one from Mabey She Made It to have the most helpful suggestions as well as a pattern to download.  I chose to use flannel for the cloths and blankets.  Be sure to wash and dry your fabric to pre-shrink.


I enlarged the pattern a bit to make a larger "kidney shape" but these are SO simple!  Just cut out two pieces, pin right sides together and stitch leaving an opening to turn.  Before turning though, I zig-zagged the edges and clipped the curves.  After it was pressed, I stitched 1/8" from the entire edge.  (I'll give you the amounts of fabric I used at the end of this post.)


For the blankets, I used two coordinating flannels.  I first cut the front of the blanket to the size I wanted.  Mine was 38" Wide by 43" Long.  Next, cut the back (which will also be the binding) 3" LARGER in BOTH length and width from the front piece.  So my back piece was 44" Wide by 49" Long.

Begin creating the back/binding (See photos above).  The first photo is just showing you how I trimmed the pieces to size.  Next, fold the edges in 1.5" all the way around and press.  Then, fold in again 1.5" all the way around and press.


To create mitered corners:  Unfold so you just have the first 1.5" fold open.  Using a ruler, mark down each side from the corner 3" and mark.  Draw a line from mark to mark as seen in second photo.  Now fold bringing lines together and stitch on the line.  Trim seam.  NOW, if this makes NO sense to you ignore all of my instructions and just watch this video . . . I'M a visual learner so this was super helpful!


Once your corners are all mitered and your binding is neatly pressed, you're ready to insert the front panel of your blanket.


Lay the front panel under the binding edges.


Start at the top edge and work side to side, smoothing and pinning the panel into the binding.  You want to take your time on this part, making sure the panel is even and flat. 


BASTE the panel first.  This way, if you get to the bottom edge and the panel is not fitted in properly or flat, you can just remove the basting and re-position the panel.  Another tip, don't baste all along . . . it will take you FOREVER to remove even the large basting stitches.  Instead, baste 5 or 6 stitches, lift your presser foot and pull forward 4-5 inches, baste a few more stitches, pull forward, etc. which is what you see above.


After basting, press carefully, making sure there are no bumps and the panel is flat.  Then you can stitch close to the inner edge of the binding and remove your basting.


These are so fun and easy to make and tied with some extra fabric, make such a cute baby gift!  The blankets and burp cloths are double thickness so super soft!


One final touch, each blanket is stitched with my "Love" Grandma Z design


Here are the amounts of fabric I used to make 3-4 burp cloths and one blanket:

Fabric A (Blanket Front and fronts of two burp cloths): 2 yards

Fabric B (Blanket Back/Binding and fronts of two burp cloths): 2.5 yards

Fabric C (Backs of one to two burp cloths):  2/3 yard

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Valentine's Day Decor


I LOVE (pun intended) decorating for Valentine's Day.  Partly because it is so empty looking after the Christmas decorations come down and partly because it brings much needed cheer during the dreary months of January and February.  This little tree was in our bedroom at Christmas and is now in the bay window decked out in red and mostly handmade ornaments.  You can check out my chenille ornament post with instructions HERE and my vintage-style Valentine ornaments HERE.



My ledge in the living room always gets dressed for the holidays.  This year I added battery-operated red fairy lights. I got these on Amazon.  Love that they have a remote control with a bunch of different settings, a timer and a dimmer.  They are super long too - 33 feet!


This bird cage was my mom's.  I used it at Christmas but thought these little snow babies sharing a soda looked cute inside.


Can you believe that people used to give these giant cards for Valentine's Day? So beautiful!




Another set of the red fairy lights in my kitchen cabinet along with some DIY vintage valentine cards I made.



Did your Dollar Tree have these great, metal words? All three in a package for 1.00!? (The third one says 'XOXO')



More kitchen decor . . .


A few years ago when I re-did my kitchen, I removed the doors to the cabinets above the refrigerator. This is another fun spot to decorate for the holidays.

Winter has finally arrived here after a glorious delay while we enjoyed an extremely warm and dry December.  I'm not fond of this weather at all . . . best to try to stay inside as much as possible and keep warm.  That's my philosophy AND Hudson's . . .

 



Saturday, January 4, 2020

Valentine Tree DIY Ornaments



Christmas decorations have come down so for me, that means the Valentine decorations must go up.  Everything looks too bare and sad once Christmas is over so I begin decorating right away for Valentine's Day.  The first thing I'm sharing with you is my little kitchen tree.  This was in my kitchen for Christmas so I just left the red bead garland on and made some Valentine decorations.


I simply printed out tiny images of vintage valentine cards. To give them stability, I attached them to what I had on hand . . . a sheet of cork with peel off adhesive.  You could use more card stock as well and just glue them on.  


I had this cute felt, scalloped ribbon from the Target dollar spot so I attached that to the edges of the little cards.


I am always on the look out for old keys.  This summer I picked up a giant bag of them at an estate sale for just a few dollars.  The heart 'ribbon' was also from Target so I cut the hearts apart and attached them to the keys with string.  The jewels were from an old strand of 'something' that I had in my stash so I wired those to keys.



These ornaments cost me zero since I printed the cards and had everything else on hand.  You could embellish these with anything - it's a great project for using up those 'bits and pieces' of embellishments you have in your stash.

I'm not a big 'after Christmas shopper' but I do tend to pick up extra light sets and anything that is red, white or pink that could be used for Valentine decor.  I'll also grab a few sets of red and blue lights (patriotic decor) and green (St. Patrick's Day) and some other colors to use for Easter.

The cheery reds, whites and pinks help one of our most dreary months here a little bit easier to bear!

More Valentine decor to come . . .