Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ruffled-Edged Burp Cloths and a baby boy...

A few days ago I posed a question... I asked if anyone would care to venture a guess as to what the third baby item might be that I've made for our little collection of pieces to be given a new mother and her baby.

You might remember that the first item in our little ensemble was the Ruffled Bib...

The second item was Maggie the Taggie Owl...

And many of you guessed correctly when you thought the third item was a Ruffled-Edged Burp Cloth...

I will be posting the very simple pattern and super quick instructions on how to make this Ruffled-Edged Burp Cloth soon.

I want to thank those who have left comments and sent such kind emails lately in regard to the bib and tag blankie patterns and tutorials. I've had family here this last week and haven't had time to respond as I should to each email or comment, but I'd like you to know that I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I've received over 500 requests for those patterns!  

For those who left your email address in a comment to request the patterns, instead please follow the instructions given and send me an email (my email address is on my sidebar under "contact information") with the request. I just haven't had the time to complete the requests from the comments, and it's much easier for me to respond to an email rather than cut and paste email addresses from comments given. Thank you so much!

This morning my little grandson was outside with me as I was taking photos of the Ruffled Burp Cloth in anticipation of the tutorial that will be published in a few days. It was a slightly cooler morning, the sprinklers were going full bore, and I could hear my grandson's giggles and chatter as I was shooting photos nearby. His laughter caused me to take a peak at him and this is what I found...

This boy loves water! He was standing right in front of the sprinklers having a grand ol' time!

This is the reason I've been preoccupied lately. I wouldn't want to miss a single moment...

Wishing you a cool and relaxing day! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Sneak Peek...

It's been all about babies this week! I've been mass producing items that one could give a mother-to-be for a baby shower gift.

First I introduced my Ruffled Bib Pattern and Tutorial...

Yesterday I aquainted you with my new tag blanket pattern, when I posted my
Maggie the Taggie Owl Tutorial!

Although the items above might look similar to the bibs and the tag blanket I posted photos of earlier this week, but they are actually different versions. I found a good (and very unlikely) source for these tiny flowered vintage-feel fabrics this week:  Walmart. And do you know what else...??? Our Walmart is actually carrying some higher quality (and higher priced) quilting fabric these days. I was delighted to find this cute pink (good quality) floral fabric, so I bought some and got busy making some more baby items.

Now for a sneak peek at the last item you could include in a gift box for a new baby...

Would anyone care to venture a guess as to what this might be?
{Pattern forthcoming next week!}

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tag Blanket Pattern & Tutorial

After offering my "Maggie the Taggie Owl" pattern to the faithful readers of my blog for several weeks free of charge, I am now offering the pattern in my Etsy store for the reasonable price of $7. For that charge I will send you the pattern in a PDF document and this blog post will be used for the assembly instructions.

Last week I mentioned that I'd be making a couple more items to accompany the Ruffled Bib I'd made as a gift for a new arrival. Today I'd like to introduce you to one of those accessories...

Tag blankets are a wonderful gift for a new little one.

Tag blankets were first invented by a woman who noticed that her infant played with the tags of the toys more than the toys themselves. Being an early childhood teacher, she took that idea and made a blanket. I think we've all seen babies that are more fixated on the tag of a blanket than the blanket itself. This is the perfect gift for that child...

By interacting with and exploring the different surfaces of the blanket and ribbons, babies senses are both soothed and stimulated.

"Maggie the Taggie Owl" is a cornucopia of different fabrics and textures. Her body is made of flannel  (tummy), felt (eyes & beak), cotton (face), microsuede (forehead and wings), and a soft, cuddly faux fur covers her backside. Grosgrain and satin ribbon in 1 1/2 inch lengths surround her wings. Ric-Rac decorates her tummy.

Those goofy googly crossed eyes add to her appeal...

A handmade sensory tag blanket can easily be made from a square piece of fabric and about a yard of ribbon, but I wanted to customize something special for our new little granddaughter due in November. I hope it will both entertain and comfort her...

Now for the ...

a.) Cut out all the pattern pieces and applique them onto the body in the following order:

1. forehead
2. beak
3. large eye
4. medium eye
5. small eye
6.) tummy 
7.) ric-rac
8. wings

For a tutorial on how to applique on fabrics, go here.

b.) Cut a variety of ribbons into 4" lengths, fold them in half and pin them to the sides
of the wings with the ribbon toward the tummy of the bird (see below).
Attach the ribbon by sewing 1/8" from the edge around the wings...

c.) Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew front to back, right sides together,
leaving a 4" opening in the bottom of the owl.

Turn the owl right side out and slip stitch the opening shut. 
Top-stitch all around the owl 1/4" from the edge.
Final measurements including tags: 14" x 14"
You've got an adorable tag blanket that will  pique your child's curiosity and lull them to sleep!

 Please visit my 
Etsy Store 
to order the pattern!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bloomin' Tuesday...

I'm a little late with my Bloomin' Tuesday post today. I was out working in the garden most of the morning. The feature today is a flower bed off our patio that we fill with impatiens. Earlier this year I planted a kabillion baby impatiens in this area. Here's a photo to help you remember...

Even though it always looks skimpy right after I plant it, within a couple of month it fills in beautifully! Here's a look at that flower bed this morning...

Even though impatiens are small flowers, they fill in and grow so dense that they become a mass of color in any garden. These photos really don't do them justice. They are gorgeous!

I've often mentioned the morning glories in my garden and I always receive a variety of concerned responses from people who live in more moderate climes. They're always surprised that I would actually plant morning glories, when they are a such a noxious week in their areas. First, these morning glories are not the typical, "binding" weed that invades your garden. These are a cultivated variety of morning glory with big, beautiful, vibrant colored flowers. However, I would imagine in many mild climates that even this version of morning glory could get out of control. In Colorado, however, they completely die back every fall. The next Spring the fallen seeds from the summer before reseed, but they are easy to control by just pulling out the little shoots that you don't want. They're one of my favorite flowers. This year I didn't have to plant any. They were all volunteers! I train my morning glories to climb up tall garden stakes that we've made into the shape of teepees. The last few weeks the vines have been growing, but soon the growth will slow, the flowers will become more numberous and the teepees will become covered in flowers...

Each morning when I go out to water, their happy little faces greet me, and I feel blessed.

 Linked to:
Bloomin' Tuesday @ Ms. Green Thumb Jean's
Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ruffled Bib Tutorial and Pattern...

After offering my "Ruffled Bib" pattern to the faithful readers of my blog for several weeks free of charge, I am now offering the pattern in my Etsy store for the reasonable price of $5. For that charge I will send you the pattern in a PDF document and this blog post will be used for the assembly instructions.

Last week I introduced a new creation -- the "Ruffled Bib!"

Today I will demonstrate how to make these little-girl bibs. This pattern is a quick and easy sewing project -- just follow the simple instructions below. At the end of the post you will discover how you can request the pattern. As you can see from the photo above, one can make a variety of bibs using the same cotton fabric or contrasting fabrics. 

  • Cut two "front side panels" from any 100% cotton fabric
  • Cut one "front middle panel" from any 100% cotton fabric
  • Cut one "bib back" from any 100 % cotton fabric
  • Cut two strips of 100% cotton fabric 2" x 14" for the ruffle
  • Cut one "bib back" from 100% cotton quilt batting (I recommend "Warm & Natural")
  • Three itty-bitty buttons
  • Thread
  • Snap (Option: Velcro)
  • Note: Seam allowances change throughout the project, so pay special attention to that detail.

  • Before you begin sewing:

    1.) Preparing the ruffle: Fold the 2" x 14" pieces in half lengthwise and press. Then make tiny marks (or mark with a pin) on the unfinished edges of the strips  3.5", 7" and 10.5" from one end (see below). The markings on the ruffle divide the ruffle into quarters, which will enable you to distribute the fabric evenly on the front side panels.

    The Ruffle: 

    1.)  Pin unfinished edge of ruffle to front side panel at both ends. Place the middle of the ruffle (the 7" mark) at the middle of the side panel, distribute the fabric evenly at the 3.5" and 10.5" marks.

    2.) Very important... Make sure the top folded edge of the ruffle meets the edge of the side panel as shown with the arrow in the photo below...

    3.) Continue distributing the fabric evenly. Don't be afraid to use a lot of pins -- this will make tiny little tucks which will be more appealing than larger ruffles.

    4.) When you are finished pinning the ruffle to the side panel you can either sew a straight line 1/4" from the edge of the seam to tack the ruffle in place, or, if you are a more accomplished sewer,  you can simply lay the middle panel over the ruffle and pins and pin all three layers together and sew. If you keep the pins in place on the ruffle, sew the layers together very slowly to avoid breaking your sewing machine needle. ;o)

    5.) Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance to sew the middle panel to the ruffle and side panel.

    6.) Remove all the pins and press the seam toward the middle panel...

    7.) Repeat steps 1-6 to complete the second ruffle and side panel. Then stay-stitch around the neck 1/8" from edge (as illustrated below) to tack the ruffle and seams in place...

    8.) The front of your bib is complete...

    Attaching front to back: 

    1.) Now we are going to make a tasty bib sandwich with three layers of fabric. First lay the "quilt batting bib back" down. Next, lay the "bib front" right side up on top of the batting. Finally, lay the "bib back" right side down on top of the "bib front."

    2.) Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew all around the bib, leaving an opening (about 3 inches) at the bottom of the bib. Trim seams to 1/8" around entire bib -- except at the 3 inch opening.

    2.) Turn the bib right side out through the opening in the bottom of the bib and press. Slip-stitch the opening shut by hand.

    Finishing touches:

    1.) Sew little buttons onto the front of the bib approximately 1" from the top of the bib and 1" apart.

    2.) Attach snap according to package instructions to the ends of the bib. (Option: Velcro can also be used.)