Monday, August 17, 2009
Posted by Leila
A friend's baby was baptized on Saturday. I would have loved to make her a quilt, but I'm a little behind on quilting at the moment!
But I have a fun gift to make that couldn't be easier and in some ways is more useful than a quilt that I thought I would show you.
You know, hobbies can be expensive! If you love textiles, like I do, you might end up spending the grocery money on things that aren't even in a finished form...
...you aren't even eating beans because I bought you a cover for your bed; you're eating them because now I have something on a shelf that some day, when I'm not spending all day figuring out low-cost meals using beans, I'll make into a bed cover for you!
So I have learned a couple of things about this craft of mine. First, you need a stash. The stash is your friend, if you visit it often and know what is in there! The stash does not help you if you simply add to it in that mindless way you have of doing. I mean me.
Second, you must limit yourself to buying fabulous fabric on sale only, unless it is just too truly breathless to pass up, in which case you must punish yourself by foregoing its cost in some other area, which is hard, because you probably don't spend money on yourself in any other way. Well, maybe in ice cream, which would be hard to give up.
But most of all, you have to keep your eye out for good fabric at yard sales and thrift stores. You have to know that the back of a shirt you would never wear can yield a fat quarter of cute material.
That a mismatched sheet or tablecloth can make a good backing. That a skirt in a hopelessly outdated fashion can be transformed into a pillow.
Train yourself to think outside that box!
The flannel of this blanket is from a sale at JoAnn's. I know I will need flannel for baby blankets, and two yards is perfect for a crib sized quilt, so I don't have to have an exact pattern in mind to know how much to buy.
It doesn't make sense to go shopping each time you have a project, and often the cute things aren't there when you do. So when you see something adorable on sale, snap up your pinks and your blues!
The plaid was a huge pillow sham from Linens and Things that I found at a thrift store the mother of the baby frequents as well (in fact, I was there because she had found a gorgeous Pottery Barn sheet there, and I was hoping to come across something similar) -- and it's Indian cotton!
It's so bright and cheery; far too much so for a pillow in any bedroom of mine. I took apart all the seams, which rendered a somewhat narrow, large intact piece. I cut it in half and sewed the long sides together, making it a better shape for a blanket.
For a blanket you don't need batting (so, no quilting) and you don't need binding. You just sew your two pieces right sides together. And every baby needs something like this: bigger than a receiving blanket, soft on one side, cool on the other, grab and go or throw in the crib.
In this case I cut the long sides equal and left the short sides unequal.
Sewing the long sides together, I turned it right side out and then folded over and topstitched the short sides to finish, making a self-binding so that the plaid shows on the flannel side at the ends. Then topstitch the long sides so that the whole thing just needs to be folded when it comes out of the wash to keep its shape!
This bright color matches how I feel about little Phoebe, a bright beautiful baby!
Thanks to Ann Kroeker for the link!