Friday, April 8, 2011

Baby Gifts

Lately it seems that there is something in the drinking water around here because everyone I know is pregnant. In the last 6 months I have been to 6 baby showers, with one still to come. One of those showers was for twins. It seems that all I have seen on the sewing machine lately is baby things. And I know that long ago I said I would post pictures of the things I had made for my friends baby shower so today, I fulfill that promise.

As of now, I have a basic "kit" of gifts that I give to everyone. And I don't think its wrong to say (because I've had the girls tell me so) that everyone looks forward to receiving these packages.
First a set of burp cloths. I found these at Homemade by Jill and have played around with the pattern until I found a style I like best. She made both sides with flannel and put in a layer of batting, sewing  with a 5/8" seam allowance and then cut the fringe you see on the bottom of this stack. I made several of those but didn't like the way the batting bunched when  washed. I played around with sewing the batting down first, but that became too many steps for me. Eventually I eliminated the batting and changed one side to terry cloth. I sew them right sides together and leave an opening to turn them right side out and then stitch a coordinating thread around the edge at about 1/8", with a seam down the short middle to keep them together in the middle.

This is your basic tag blanket. I will not call them Taggies, since that has been patented, but the premise is the same. If you look on the left side, you will see that I try to add a fringe or satin/lace ruffle to mine to make them slightly different from the patented brands. I would consider posting a brief tutorial on these, but there a dozen tutorials on them if there is one.

And each baby gets a receiving blanket. These are the simplest thing in the world to make. I take one yard each of two complimentary or coordinating fabrics (one is ALWAYS a flannel, although sometimes I use two flannels). Trim the selvages but do not try to square the fabric. Just lay them right sides together and pin at least 2 sides so they won't move when you sew. I usually use a 1/4" seam allowance. After they are sewn together, I trim the excess, flip right side out and sew around the finished edge like the burp cloths, then sew a free hand "x" from corner to corner.

Now this alphabet book idea came from Obsessively Stitching. This book is not a standard part of my gifts, mostly because of the time involved and the difficulty in collecting the I-Spy fabrics to match the letters. (You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a fabric for the letter "U"!)

I will not go into too much detail on the creation of these books because Care has already posted a wonderfully easy to follow tutorial on them.  I have tinkered with it myself and now make them with white muslin backgrounds (cheaper and makes the letters stand out a bit more I think), and finally figured out how she added the handle and closure to hers. I also toyed around and made a matching Counting and Shapes/Colors book for a friend, but will have to get her to take pictures for me. Super cute and worth the time involved to make.

I did get Steph's quilt back from the machine quilter and have the binding on, am this weekend sewing the ribbons to it and the label. Hopefully I will get pictures of it up afterward, and not keep you in suspense for another month. Thank you for your patience as I try to establish a routine for writing and posting!
Happy Crafting!