If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Was there something in the water?

I have heard the old folks talk abut something being in the water when a rash of something seems to break out.  I'm wondering if that was the case about nine months ago...

We are awaiting the birth of our first grandson.  Our nephew and his wife are expecting a little girl at about the same time.  Plus, in my work 'family,' my colleague is expecting a little one as well!

This couple decided that they didn't want to know the gender of their baby and prefer to be completely surprised.  I love that extra anticipation, don't you?

As you know, I have sewn a few receiving blankets for the grandson and a couple for the new grand-niece.  I've been working on a couple of projects for their little one as well.
I fell in love with this soft flannel grey and white zebra stripe fabric.  It went together well with this all-over print of elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes.  It also has a little bit of pink and a little bit of blue and some green in the print.  So, it will work well no matter if the babe is a boy or girl.  Just looking at the fabrics made me want to cuddle and swaddle a baby.

I cut the fabric into the size I needed using the Receiving Blanket Tutorial by Suzanne of Just Another Hangup, stitched my rick-rack round the edges and sent it home with my daughter, Bridgette.  She worked her magic with her fancy, schmancy embroidery machine and returned it to me.  Then, I stitched it together and voila! 
Here is a sweet receiving blanket, personalized with the family's last name.  I just love the pop of color of that lime green on the soft grey zebra stripe and the sweet zig-zag of the rick-rack edge between the two fabrics!

After the couple had painted and decorated their nursery, I asked to see photos.  They painted a dresser out with white and turquoise and are using it as a changing table.  She made some cute curtains tied up with ribbons which feature an owl print.  They have a wall hanging that features an owl as well.  So, I was inspired to revisit one of my favorite blogs, Just Another Hang Up and adapt a couple of Suzanne's ideas.  She crafted an owl-shaped blanket with taggy ribbons and called it Maggie the Taggie.  She also used the same idea to make a pillow.  

So, off I trekked to Hobby Lobby in search of something with an owl.  There were a couple of fabric prints but neither featured the softness I was hoping to find for a receiving blanket.  I decided to go with a current trend and the couple's featured nursery color.  Here are the supplies I selected:
The first find was the soft turquoise chevron print.  Then, I found the brown print with multi-colored circles in bright, cheerful colors.  I had hoped to use the turquoise rick-rack HL has but it turned out to be a bit too blue for my fabrics.  So, I had to choose between using the unique rick-rack or sticking with the eye-popping trendy fabric.  I chose trendy.  Then, I had to choose a color rick-rack.  I knew I wanted something in a warmer color.  There was only one spool of red.  The yellow was too neon-y.  The other blanket had lime green.  So, orange became my color of choice.  

I decided to make this blanket even more unique and personalize it as well.  Being the good southern woman I am, it seems only natural to add a monogram.  So, this one got a cute shaped C.
Nothing fancy-schmancy this time.  Just a simple letter appliqued using the contrasting fabric that is on the opposite side.  I did use orange to stitch on the multi-colored fabric as a way of tying the orange rick-rack in more.  I love the look!

I also gathered a few supplies for another little project...
I noticed a soft piece of orange and white chevron fabric in the remnant bin.  I also stumbled across some cute reversible orange and turquoise polka-dot ribbon.  So, I asked the lady to cut me a half-yard of chocolate brown flannel, gathered another couple of colors and prints of ribbon and headed to the check-out counter.

I used a scrap piece of fabric left from crafting the receiving blanket.  I did a little surfing and found an owl pattern over at Sew much time, Sew little fabric.  I decided that I liked the shape of the eyes on another applique I had seen.  So, I did a little pattern adjusting.  

I had to enlarge the pattern a little bit.  I simply took my sewing ruler and added 3/4 inch to the outside edge.  I had to redraw the ears just a little bit as well.  I guess I could have manipulated the original patter with a copier or my printer, but I have always enjoyed drawing my own patterns and this seemed to be just that.

I made good use of the reversible ribbon by making tags featuring both sides.  I also included a little bit more chevron by using a yellow and white chevron ribbon for tags on the wings.  The orange and white polka-dot ribbon became a beak for the owl and some taggy legs.  My left-over fabric became accents on the head.  The orange and white chevron became wings.  All of these companion fabrics and ribbons were added to the owl-shaped brown flannel front.  The back is simply brown flannel with no other accents.  I stuffed it with some soft polyester stuffing.  
This terrible shot made with my cell phone is the only one I have of the taggy friend by itself.

These two pieces turned out looking so cute together, I think!  I did work to get one more piece to fit with them, though...well, it was a wee bit of work for me, anyway.  

I gave my daughter, Bridgette a call.  She has just started up a cottage business called Goody Stuff.  I asked her to embroider or applique a little owl on a burp cloth for this to become a set and sent her a text photo of my completed pieces.  Shortly afterward, I got a message letting me know that the last piece of the set was a work-in-progress.
How cool is that? 
She selected an applique design that was similar and chose fabrics from her scraps which were similar in color and design and set her machine to work!  Here is how he looked completed:
I love his sleepy little eyes.
She delivered this to me and I added a piece of left-over fabric and some rick-rack to the back side to finish it off.
This is one gift set that I was really pleased to pass along to the recipients.  I thought it was going to look pretty well with the photos she had shown me of their nursery.
I think it looks pretty cute all piled together!

So, if there was something in the water a while back, I think we got them all covered with sweet little receiving blankets.  I'll share some in-progress pictures soon.