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

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Works-In-Progress

I recently completed a few baby gift projects.  So, I thought I would share some photos of the gifts I crafted for my friend at work and tips of them as work-in-progress.

Rick-Rack Receiving Blankets

I used the tutorial Suzanne created over at Just Another Hangup and adapted it a wee bit.  I kept with the same size of a full width of fabric and about a yard and a quarter of fabric torn to be a square and a couple of packages of rick-rack.

I also used her fancy template (a plate) and a rotary cutter to round off the corners.  Next, I laid the rick-rack near the edge of the fabric and scooted in about a couple of inches from the cut end of the rick-rack and began to sew.
Then, I just guided the rick-rack and fabric and stitched about a quarter-inch in from the edge of the fabric.  If I had chosen jumbo rick-rack, I was careful to sew at least a quarter-inch and for smaller rick-rack I stitched more near the one-eighth inch mark.  The rick-rack curves nicely around the curved edges at the corner.  Then, when I got to the end of a pack of rick-rack and had to start with a new piece, I sort of let the cut end fall off the edge of the fabric.  The photo below shows how I gently pulled it down off the edge and started a new piece to creep onto the edge and begin where that other piece 'fell off.'
I lifted the second piece up to show how the first was 'falling off.'
Then, I simply lay the second over top and continued stitching like the photograph below shows.
It is important to follow the edge of the fabric when stitching this and ignore the rick-rack edge.  This technique is one I use with piping to make it sort of disappear into a seam and to prevent having a raw edge or too much bulk.  Then, there is just a matter of trimming the long tails of unnecessary rick-rack off to make a neat edge.  This leaves a nice 'splice' and when the project is finished, one can hardly tell where one piece ends and the next begins and there is no bulky fold or stiff sealant.
For this project, I sent the pieces of fabric with my daughter, Bridgette of Goody Stuff and she did a bit of embroidery personalizing and returned it to me.  Then, I just took the two pieces of fabric and pinned them with right sides together and stitched just inside the row of stitching that held the rick-rack on the fabric leaving a place about five inches unstitched.  I used this as the hole for turning the fabrics right side out.  Then, I gave the entire edge a good pressing with a hot iron.  To finish it off, I simply top-stitched about an eighth-of-an-inch from the fabric edge.
The finished product looks polished and professionally done and was really quite simple.  These blankets are great personal gifts for a new baby and give a bit more to swaddle and tuck than most of the receiving blankets available for purchase.

The weight is just perfect, I think.  However, if one wished for something a bit more heavy as a coverlet, a quilted fabric could be chosen.  I like the use of flannel on one side but I also think they are nice with just two soft coordinating cotton fabrics.
Here is how this particular receiving blanket looks in the sweet little one's nursery.

The other receiving blanket I made for my friend was made with two soft cotton fabrics.
Dots and Stripes
I went in search of something to coordinate with her owl theme for her little one's nursery and the turquoise and white dresser they had painted to use as sweet clothing storage and a changing table.  I discovered the trendy turquoise and white chevron stripe first.  Then, I wandered round and found the chocolate brown fabric with multi-colored circles.  Since they had chosen not to know whether the baby is a boy or girl, I needed something rather gender neutral.  I thought this might be cheerful and fit the requirements.  I had thought to use the unique turquoise rick-rack I knew that Hobby Lobby sold.  However, it turned out to be a bit more toward a blue instead of leaning toward a greenish turquoise.  So, I stuck with my fabrics and found a contrast in a warm color for the edging - orange.  This particular rick-rack is a jumbo size and I was a little leery of it but it turned out just fine.

After I had torn my fabrics to get them squared up nicely, I used my plate template and rotary cutter and rounded the corners.  Then, I decided to put a simple C monogram applique to represent the child's last name.  I found a simple child-like font online using my iPad and took a screen-shot.

Then, I traced the outline of the letter onto a piece of freezer paper with a marker and cut the shape out.
Next, I ironed the pattern onto a left-over piece of fabric.  (Since I had a couple of projects in mind, I bought a yard and a half of the fabric instead of just a yard and a quarter.)  The shiny side of the paper was adhered to the right side of the fabric.
I cut the fabric out in the shape of the letter.  I knew that I was going to simply use a bit of no-sew fabric tape to adhere this to the blanket so that it would be soft and supple.  However, if I had wanted something to have a bit more body and shape to it, I would have ironed the wrong side of the fabric piece to a piece of iron on fusible web and attached the C applique by pressing the fusible web to the blanket fabric.
I peeled the freezer paper away and, using the fusible hem tape, I ironed the fabric C onto the contrasting fabric side of the blanket.  Then, I just used a contrasting thread - orange to coordinate with the rick-rack - and zig-zag-stitched around the edge of the fabric applique.
From there I simply put the two blanket pieces - right sides together - and stitched around the edge leaving about five inches unstitched and open, turned it to where right sides were out, pressed it, and top-stitched the edges.

Burp Cloth

For this project, I have contracted with Bridgette at Goody Stuff and had her applique a cute little owl on one side of the pre-folded diaper.  Here is a shot of the work-in-progress:
She has a fancy-schmancy machine to do a multiplicity of cute designs that she programs into it and with a little threading of the needle and a push of a button, the project comes out looking stunning like this:
I measured the center portion of the diaper and cut a strip that width plus a half inch by the length of the diaper plus a half inch.  Then, I stitched rick rack to the long edge of the fabric strip just like I had for the blanket.  I turned the stitched edge under and pressed it and turned the raw edge of the short edge under a quarter-inch and pressed it.  I lined up the pressed strip and pinned it to the center of the opposite side of the diaper from the owl applique.  Finally, I top stitched the folded edges at one-eighth-inch from the pressed edge and called it a completed project!
This leaves the burp cloth looking polished and finished on both sides and it is absolutely adorable, I think!
Here is the blanket, burp cloth, and my version of Just Another Hangup's
  Maggie the Taggie in my friend's nursery.

Having new babies join our family - even our extended 'work family' - is exciting and heart-warming.  Being able to welcome them into the world with a sweet and simple gift gives us the opportunity to start making memories with them for years to come!