Work-in-Progress Girl


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Sunday Stash: Lime Flannel

So if you follow me on Instagram (@clumsykristel), you’ll know I’ve been working on some brown and green hashtag blocks. They’re going to be put together into a baby quilt for a friend of my sister who is having her first baby… sometime soon. She doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, but has been doing things up in browns and lime greens, so that was the direction my sister asked me to angle in. I love backing baby blankets in flannels, so I was fortunate to already have a flannel in my stash that I thought would work perfectly…

Flannel

This fabric is Erin McMorris’s Birds from Irving Street (if Irving Street is the name of this fabric line – it’s really tough to read the printing on the selvedge). I also have another chunk of it in yellow, which is pretty awesome too. But I’d kind of forgotten about the pink… We were going to go ahead with it anyway because even if she has a boy, what’s a little pink the grand scheme of things? And if you follow many fabric loving people on Instagram, you know there’s a big push to use stash fabric this year (tied to the hashtag #SewMyStash2015) and I was kind of excited about this because the whole thing was going to be made from stash – all the fabric on the front is straight off my shelves (and scrap bins) and of course this flannel was too. But I went to the fabric store for thread. And that was my downfall, because you know what I found at the fabric store? Fabric. Fabric without pink in it. And it was 50% off, so who can walk away from that?

Flannel

I’d been wanting this Ann Kelle flannel for a long time, but didn’t buy it because I didn’t have a use for it. But now I do! Sure, it’s floral, but what’s a little floral in a (potential) little boy’s life? Not much. But I was pretty sure my sister wouldn’t like it, so I had to pick up a second choice too. Give her some options, you know?

Flannel

My sister likes cute things for little kids (which I usually don’t – I generally avoid children’s prints though I have got a few), so when I found this elephant flannel, I sort of figured she’d prefer it to both the floral and the birds. And she did. I try not to buy these cheaper flannels because they shrink at a greater rate and are far more shred-happy than the nicer flannels you get from the bigger companies (the birds are FreeSpirit and the floral is Robert Kaufman), but I just bought a little extra and if I need to seam it, I’ll probably make a wider seam allowance than I usually would, just to combat possible shredding. Anyway, it’ll be a cute addition to the quilt (and there’s one hashtag block with elephants, so you know… it fits). Now I just need to focus (and get my Juki back from the shop) and get it quilted up so it’ll be ready for the baby shower.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

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Two Owl Stuffies and a Receiving Blanket

Two Owl Stuffies   Flannel Receiving Blanket

Well, this entry is a very, very long time coming – I made these back in March, I think. I know I finished the owl in the foreground on March 9, but I don’t know how long it took to get the rest of it finished. Anyway, they were for a baby gift for Jennifer at Quiddity Quilts, for her son who was born earlier this year (April? I forget that too!) and her daughter.

Owl Stuffies

I don’t do a whole lot of sewing outside of the quilting arena and I always feel a little bit adrift when I try to follow patterns and make things, so I made the first owl (the one in front) as a practise piece, which would be given to Jenn’s daughter, if I thought it turned out. The pattern, available here, comes from Patty Sloniger of Beck and Lundy and is really simple to follow, fortunately. I made a couple tiny changes to the second owl, but on the whole I thought it turned out pretty well. (My changes were to sew the eyes on starting at the bottom of the eye, because they drifted north-ward on the first owl and I think they look better closer to the belly fabric, and to add a touch of stuffing to the wings and ears.)

I always tell myself that I’m not going to buy any fabric that isn’t quilting cotton (I never know what to do with the leftovers, and I always feel too guilty to throw them away – what a waste!), but I never manage to follow my own rules and I bought minkee for the belly/wings/ears, corduroy and velveteen for the backings, and wool felt for the eyes. (Probably I had the felt anyway – I like making ornaments! And I know for a fact that the grey beak felt was given to me by Ofenjen.) I still have enough of the corduroy, velveteen, and minkee to make another 3 or 5 owls!

Owl Stuffies - back

I used corduroy from Ann Kelle’s Remix line for the “boy” owl and velveteen from Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush line for the girl. I kind of love both lines, although I wish the print on the Innocent Crush fabric were a little smaller so I could have got more of the print in! (I fussy cut it so that a piece which sort of looked owlish to me was visible on the back.)

The other part of the gift was the receiving blanket. I’d planned to make two – they seemed so simple, just baste the voile and flannel together, round the corners if you wish, and bind – but hand-sewing voile binding to piece of voile is HARD. Sewing thin, slippery fabric to more thin, slippery fabric? Not easy. And then to NOT stitch through into the flannel? I’m sure it took me as long to bind that little bitty blanket as it took to do my last almost bed-sized quilt. (If I do it again – and I must because I’ve got spare voile and spare flannel in my sewing room! More non-quilting cottons! – I will stitch the binding to the flannel side and hope that it’ll be slightly easier to work with.) The idea for these blankets came from Anna Maria Horner, and her explanation is available here. (She doesn’t say too much more about methodology than I did though! It really is that simple. You’ll note her blankets have the bindings machine sewn, but I am not very good at that, so I never do it.)

When I sent it all off to Jen, I swaddled her son’s owl in the blanket, like so:

Swaddled Owl Stuffie

Isn’t it just the sweetest?