Archives for posts with tag: handmade baby

What does a quilter do when she gets invited to a baby shower just a few weeks away?

She reads the registry and improvises!


My friends chose not to learn their baby’s gender, so my gifts had to be husband-approved for a boy and sweet enough for a girl. These bandana-style bibs are so popular these days that I came up with a simple pattern and sized it on my toddler. I backed them in a flannel shirt, and I made sure they are adjustable without tricky snaps or Velcro.

And the front fabrics match…


A pair of pairs of baby pants! These are based on a pattern from Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings which, thankfully, is often in our local library. My husband suggested a little patch of contrasting fabric which I think turned out quite sweet!

And finally…


I didn’t have time to piece an elaborate kitty softie for the baby, but thankfully I had a panel from the Cotton + Steel line From Porto with Love, which includes a perfect little kitten ready to be sewn and stuffed. Mine I filled with cotton batting scraps and teeny fabric shavings, part of my effort to reduce textile waste.

Baby is due late this summer, and I can’t wait to see if it’s a boy or a girl! Hopefully these gifts will help him or her feel welcome no matter what!

In a sad turn of events, I was not able to attend my cousin’s baby shower this weekend, but I had so much fun making presents! These days, given enough time, I scroll through a registry to get a sense of a family’s style and start sewing accordingly. This sweet family favored greys and neutrals, some of my favorites!


I’ve become something of a bib connoisseur since my first child cut a tooth at 4 months. These bibs are based on my favorites, quilted, batted, and backed in soft jersey and including a little loop for a fancy paci clip! Snaps will give them longer life than Velcro, and they reflect the muslin bibs on the registry.

I also made a pair of teething pads to snap onto a carrier, something we couldn’t do without and which were also on the registry. They were simple, though, and I forgot to take a photo!


But this was just for fun. Every little girl needs a bit of frippery, so I went to town on a modified old PurlBee pattern. My grandmother gave me a few handkerchief cotton blouses with the express purpose to cut them up, and I did! Pintucks and lace were repurposed, and my only addition was the satin ribbon trim.

Truth be told, motherhood is hard. I’m hoping that my gifts reflect love and care and that I can continue to encourage my cousin as she enters into this life-changing, lifelong adventure!

A friend of mine is about to cross the Pond and meet up with folks I interned under in England! We have kept in touch, so of course I am sending a few handmade happies to them!

  
There’s nothing like the first grandbaby in a family, and one little such lady is due in a few months. What could be sweeter than a proper teacup or two? I pieced a pair of bibs and backed them in terry cloth with batting between. From the leftover terry I made wash clothes because you can never have too many bits of cloth around to mop up baby leakage!

   
    
 
For other friends, I put together some Open Wide zipper pouches! This is my first time to follow Anna’s tutorial, and I must say, it will be my go-to for future zipper pouches. They lie so flat and are beautifully practical, and compared to others I’ve made in the past, they were a cinch to sew – none of that bulk around the zipper ends to gum up smooth stitching! Plus, they pack easily, and I can fill them with letters, artwork, or other treats that are hard to find over there (fajita spices, creole seasoning, cornbread mix perhaps!) Long ago I made up the HST units, and this little project was a great way to use a few of them. I am sending the others along as well to make a baby quilt, if my friend so chooses – sort of a collaboration between us, despite the distance! One day I will go back, but for now I’ll send my heart in my handwork.

This is why I don’t throw away tiny scraps.

   

 

While in England, I hand-pieced half-square triangles trimmed from corners of bee blocks into a free-form unit, then later added swaths of favorite fabrics. The piece was up on my design wall until inspiration struck. I folded the piece in half, then drew a rough outline of a kitten on a scrap of junk mail lying around. After cutting out the kitten, I decided to line it with batting, so I dove into my scraps there, too. A few quick stitches later, he was ready to stuff stiff and ladder stitch finished. He came together so quickly that I expect to make more! But maybe I will omit all the hand-stitching.

I got teary when he was done. I could easily imagine, really for the first time, tiny fingers grasping the tail, or tiny gums chomping on the ears. And he coordinates with the two baby quilts, so he will be right at home in the nursery, like a first friend. Hard to believe it’s all really happening, but little by little (or should I say kick by kick?) it’s sinking in:  in a few short months, I get to meet my first baby!

We have come to the end of the first quarter of 2015! I had four quilty goals, and though I made tremendous progress, I only fully completed two. My first was a baby quilt, and this second is – surprise! – also for the baby!

      

I pieced the top from sampler blocks, then sandwiched it with two layers of batting scraps and a favorite IKEA print on the back. I think all that wacky batting affected the tension as I wrestle-quilted each block separately. Going back and sinking threads was also time consuming. But over all, I love it! Until the little one is ready for tummy time, it may drape over a crib or changing space to facilitate vision development. Mommy will at least love looking at it – if I can ever tear my eyes away from him once he is here!