Monday, June 30, 2008

ABC Quilt from Grammy

We went to visit the in-laws this weekend. My mother-in-law had a belated birthday present for David, an ABC quilt. She paper pieced the letters and animals to make this bright fun quilt for her grandson. David already knows the letter X. He is going to have fun learning his letters!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Teething and Reaching New Heights

We all want our babes to thrive and grow stronger and taller. However, with the good comes the bad. My babe can now reach the ends of his crib which are much higher than the rails. The ends are massive solid rectangular pieces of wood. How in the world was I going to protect my babe from these? Nothing like a problem to inspire a bit of mommy creativity. I decided to make a rectangular quilt with extra fabric on the perimeter to slide ribbon through. Then I could cinch up the ribbon to hold the quilted guard to the end of the crib.

I placed a second piece of fabric underneath the Baby Snoopy fabric shown above, right sides together. Then I stitched them together, turned right sides out and machine quilted where there was batting. Then I top stitched a seam to provide a slot for the ribbon. I slid the ribbon through and went to the nursery. It fit fine, but I knew that my little guy could tear it down in no time! So, back to the sewing machine. I top stitched another aisle to slide elastic through. After sliding the elastic through, I went back to the nursery. I placed the guard on the crib and cinched the elastic as tight as it would go. I noted the location and then tied off the elastic. Then I placed the guard back on the crib and tugged. It was secure!! I do not think that the babe will be able to tear it down with the addition of the elastic. I left the ribbon in as well. I figured a little extra cinching never hurt! This is what the final quilted guard looks like.

I have written three Do It Yourself Tutorials available in my Etsy shop and my Artfire Shop. There are even two No Sew Tutorials.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Do You Remember Memory?

Sometimes I will be shopping for fabric for a specific project and something else in the store catches my eye. When I saw this Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit fabric, I knew that I was going to go home with some. I thought, wouldn't this design make some cute fabric blocks. The next day, I laid out the fabric with scissors in hand ready to cut out the squares. As I looked at the fabric, I was matching the pairs in my mind which had the same picture. I thought to myself, "Wow, this would make a great memory matching game!" So instead of making blocks, I made 10 miniature quilts measuring 4 inches square as game pieces. I made a drawstring bag to hold the pieces and wrote up the rules for the game. I love that this educational game helps children develop their deductive reasoning skills. I have made this first set for my Etsy Store.

I will be making more with new themes for both my Etsy Shop and my nephews. Each game piece is like a small coaster. I think that these miniature quilts would make wonderful favors at a baby shower. I would be happy to discuss a custom order if you are interested in a particular theme for a memory matching game or baby shower favor pack. Click Here to contact me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Math and Sewing

I am a high school math teacher and I love all of the mathematics that is woven into sewing and designing your own patterns. One of my latest sewing creations is a set of fabric blocks. The pattern for a block is simply a mathematical "net" for a 3-dimensional figure. A net is a 2-dimensional representation of a 3-dimensional figure that can be assembled to create the 3-dimensional figure. For a block, which is a cube, there are six sides, so six squares make up the block as shown below.

When sewing, I start by sewing all adjacent sides together. Then, I sew the two sides, and the front and back to the bottom. Finally, I sew the top to each side. For the last edge, I sew only a little ways in from each corner and stop. Next, I turn the block right sides out. At this point, it is time to stuff the block. Finally, sew the opening on the last edge.

Here is a picture of a Jumbo Block that I made for the nursery. Since it is larger, I top stitched each edge to help keep its shape. It is great to double as a pillow for mom or dad after a long night! If you are interested in purchasing this block or one like it, visit my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fabric Blocks for my Etsy Shop

My little guy is going through a phase where he throws everything. So, I made him some fabric blocks to play with. Now when I get hit in the head, it won't hurt quite so much! I also made a set for my Etsy Shop. These fabric blocks are made with stimulating patterned cotton fabrics. Machine wash on gentle and air dry. Each block measures approximately 3 inches square.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Baby Beach Ball

My babe loves his inflatable beach ball. However, I know that the long term fate of an inflatable ball is not good. So, this mama decided to sew him a fabric beach ball. He loves to throw anything that he can get his little hands on. So, the more plushie toys the better. I hadn’t even finished stuffing it when he grabbed the ball and walked off. He really loves it! I also made one for sale in my Etsy Shop as well.