Wednesday, March 20, 2013

hourglass block baby quilt

Have you missed me?

Life has been crazy in this household... the wonders of a newborn have combined with the challenges of a still sick Momma, so blogging has definitely taken a backseat to life. Sorry!

I'm hoping to seriously start back up again because I've missed you, oh faithful readers, and I still see my page views climb even as my sabbatical continues... so my absence will not do.

I'm back today with a quick tutorial and lots of pictures. I made a quilt for a dear friend of mine this past weekend. She is due with her fourth (FOURTH!!) baby this May, a boy, rounding out her beautiful broad with an even two boys and two girls. In celebration, we all "sprinkled" her and baby James with love and gifts.

I love giving homemade gifts to people. I spend a lot of time on the things I make, both in the actual construction of the project as well as the brainstorming part... Simply making something with my hands doesn't amount to much if the gift isn't a reflection of both me and the person I am giving the gift to.

I decided on a baby quilt for little James. I love to sew, and am rather good at it (ahem, horn toot). As I said, James is due in May, so I didn't want something too super heavy to last him through the summer months. I decided on flannel for the material for two reasons. One: It's sooooooooft. Two: my local Jo Ann's has a pretty poor selection of cotton baby material, so if I wanted variety, I had to go with flannel (get with it Jo Ann's!!)
Instead of doing a traditional quilt batting middle, I simply did a patchwork quilt front and a solid back. No middle at all. This kept the otherwise super warm and heavy flannel quilt to a manageable thickness. I know from experience that babies cant really be wrapped in something thick...

Here are some pictures on how to put together an hourglass block. At the end I brag with how lovely it came out. I really am super pleased with it. LOVE

What you'll need:

For this quilt, my blocks were 9" unfinished (like you see in the first picture below). To follow my pattern, you need:
  • one yard of solid flannel for the front (this will be cut into squares)
  • one yard of coordinating solid flannel for the back (this will be one solid piece)
  • 1/4 yard of 4 different prints (for a total of one full yard... make sense?)
  • 2 packages of quilt binding. You can make your own, and there are lots of great tutorials for that floating around the blogosphere.
  • Coordinating thread... you will see your thread, so make sure you pick a color that goes with the front and the back. I used grey. 
  • sewing tools: ruler/quilting tile, scissors/rotary cutter, self healing mat
How to do it:
  • Cut 9" square blocks out of both your solid front flannel and all of your print flannel. You should have 12 solid squares and 12 print squares.

  • Grab all your solid squares. Draw a line diagonally down the center on the wrong side of the fabric. Grab your print squares. Lay a print and a solid right sides together (making sure the line you just drew is on the outside)

CANNOT get this picture to flip! Oh well, you get the idea?

  • After hours (literally) of the two previous steps, now you can sew. Pin your two squares together and sew 1/4 on EITHER side of the line. Cut down your line, but don't take apart your square. Next, cut diaganally from the other two corners to make 4 small triangles. Iron your seams towards the print fabric.

again, what the HECK Blogspot? What are you doing to my pictures??

  •  Open your triangles and lay them out:
You will get two of these blocks from each original square. 

  • Center your seams and pin. Sew your large triangles together to create one hourglass block. Do this to the rest of your squares.

  • Square up your blocks (cut them to make perfect squares... sewing will make them kind of wonky) Lay out your squares in a pattern you like. I did a perfect square, but you could do a rectangle, too. Stitch your squares into strips, then sew the strips together. Lay out your solid back and your quilt front right sides out (wrong sides on the inside together) and zigzag stitch down each strip of blocks to secure the back to the front. Bind.

Now fold it and wrap it up pretty! Add a tag, and you're all set for gift giving!

I've been thinking about starting a mini business. Nothing too formal... I don't want to pay rent on an Etsy space or anything. I've been thinking about it for a while, but have basically been lacking the confidence to put myself out there. I get stopped all the time for my ring sling and car seat cover, and people have always seemed to like the blankets I make... What do you think? Go for it?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

waiting for baby... the nursery

So I have seriously slacked in my blogging for the month of December.

Baby Wonder and I returned from California and I didn't have much down time to sit and write anything. When I did have down time, I slept.

Now we are anxiously awaiting our Wee One's arrival (and she is currently TWO days late).

Since the kids are sharing a room for the foreseeable future, I had to figure out a way to turn Baby Wonder's room into a space that both a girl and a boy could share.

We decided to leave the walls blue (since I knew that I would be the one painting and I had no desire to tackle that on my own!). Because of this, I was immediately dealing with a not-so-neutral palate, so I knew I had to find bold ways to add both neutrality and femininity to the space. 

Want to take a peak?

My mom and I found the PERFECT bedding for her crib at Babies R Us. Light pink and navy, with a little splash of Paris? Yes please :)

We kept Baby Wonder's crib the same, just moved it to a different spot. We loved this bedding before he was born (Mr. even picked it out before we knew if he was a boy or girl!)

There used to be a red mirror here, back when the accent colors were red. I like the frame-less look of these, since they accent the narrow space here great but don't add a lot of visual weight.  

The room isn't big enough for two sets of furniture, so we have one tall dresser, a changing table dresser, and some closet space for both kids. After some SERIOUS purging of Baby Wonder's obscene amount of clothes, we now have a very manageable amount of storage, and neither child is wanting for outfits. Most  of their clothes are folded, but both have a small amount of room on either side of the dresser for things that need hanging. We took the doors off the closet to fit the dresser, which meant that I had to find a way to keep it organized and tidy at all times, with as little effort as possible. I found these pink canvas bins at Babies R Us and the fabulous woven basket was given to us by a friend at our baby shower. With the walls heavy with blue, I decided to add a pretty solid girl color with the bins. And yes, that is Baby Wonder's camo blanket in the basket... and a camo dress hanging in the closet :)

I made this subway art for Baby Wonder on Microsoft Word and framed it. Took very little time, and only about $10. Wee One will have one too, in different shades of pink, once she makes an appearance and I actually have information to print!

These originally used to be bright red (again, that was the "pop" in Baby Wonder's solo nursery) but after some collaboration with the Aunties, it was decided that a clean, crisp, white would make a great change to tie the room together. All letters, A-Z, have been painted with 97987450239485 coats of white paint and rehung all the way around the room. These letters are probably one of my favorite parts of the room!

Again, we went with white (and light blocking blinds) here! Frilly, ruffled curtains are girly enough without being overbearing because of the white.

This kid never has pants on...