Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Project Idea and a Giveaway

Before summer began, I had extremely grand ambitions of what work-related projects I would be able to accomplish during these school-free days. I had the crazy notion that having my kids home ALL day, EVERY day would somehow make it easier for me to get stuff done. I know. What was I thinking? Now that we’re already seven weeks into summer and I've only managed to complete one thing on my list, I’ve finally realized that I was a bit delusional. For over two months now I’ve been meaning to sew baby blankets to give as gifts for a couple of new additions to our extended family, but I didn’t get around to actually completing them until this week. I made one for our nephew born in June and one for our niece who will be born early this fall. (At least I’m ahead of the game for one of them.)

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Both the bird and butterfly appliqué patterns can be found in Joel’s new book, “Sewn Spaces.” I wasn’t sure the appliqué would work on the minky material, but both patterns worked beautifully, and I was really pleased with the result. If you would like to make one yourself, here are the instructions:

1. Copy and size the patterns as desired.
2. Cut a 38” X 32” piece of both the printed fabric and the minky material.
3. Iron a piece of wonder under interfacing on the back of each fabric scrap you are using for the appliqué pieces; trace and cut out your pieces.
4. Peel the backing off of the wonder under and place your pattern pieces where you want on the minky material. Iron the pieces in place, being careful to not iron out the textured dots in the minky material.

5. Sew around each of the appliqué pieces using either a tight zig-zag stitch (as shown on the bird blanket) or an appliqué stitch (as shown on the butterfly blanket).
*I sewed the appliqué stitch about 1/8” from the edge of the butterflies to allow it to fray a little bit.
6. Thread an embroidery needle with three strands of floss (as shown on the bird blanket) or one strand of crewel wool (as shown on the butterfly blanket). Use a stem stitch to embroider both the butterfly antennae and the name.
*For stitching the name, I printed out the font I liked best and traced it onto the material.
* I found that embroidery floss worked much better than the crewel wool. But, if you're stubborn like me and love the aggravation of having to rethread your needle every 5 minutes, go right ahead.
7. With RIGHT sides together, sew around the edges of both the printed and minky fabrics, leaving about a 6” opening on one side to be able to turn the blanket.
8. Turn the blanket and topstitch around the edge of the blanket about 1/2” from the sides.

So, in celebration of the fact that I actually completed a project (or two) in spite of the fact that our kids interrupted me every 10 minutes while I worked, Joel and I are giving away one copy of his book, “Sewn Spaces.” If you would like to enter for a chance to win, leave a comment telling us your favorite baby gift to give, or receive. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, August 9th.

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