Baby Onesie Quilts

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- baby onesie quilts are my FAVORITE thing to sew. They are the perfect way to preserve your child’s baby clothes. I know I’m not the only one who has trouble giving away my son’s cloths. There are so many shirts or pajamas that have sentimental value, like the outfit he wore when he came home from the hospital, or my favorite sleeper that had the monkey on the butt… So many people save these precious memories, but they’re idea of saving them are boxing them up and throwing them in the attic. This quilt is something we use constantly. It allows me to keep my favorite things, without my husband calling me a hoarder.

This post is combining 2 different projects. Well, to be technical, 3 projects. The first were onesie quilts for a set of twin boys. Their mom got my name from a friend. (PS referrals are how I get business). She was so meticulous about what outfits she selected for their blankets. We chose coordinating fabric, an aqua and a navy gingham fabric. These quilts are slightly different from ones I’ve done in the past. They mimic how I do adult t-shirt quilts, and not the checkerboard pattern I’ve done in the past. The squares are still 6″, but there are 25 outfits instead of the 18. They still measure 42″ complete, and are backed with fleece as opposed to flannel.

The second (or third) project was a onesie quilt for my best friend’s daughter. She is exactly 10 weeks older than my son, and while these are outfits she wore her first year, it was a present for her second birthday. Belle loves owls, so her mommy selected this fabric, for her blanket. The back is a coordinating flannel print, in a bright and festive pink. This blanket measures 42″ square, and uses 18 outfits, each measuring 6″ square.

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Toddler Towels

In my quest to find things to embroider, I came across a tutorial to make hooded towels for kids. My son is about to turn 2, and we were still using towels he received as a newborn. Bless his heart, I needed two to get him completely covered and dried off after a bath. I decided it was time for an upgrade. Like my previous experiences with the embroidery machine, there was some trial and error involved. Making the hooded towels myself makes it loads easier than embroidering on an existing hooded towel, because I can lay the top flat inside the embroidery hoop.

Hooded towels are one of the new items I plan to offer in my etsy shop starting in January. I purchased some basic designs for kids, a butterfly, owl, sailboat, whale… and then came across the mother-load of Yo Gabba Gabba designs. To help build my portfolio, I offered to make some of these for friends if they provided the materials. I’m still waiting on some, and I’ll add those photos once they’re complete.

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Bridesmaid Dress Baby Quilt

A few months ago, I came across a picture on Pinterest of a woman who used a bridesmaid dress as fabric for a quilt to give as a baby gift for her friend (the bride). After some google investigation, I found her blog. I tucked this idea aside and hoped that I’d be able to do this at some point in the future.

That “future” arrived last month when a friend of a friend contacted me through Facebook, and showed me this exact same blog post as an example of what she was looking for. I was over the moon excited about this project.

The theme for the baby’s nursery is sailboats, so I went with that when selecting fabric. Because the bridesmaid dress is a satin, I was afraid of that fabric appearing out of place with other cotton or flannel squares. So, I decided to use an assortment of fabrics and textures. I think the finished product is amazing.

This quilt measures approximately 36″ square. The sailboat fabric is flannel, the red and white rope print is cotton, the brown and white stripes is seersucker, the blue nautical print is chambray, the white is muslin, and the brown is the dress. Baby blue minky dot fleece fabric was used to back the blanket.

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The Embroidery Machine

What? 2 days in a row!! Get ready readers, because I plan to blog tomorrow too. I’m not sure what exactly pushed me over the edge to bite the bullet and purchase the embroidery machine, but I am kicking myself now I didn’t do it sooner. I remember that it was a Monday and I just decided that I wanted one and had to have it. My friend Jenna did embroidery for me when I had something a customer wanted personalized, so I knew a little about them- especially in regards to hoop size. I knew I wanted one with a 5×7 hoop, and I went from there. For those who don’t know, the hoop is what locks your fabric in place and what you attach to the embroidery machine, so it can work its magic. A 5×7 hoop means that you have a 5 by 7 inch rectangle in which to embroidery a design. Unlike sewing machines, there aren’t a ton of different embroidery machines on the market, making it pretty easy to make a decision once you set your price limit. When my husband got home from work that afternoon, I laid out my plan and explained how this machine would quickly pay for itself. To my amazement, he bought it, and let me place the order.

That’s the history, here’s what happened next. The machine was scheduled to arrive Wednesday. UPS usually is at my house around lunch time. Wouldn’t you know it, that day they didn’t come till 5:30. I seriously spent the entire day peeking out the window, and when the big brown truck finally drove up, I ran to meet the driver. I was able to get the machine unpacked and set up before dinner that night. As soon as my son went to bed, I was ready to attempt my first practice project.

My machine came preloaded with some fonts and designs, but I spent the day before purchasing and downloading some things, and experimenting with two different editing programs on the computer. I was ready, and knew just enough to be dangerous. My first attempt, I hooped my fabric incorrectly, used bobbin thread instead of embroidery thread, and broke 2 needles. The second attempt went much better!

I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing, but it hasn’t. I knew there would be a learning curve involved, but honestly thought that since I knew how to sew, I could pick this embroidery thing up quickly. Overall I have, but there have been some bumps along the way. Like the time I had the machine too close to the wall and the arm bumped and messed up the design. Or, when I thought I could use my husband’s great great grandmother’s Singer sewing desk as a spot to keep the embroidery machine and the shaking caused my thread to fray over and over and over again. Kinda embarrassed it took me an entire day and a half to figure that one out. Seriously, I was one mistake away from throwing the whole thing out the window, but we’ve reached an understanding and are on good terms again.

Once I made nice with the embroidery machine again, I went crazy embroidering things. I put a monogram on our bathroom towels, a throw pillow, and did a scarf for a friend to practice embroidering on jersey knit fabric (that could be it’s own post, but *think* I have that figured out). Perhaps the most fun thing about this machine is the new world of possibilities it opens up with things I can create. I have done a few hooded towels for my son and his friends and plan to add those to the etsy shop in the new year. I’ll blog about them soon. If you’ve made it through this post, thank you!

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Toddler Blanket & Pillow Sets

So, I’m pretty much the worst blogger ever. I am going to try to do better. I’ve said it before and haven’t followed through, but this time I mean it. 😉 Lots is going on, and I want to update. My goal is to blog every day this week in an effort to catch up. My biggest news… I bought an embroidery machine! It’s something I thought about this time last year, so while it seemed impulsive, it really wasn’t. Big thanks goes out to Amazon Prime. I ordered the machine on a Monday night and it was here Wednesday afternoon. I’ll blog more about my love/hate relationship and my uphill battle on the learning curve tomorrow.

The first projects completed were personalized blanket & pillow sets. I made a Cars set for my son a few months ago. He loves it. It’s the perfect size for a crib, or (for him) just lounging around, and we use the blanket to help bundle him in the stroller. I bought Finding Nemo fabric for a set for Evie, a little girl from my Facebook moms group. You may not know,but Nemo is the mascot for the Lucky Fin Project, a group celebrating children with limb differences. Next, I completed two sets for birthday gifts. Whenever possible, I like to give handmade presents. It’s a way for me to try out new things, and I know that there won’t be another one like it at the party.

These blankets measure approximately 42″ square, and are backed with either fleece ($50) or minky dot fabric ($60). All sets come personalized and include a pillowcase that fits a travel sized pillow. They are available for special order now, and will be up in my etsy shop in the new year.

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