Flanneling the Nest

In the past couple of weeks I have fully entered into the “Show your baby some love by making things” phase.  You’ve seen the knit sweater and hat.  Now I’ll show you some sewing.

I am a novice sewer.  I remember first wielding a sewing machine in high school when I took (gasp) Home Economics from Miss Friday.  She was the same woman who taught my mother a thing or two in Home Ec when she was in high school! It’s possible my sister even took her class. Ah, small towns…

We never got to making garments or anything too complicated, but I do remembering sewing a small Easter bunny.  So I knew the basics of sewing a straight line, back-stitching, turning corners, pinning hems, and…well, that’s about all I know!

With this huge bag of tricks up my sleeve, I decided it might be time to get to work on a little something for baby.  I went to JoAnn’s looking for inexpensive trimmings for a simple baby quilt and was overwhelmed with choices.  I was suddenly inspired when I saw a quilt kit; these were the colors we’re working with for a gender-neutral nursery, and Sweetie and I are both toile nerds, so this was perfect.

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This is where I should probably clarify that I bough this kit months ago.  I cut out all the little squares and sewed them into strips months ago.  The top was complete by the end of May.  I sewed the back flannel onto one side, then folded it up for one reason or another and let it sit until today.

Oh, it feels so good to finish something that you walk by almost every day, staring at you from its Unfinished Corner.

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  • Pattern: Cuddly Quilt Kit in Children at Play 2

  • Fabric: flannel, cotton, and something like teddy bear fur

The lines aren’t perfectly straight, and it could use a good ironing, but it is full of love and hope and imperfections.  It was fun to daydream about my baby snuggled up under this blanket in the winter, or playing on it in the grass in the summer.  And that’s the beauty of making things with our own hands and hearts: it’s not perfect, but it’s filled with good intentions.  And I believe that those who wear and use these things can feel all that goodness.

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Now that this is finished and the dust has been blown off the Singer, I am feeling like making some more baby items.  Have you seen Amanda Blake Soule’s newest book, Handmade Home?  I am loving her emphasis on recycling fabric and notions into new items for the home and those you love.  I wanna make like Soule Mama and sew up a baby sling, a beach blanket, and some cloth diapers!

I’d also like to make a generous pile of burp cloths and flannel receiving blankets.  Can anyone recommend some free patterns, tutorials, or interesting fabric sources?