Birds and Blooms

I know that I normally write about what I am feeling and other such things, but I have been working on a few projects lately that I have wanted to share. I re-habilitated a table last month and this month I am working on baby blankets.

I have usually done rag quilting and it really took a toll on my arm with all of the snipping involved, so I decided to try something else. As you may know, I am addicted to Pinterest and found a Pin on this blog, Aesthetic Nest. I fell in love with the idea and had to try it. I love chenille and have been wanting to try to create it for some time now.

I buy my fabric online and usually from Fabric.com. I have been pleased with the quality of the material, prices, discounts and delivery times. I also recommend checking out Retail Me Not for coupon codes (for almost everything). I have two baby blankets to make, one for a boy and one for a girl. So much fun to pick out fabric for both! For the girl, I chose an Amy Butler fabric, Fresh Poppies in Rose, from her Midwest Modern collection. I also decided on using broadcloth for the chenille instead of flannel as I wanted the blankets to be lighter as these are late summer babies. For the boy, his family heritage is Swedish, so I found this lovely fabric by Valori Wells called Wrenly Wren Cobalt Blue. I needed the girl blanket first, so that’s the one I will be talking about here. I am saving the other one for August as one of our nieces is coming to visit for about a week and trying to sew when a 10-year has requested that we dress for afternoon tea during the week might be a bit difficult.

As I don’t usually read directions very well the first time, I bought quilting fabric instead of decorator fabric. The only difference is the weight of the fabric. What I did to enhance the strength of the top layer is add a white layer of broadcloth that I didn’t chenille, making the top two layers thick. For these blankets, I started with 1 1/4 yards of each of the fabrics. I pre-washed and starched the fabrics to make them easier to measure and work. When I wash my fabric or rag quilts, I throw in one of those nifty Shout Color Catchers that take up any dye that comes off of the fabrics.

I cut my fabric, laid it out and started with a center line. I used my large measuring ruler and a wash-out fabric pen to mark the fabric. As the blogger said, make sure this line is straight! All of your machine work is based on this first line of stitching. I used some big safety pins to keep my fabric together as I sewed. This is where you start wrestling the fabric, unless you have some sort of a professional set up. I have a seven-foot pool table and a dining room table to work on and I consider myself lucky to be able to use the pool table!

Now commit yourself to sewing, sewing, and sewing! This project is mostly machine work!

If you look close, you can tell that I have trouble with my speed regulation. If they are looking that close at the stitching, then they can give the blanket back!

The sewing can become tiresome for everyone!

I did do one thing that was smart. I purchased a chenille cutter. I chose the Clover 6mm Chenille cutter with the long channel and short channel heads. I did need to start the channels with a small pair of scissors. I didn’t tighten down my rows of stitching, so when I tried to used the cutter without pre-cutting the rows, it pulled the stitching. It wasn’t a real time consuming thing to do. The channel cutting was so much fun and took absolutely no time at all! It did seem somewhat counter intuitive to rip apart everything you’ve just sewn together, but it was still fun!

Here is the finished project. I didn’t show you the binding segment. That is still difficult for me. I created my own binding for the first time. Here is a great tutorial on machine binding. I found it very helpful. “How to Bind a Quilt with a Sewing Machine”

Here is how the inside turned out. It looks so neat! I have washed it twice and it will just continue to get better and better with time!

I love the way the front looks with all the stitching! I can’t wait to start the second one. I’ll post the picture of the finished project when it’s done. Let me know what you think!

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4 responses to “Birds and Blooms

  1. You do the coolest projects!!! I love our monkey quilt! I didn’t realize it was so hard on you physically though. Sorry about that!!!! I will try to keep the online stores in memory for places to get stuff. Thanks for writing!! You are so inspirational! Hugs!

    • Love you! I think it was after about 10 rag quilts in a row and I did a king-size one for my brother with corduroy, that my arm gave out. I plan to do more in the future though!

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