Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The nursery is red & white, you say?

flannel.backed.blanket

So mostly I've been cleaning closets, giving away small kids' clothes, back-to-school uniform shopping, house-painting, studio reorganizing, and eating tomatoes from my dad's garden which are out of this world good. Nevermind that he and mom live 3 hours away. Where there's a quickly ripening garden of red juicy perfection there's a way. But yes, eating lots and lots of tomatoes with a healthy helping of the richest olive oil. Now that we've all gotten our antioxidants, look at the baby blanket I finished today!

freemotion.detail

I've had the fabric, 4" satin ribbon, and the bunny-softest flannel set aside for quite some time. My sweet friend Julie that I've known since 8th grade has given birth to her first baby and the nursery is white with bits of red and I am so glad. (AND I think I should overuse AND in some more sentences AND continue to run-on, you?)

The simple pairing of the already washed home decor weight fabric and flannel (with no batting) makes for a very practical not-too-heavy baby blankie that will only get softer and softer with each washing. I do love a baby quilt, but really wanted to give her something that she's not afraid to use. This was also the perfect opportunity to mess around with some freemotion stitching on my machine. When I came home from quilt market my mom showed me how to do this on the machine that I have owned for 8 years. (I just can't be bothered with learning such things immediately after purchase-immediately here means anywhere within 8 years.) The print of this fabric was ideal for making larger general shapes around the vertical bouquets without getting too fussy with it. I decided to use the pale pink thread to make any little mistakes less obvious on the flannel side. The stitching pattern on the cream side turned out really pretty, but difficult to see with a full size photo.

I folded the ribbon and treated it just like quilt binding but finished it with machine sewing instead of hand sewing which I think is neater looking on satin. Oh, and one little tip: before I pinned the fabrics wrong sides together, I pressed a few little 1x1" scraps of Steam-a-Seam scattered every 10" inches between the two layers then pressed them smoothly together. It's essentially like tacking the fabrics together with fusible. It was very helpful in keeping everything in place and prevented me from having to use a ton of pins that get in the way of stitching.

So right after I load our well-worn baby bassinet into the car for borrowing, finish wrapping the gift, pick up dinner and wine, I'm heading for a night with a newborn. Oh, and her mommy. I fully intend to let that munchie-pie have her way with this new blankie while Julie and I dine and have some mother chat. Wishing you as much fun, xo,AM

79 comments:

  1. Beautiful blanket!Love the red fabric.
    I'm sure your friend and the baby will love it! :0)

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  2. Love the blanket! I like your idea of tacking with fusible web. I will have to try that! Have fun with your friend and her baby!

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  3. Hi! I have been reading your blog since the CraftSanity podcast. I just thought it was time to tell you I enjoy reading your blog, and I love your color sense!

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  4. I can't believe how great of an idea this is. So thoughtful, so stylish...and its actually do-able. You are a genius.

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  5. laura Gunn6:52 PM

    OK. That steam-a-seam trick was pure genius! Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely use it.

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  6. My cherry tomatoes are coming up right now too... and your blanket reminds me of how crisp and sweet they are!

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  7. Red and white sounds so cute!!! I love your quilt! I was wondering, too, if there was another quick way to tack the fabric in place (for people like me...you know, kind of lazy and tired of being stuck with pins while I sew!). I hope you had fun and I am jealous that you got to hold a new baby. I'm at that age where all my friends are talking about the end of elementary and beginning of middle school! I'm also waiting patiently for my tomatoes to be ready!!

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  8. I'll be not having the batting will give the perfect weight for an all purpose blanket. ~jen~

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  9. andrea7:47 PM

    I love red and white.Thanks for the tip too!

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  10. Lovely gift for baby and new mommy! A keepsake blankie for sure. And like the others, I'm so glad you shared the fusible tip, waaaaaay better than the thought of a gazillion pins.

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  11. oh my goodness, can i please be your friend? i just had a baby, and i want one of those precious blankets!!! : ) it's beautiful. i'm sure she will love it.

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  12. My daughter's room's theme is red and white - she doesn't have a blanket that pretty, mind. I'll have to try that steam-a-seam idea. Thanks!

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  13. really, so beautiful! would love to see a pic of the whole thing, if you have the time...

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  14. Two great ideas: 1. pairing that bright pink and red, which for some reason I never would have thought of, but I absolutely LOVE! and 2. the Steam-a-Seam idea is perfect for blankets without batting! Thank you.

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  15. Steam a Seam!!! Why didn't I think of that?!
    Thanks! I have piles of flannel and lots of friends expecting babies.

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  16. Beautiful. My sister is having her first baby (a girl) in January and I can't stop making things for her! I may have a go at something similar when I get my new sewing machine...Lovely blog

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  17. i love that it is just a blanket - no batting! great idea and so beautiful to boot.

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  18. Love the red and white accented with pink - very cool!

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  19. apple cyder8:06 AM

    What a sweet blanket. Lucky baby!

    And a very random side note. I saw the movie Mamma Mia recently and there is one scene where there are a bunch of very colorful sheets hanging on the laundry line. The fabric colors were spectacular and reminded me of your latest lines of fabric. So if you see the movie, look for that laundry. I think you'll know what I mean. Molly

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  20. So sweet! I really just love it! What a lucky friend you have. That's it! I am teaching myself to sew.

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  21. What a great gift idea! I tend to over complicate things - this is just perfect.

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  22. That steam-a-Seam thing is BRILLIANT! I hate when I spend all that time measuring and then still have a flaw... I guess it would work with WonderUnder or HeatNBond, too, right??

    Great blankie, perfect newborn gift: something they can use and use and use!

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  23. Freemotion stitching! I would love it if you put a little how-to on your blog. I have tried it on my daughters machine, but I think I need a lesson because it did not work out for me. Love the blankie - beautiful!

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  24. Oh beautiful blanket! I just made a blanket for a friend I've had since 7th grade, her first baby too. :)

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  25. I was wondering about the washability of your home dec fabric. I guess using it for a blanket means its ok to be machine washed?

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  26. Hi Kari, yes the home decor goods wash beautifully, just as well as the quilting cottons!
    :) Anna

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  27. Greetings from Australia. I just had to tell you what a brilliant colour combination you have created with this gorgeous baby blanket. Pink and red - brilliant. Last week I received a shipment of your beautiful Garden Party fabric and have already made a couple of dresses to sell on my Etsy shop. I must say your fabric designs are a joy to work with.

    Regards

    Robyn

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  28. So pretty! and psssst I LOVE run on sentences too ;)

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  29. so beautiful! i would keep having babies just for the blankets...and the toes and bellies and squishy cheeks and that incredible smell...have fun with the newborn and oh ya, her mom too.

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  30. What a great idea and a beautiful gift too. The big pink bow is the perfect finishing touch.

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  31. What a beautiful gift. I love your blog and fabrics. I just ordered some from fabric.com, and I can't wait to receive them. I'm looking forward to your book coming out in October too!

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  32. Anna Maria, I just have to say I am thrilled that your brilliant "Branching Out" fabric is such a hit. I am waiting patiently for my favourite local shop to get it in, at which point I will pounce. But I notice also that the on-line sites are selling it out! So congratulations are in order. I don't even know you, but I'm proud. All your new fabrics are just amazing. ella kelly toastneggs.blogspot.com

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  33. Oops! I'm staying up too late and now it shows -- I was referring to your drawing room "sketchbook" fabric. I don't know what I was talking about but that's the one I mean!! it's so yummy...i might upholster a headboard in it...cheers, ella

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  34. Hope you had fun on your baby outing!! I am sure that both mom and baby loved the blanket :)

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  35. excuse me, there is *no*such*thing* as the overuse of the word "and" when one is blogging! i have found it to be extremely useful myself... when a thought seems to be dangling along in a lonely fashion or doesn't quite flow smoothly, or perhaps doesn't even erm..make sense slapping it together with the next phrase by the simple glue of an "and" is quite the innovative literary technique i say!

    And i especially like starting sentences with the word... but hey maybe that's just leftover rebellion towards my jr high grammar-stickler-of-an-english-teacher...

    anyhoo... i just wanted to say that someone made me a blanket of similar weight and construction for my own first babe and together we wore the thing out. i am sure your gift will be most well appreciated indeed:)

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  36. I've admired your blog from afar.
    Thanks for letting me in to peek.
    k-

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  37. How beautiful a gift! I am srue that both baby and mother will adore it.
    ~Emily

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  38. Oooooh! I very much like the red and white fabric you used for the baby blankie!

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  39. What a beautiful gift! Gorgeous colours! :)

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  40. It's beautiful. I love the color combination!

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  41. I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago. You're an awesome inspiration. I am a new mom and my intention was to do Ruby's room in red & white, but alas we are still in our 1 BR apartment here in L.A. I am dying to get back to the south!

    Anyway, I love the blanket and will have to remember to look back at your sewing tip when I find time to give it a whirl. You've inspired me to cover a lampshade for a vintage lamp I came across. Have any tips on doing that?

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  42. Thanks so much for this. That quilt is dreamy, what an inspiration!

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