April 23, 2010

Simple Personalized Flannel Blanket

A friend of mine is having some complications with her pregnancy and I felt like I should do something to help.  I attempted to make two different batches of cookies that both didn't turn out so I went with the basics....a flannel blanket.
Double Sided Flannel Blankets are really a frugal gift and very simple except for getting the fabric to match up.  You can see at the bottom of mine that it bunched up a little.  Oops!  Oh well!!  To make these you need at least 1 yard of flannel for the top and one for the bottom.  I think it looks best when you get contrasting fabric but ones that still matches in some way.  (The pink had the green dots on it.)  Cut the flannel so they are equal and straight, matching up the edges.  I just used some I already had so mine isn't a square.  For swaddling it is best to use a square shape.
If you would like to put lettering or a design on the blanket skip to the bottom.  If you want a plain blanket keep following directions. 

When the edges are matched up, sew all the way around the edges with the rights sides together.  Leave a 4 inch hole for turning the blanket right side out.  Before flipping the fabric right side out, trim down the corners to give them a sharper point.  Make sure to not trim the seam.  After the blanket is flipped, push the corners out until they are square and press the edges flat with an iron.  Finally, stitch around the edge of the blanket catching the seams from the hole.  You can use a decorative stitch to give the edges a fancy twist.  That's it!
First, I printed out lettering from the computer font that I wanted in the size I wanted. Cut them out and trace them backwards onto some Heat-n-Bond or similar brand.  Iron the adhesive with the textured side onto the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side facing you.  Follow the manufactures directions to attach the adhesive and fabric.  Cut the adhesive and fabric out, following the trace lines.  Then, peel the paper off and iron the fabric letters onto where you want them.  Finally, sew a straight line or zig zag on the edge to hold them in place.  To get some pictures with these steps look at my Rag Quilt Tutorial.  After you've finished with the letters continue with the directions above.  

April 16, 2010

Rag Quilt Tutorial

My son has recently become very attached to his rag quilt so I knew it was time to make another one.   I used 1 yard of 4 different kinds of flannel, white thread, heat-n-bond, spring scissors and letters printed from the computer. 

To start out you need to cut your squares to 6x6.   
 I did 28 squares in each of the blue fabrics and 32 in each of the green fabrics.

Sew two squares together with an X with the wrong sides together.  Then sew 4 squares together to form a square, keeping all of the seams on one side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

I then printed out lettering from the computer font that I wanted in the size I wanted.  My letters were no larger then 7x7.

Take some heat-n-bond or another brand and trace the letters onto the paper side of the adhesive.  Cut around the letters.  
Iron the adhesive with the textured side on the wrong side of the fabric and the paper side away from the fabric and follow the manufactures instructions.  
Cut the fabric letters out, following your trace line.

Then take some contrasting fabric and made a square around the letters.  Just large enough to fit each letter. Then appliqué the letter onto the square and sew around the outside of the letter with a straight stitch.  You can also do a zig zag stitch but with the straight stitch it lets the letter fray a little and that is what we are going for with a rag quilt.  Then sew close to the edge of the square with the letter already attached onto the seamless side of a four square square. 
I went ahead and sewed the 4 letter 4 squares together in one strip with an empty one in front of the letter A square. (The fifth plain 4-square isn't showing in this picture.)
I put together the final two rows of squares switching off the starting squares colors.  (Sorry about the missing picture but look at the top to see the pattern I used.)  After the main body of the quilt is sewn together I started with the two edges.  (The only reason why I didn't do just another row is 4 squares is because I ran out of the blue poke-a-dot fabric because I'd used some of it for another project.  You can simplify this quilt by added another row of squares.  You would need 8 of each green squares and 12 of each blue square.)
For the edges you need eight pieces cut 8x8,
eight pieces cut 5x8,

eight pieces of 1 3/4x8,
eight pieces of 2 1/4x8 and,
the the final four pieces you need to cut 25.5x8.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures.)  Sew two wrong pieces together like earlier with an X.  With the long piece, I did a criss cross across.  Then sew the strip together with the long piece in the middle.  Finally, sew the two strips to each side of the main four square sections.

Then finish the edges by sewing a 1/2 inch seam around the edge.  Next, all of the seams need to be clipped.  I clipped every 1/4 inch on all of the seams and also the seams around the letters.  This part is messy and long and tedious.  Be prepared to have pieces of flannel all over and a cramped hand.  If you don't already have some this would be the time to invest in some spring scissors.
The final step is to wash the quilt a few times to help the seams fray.  Make sure you clean the lint trap of your dryer before and after you put the blanket in the dryer.
Ta-Da!  All done. 

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me.  I know there is some gaps in my tutorial so for some needed help go to these links:  

The Girl Creative

April 12, 2010

Just Like Daddy...Little Boy Ties

I hate going to dress my son for church and realizing he has nothing nice to wear.  For girls, it seems to be so easy to just put a cute little dress on.  I'm too cheap to spend a lot of money on boy outfits that he will only wear for a few months before he grow out of them.  I was so excited when I went to a church activity where they were teaching us how to make these adorable ties.  
I put this project on the back burner for a little while and then finally pulled them out and finished them.  I used the excellent tutorial found at Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!  It is a great tutorial for those who don't have a sewing machine at their disposal.
I am now going to raid my local thrift stores and my husband's closet for more ties.  

The Girl Creative

April 9, 2010

Car Punch Frame

I've decorated my son's room with a transportation theme but now that he is a toddler, I need to incorporate some older looking decorations.  So I came up with this...
It was such a simple and cheap project and I think it would make a great baby gift.  I originally got the idea from my friend, Leslie on her craft blog, Side Notes.  To go with the them of the room, she took off the backing and glued the butterflies directly onto the glass.  So cute!
To start off my project, I found a cheap but oh so cute frame at one of our thrift stores.  I absolutely LOVED the frame design and the square shape.  It was also a huge plus that it came with an adorable looking mat.  Upon closer examination...I discovered it would be difficult to remove the picture so I just glued he the paper I'd chosen on top.  Before gluing the paper on, I painted a thin black line on the edge of the picture to give the finished project a more layered look.  
I recently got a 50% coupon from Michaels that I needed to use up so I got my wonderful new Martha Stewart's car punch.
I then went through my stash and picked colors that went well with the background paper and the frame and mat.  To give the cars their raised look I used something similar to glue dots.

I put the frame back on after a little touch up paint and Ta-Da!   
 I'm still trying to decide if I want to hang it with ribbon instead of using the hook on the back.  Would the ribbon be too much for a boy?  Any thoughts?

I linked up with The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday.  Go check out the other amazing frugal projects.

April 8, 2010

Dress Up Cloths

I was looking through my patterns and came across some kid costumes.  I have wanted to make some dress up cloths for a while now.  I looked through my stash of fabric and found a brand new white twin flat sheet that I had used for a skit once.  PERFECT!  
First off I made a doctors coat.  I adjusted the pattern Simplicity 3650.  The original pattern is for making scrubs.  I adjusted it by putting the back on the fold instead of the front piece.  I also adjusted the collar the same way.  I then just did a narrow hem on the openings in the front.  It was an easy pattern to follow (which I have issues with usually) except for the sleeves.  I pretty much bagged their way and made it work my own way.  

I also made a chef outfit for the play kitchen I have.  I used the same pattern (Simplicity 3650) for the hat and I got the toddler sized chef's apron from Supafine's tutorial.  Both were extremely easy to make and look adorable on the kids.    
(my models consist of my unwilling to model son and two girls I watch during the week)