Saturday, 31 December 2011


A project I have had on the go for a while is to make a blanky. I've seen similar things with ribbon around the edge and thought they would be good for little hands to play with. To make it more interesting I wanted to use lots of different texture fabric so I thought I'd try my hand ad some quilting. I knew I wanted it to be small and thought it would be a great way to use up lots of my small scraps of fabric.
I know nothing about quilting. I did find a trick to make nice triangles so thats what I used. Cut lots of squares, draw a line across the diagonal, pin right sides together then sew either side of the line. Cut along your line and there you have it, 2 pairs of triangles.

For some reason I have lots of red fabric and red ribbon. I didn't do anything silly like measure or plan, I guessed a 6cm square would give me a good size triangle, I just went through my fabric cutting one or two squares out of everything I liked. Then I cut the same number of cream squares and made them up into triangles. Once I had done that I laid them out and realized that I had enough for two blankies. I tried to arrange them so that the different fabrics are spread out, then sewed them into strips, then the strips together. Because I was a bit rushed cutting out the squares, Grace was helping by shouting loudly, and a bit hap hazard about sewing them together the whole thing is far from perfect. I have new respect for anyone, like my sister in law, who makes the most perfect and complicated quilted things.

I lined the back with fleece to make it nice and snugly and added the ribbon. I didn't use any batting as I decided it was thick enough. Then I top stitched it following the triangles.
Grace loves them and as we have two, one lives in the nappy bag and keeps her entertained when we are out. It's also quite absorbent - which is useful!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Despite having a new baby I still have this idea that I can make everyones christmas presents. I am having a good go, but it is slow progress and we are over a week into December already. Today I managed to make this hat for my god daughter. Another fabulously easy pattern by Made by Rae.

I have lots of fleece from previous projects and loved the way these two colours went together, it's a bit different from standard girly pink. Ever since I found out I was going to be an aunt I have been collecting ideas and patterns for kids clothes and toys. It is only now that I am valuing the easy patterns... anything that can be knocked up during nap time is a bonus!

Saturday, 26 November 2011


I ran these trousers up in one of Graces naps! They were really easy to make, I followed this pattern by Made by Rae. I used a smaller seam allowance to give them a bit more room over the big bum cloth nappies and added some length with the lace.

The problem with cloth nappies is that you end up going for trousers the next size up to get the width but then the legs are far too long. As these are so easy, and have plenty of room for customization, I think I'll run a few more up. Assuming Grace ever naps again.....


At last I have finally finished the baby book for Grace. I started it the first day of my maternity leave thinking I'd have at least a week to finish it before she arrived. Little did I know that all the talk of first babies being late wasn't going to apply to Grace, she arrived that night. I think all the bending and stretching to get down on the floor to cut things out helped her on her way.

So after 11 weeks of doing one seam at a time in the breaks when Grace sleeps, I finally finished the book. I wasn't very happy with the book I made for Rose, the pages stuck out form the cover. This time I made the internal pages smaller. Even then it was tight and I had to reduce the thickness of the batting otherwise they would have stuck out.

I am really pleased with the designs, they all worked really well. The butterfly has nice soft corduroy on the back of the wing that lifts up and the dragonfly has cellophane sewn into the wings to make them crinkly.

Monday, 31 October 2011

baby gym

With the birth of our fabulous little girl Mark and I have been looking at baby toys. We have felt sad that everything is made of plastic and lots of gaudy plastic toys with tinny music just don't sit well with us. So what is the alternative? There are some wooden toys out there to buy or we can be creative and make things ourselves. The problem is, although I have lots of ideas of things to make for Grace, Grace her self takes up so much time there is not much left for being creative!

As Grace is so much more interactive these days, I really wanted her to have a baby gym. It didn't take long to come up with a relatively quick and cheap solution. An afternoon mooching round charity shops and Ridgeons gave us everything we needed. Mark even managed to make the frame the same afternoon.

We bought enough 12mm dowel to make the whole frame but when we got home Mark found some nice thick dowel (25mm) for the top. He used a 12mm bit to make holes for the legs. The legs are at a 46 degree angle (which took much head scratching and trigonometry to work out, to give us the desired height and stability!) and offset so they can be drilled in by about 2cm. They are also glued.

The most time saving idea was to buy some small soft toys from charity shops, rather than faff around making things. It also makes us happy to reuse things other people no longer want. Three of the toys were wrist rattles that I took the wrist strap off and the orange cat has a bean bag bum so there are different textures and sounds for her to play with. They all went round the washing machine before I used them.

The curtain rings left over from another project turned out to be the perfect thing to hang the toys from. I cut the elastic to the right length and zig-zaged it onto a piece of material, catching in the brass eyelet of the curtain ring and stretching it as I went. Then I cut the material to the right width, sewed it into a tube and turned it back the right way using my trusty chop stick. The tubes were hand sewed onto the toys and the eyelets screwed back into curtain rings.

It all came together really well and Grace loves it!