Friday, December 2, 2011

Too Small > Just About Right

So rewind several weeks ... I was nursing Thomas to sleep ... contemplating reassembling my sewing space. Given our 1000 square feet of space is officially wall-to-wall "stuff" with the new addition of Baby ... it was a tough decision to transition our Bedroom / Dog Room / Laundry Room into a general "Multi-purpose" space by adding a small round table and ALL of my sewing stuff! Needless to say, the clutter is cutely arranged and always organized, so it doesn't feel as claustrophobic as it sounds ... if only we could train Otto to be crate-free. THAT would be the day ;-) His crate is big enough to hold a few small children =P

Anyway ... After reassembling my space, I started to mentally take inventory of what fabric I had "in stock" and weigh which projects would be approachable during baby nap times and other random, brief periods of the day... deciding that it'd be best to start with smaller projects. The first projects I finished are Christmas gifts, so alas they won't be posted til much later in the month! But something caught my eye in the corner of Thomas' room.

Hanging on the door of his closet was a pack of receiving blankets we had gotten as a gift from family in August ...
completely unopened and awaiting the day that they'd serve their purpose. Well that day was today. We weren't too wild for the blankets themselves, because we had been spoiled with a pack of Aden + Anais blankets and have been swaddling with them exclusively since we brought Thomas home from the hospital. They are baby luxury ... the perfect amount of stretchy and just the right size for our 22" long "muscle" that was born turning his head and supporting his weight on his legs. He quickly earned the nickname "Hardbodies" as a tiny baby =) Ok back on topic...

There it was - hanging on the closet door - the perfect combination of coordinating prints ... just what every
quilter dreams of upon venturing into a fabric store!! I decided I'd hack them up and turn them into a baby quilt.


So my adventure began yesterday, with a carefully sketched pattern ... ahem ... on the back of a receipt ... numbers crossed out, sizes considered ... hahah don't judge!! I had a picture in my mind, but in order to figure out how big everything should be, I had to do some drawing and writing. Thank heavens for Ryan ... Mr. Mathematician ... who was willing enough to go over my mental image and poorly drawn pattern with me. Bless him and his understanding of sewing. He's got an eye for color, prefers geometric patterns, and knows what a seam allowance is! Perfect!

During Thomas' first nap this afternoon I was able to get all of my fabric cut. Well I'm not sure if I'd call it a nap .. he was asleep, nuck secured in his little mouth, when I laid him in his crib
...but by the time I walked into our bedroom he was coo-ing and playing with himself. This lasted about 15 minutes - just long enough to cut my fabric - before he started to fuss. When I wandered into check on him, he was entirely perpendicular to how I had laid him down, swaddeled only from armpits-to-hips, and sort of squashed between the railings of his crib ... hahah It was a sight to be seen, and had he not had the most pathetic look, I would have snapped a photo .. but I could tell he was ready to be rescued. =)

After cutting, counting and organizing, I wound up with 8 - 8 1/2" squares and 14-16 - 4 1/2" squares from EACH receiving blanket! Just a ton of fabric. After getting T to sleep later this afternoon, I was able to begin sewing ... about half way into stitching together my pieced squares, I realized I had a basting stitch set ... woops ... pull those apart ... and start over ... Voila! By the end of the night I had my finished product and enough large squares to make another, smaller blanket! I'm thinking about adding another row to the bottom of the quilt to make it rectangular v. square ... and then there's the backing / binding / quilting to consider ... I'll be sure to post a photo of the finished product when the time comes.

As far as re-purposing receiving blankets - I'm sort of curious to cut some up and use them as liners in my cloth diapers. I heard on Facebook among the GroVia crowd, that the flannel cloth can help wick moisture away from baby's bum ... and can be hugely helpful to babies (such as T) who are sensitive to wetness ... So I think this project and experiment will take shape in the next week or so.

Along the Cloth Diapering line ... T & I were wandering through Orange Tree Gifts this afternoon when we began speaking with the owner and another shopper about cloth diapering and how awesome and easy it is..!! (Orange Tree is where I purchased almost all of our cloth diapers)

I offered to be a resource to any of her consumers who were curious about cloth, when she asked if I'd be interested in hosting a cloth diapering workshop..!! I am so thrilled. I told her I'd be very interested, and being a stay-at-home mom my schedule is very flexible ... and to get in touch with me!

She said T was her "poster child" for GroVia diapers, after our infamous little picture debut on Facebook back on our first day in cloth diapers - July 28, 2011 =)
I truly hope she contacts me, because I think it'd be a great opportunity ...
maybe she'll pay me in diapers ;-)


  1. The quilt looks wonderful so far :-) How cool that you would be able to host a workshop! I am crazy about cloth (if you couldn't tell when I happily sent you all of that literature when you were pregnant haha). I would LOVE to be able to help "convince" mama's out there to just TRY it!

  2. Thank you!! It's pretty nice - soft, and such. I told the woman that I have "awesome references and resources in Wisconsin and on the East coast!" ;-) You pretty much convinced us that it was doable! hahah