Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stash to Treasure: Toddler Jean Jacket

Toddlers love dogs.  What could match the thrill of meeting a furry, tail-wagging, panting animal with bright eyes and a big wet tongue?  And then to reach out and--almost touch--before jerking away at the last second.  A dog who waits sedately for that tentative touch is exciting enough for these little guys.
But how about the puppy that plants a paw on a toddler's chest, or a big wet kiss on his face?  That's something a toddler, or at least his mother, will never forget.
I drew this pattern, beginning with pieces from Kwik-Sew's Sewing for Toddlers book.  Then I consulted McCall's 5191 Jean Jacket pattern (now out of print) to divide the pieces into sections and style the collar.  I stitched the appliqué and embroidered paw prints from the Anita Goodesign Baby Puppies collection.
The denim comes from my boys' old jeans, and the appliqué materials and soft flannel lining are all from my stash.
This was a crazy idea, but I like the way it turned out.  Hopefully a little boy we know (or at least his mother) will like it, too!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Creamsicle Baby Quilts

When Grandpa O sent me the first batch of thread from Grandma O's stock, he padded the cases with fabric, including this orange trio.  According to a receipt in the bag, this is probably some of the last cloth she ever purchased.  I don't know what she had planned, but to me, these pieces shouted, "baby quilt!"

Zig-zag baby quilt, to be precise. 

And, adding some white to set off the zigs, there was enough for two baby quilts.  I've been eying this design for long enough that it disappeared from the first place I saw it.  But I found the directions elsewhere, and it looks like the author has posted it again. 

I like the design because it creates these great diagonals without cutting diagonally--it's just a bunch of two-piece squares set (very carefully) on point.  The first top went together pretty easily once I really read the instructions and made sure those little blocks were square.  The second was a breeze.

These little blankets are also my successful-machine-quilting debut.  I've tried before, but the backing would scrunch up and get lost.  For these, I used the long-desired walking foot.  Even with the walking foot, machine quilting isn't quite as easy as I'd hoped.  My stitches aren't that even, and my shoulders got pretty sore working with a crib-sized piece.  But it was a whole lot faster than quilting by hand.  I guess I'll have to do more, to build up my endurance.

Now I just need to find someone to give these to . . .