Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Mei Tai for a Friend

Quilted Mei Tai Baby Carrier
When I made my quilted Mei Tai baby carrier back in 2010, a friend of mine put in an order for whenever she might have another baby.  At the time, I couldn't imagine making another.  I had spent a good deal of time figuring out the pattern and also sewing while taking care of a young baby.  My friend just had her new baby and it was time to make the carrier.  I decided to take notes this time in case I ever needed to make another.

First I started with the quilting.  This would be the easy part.  I used my carrier as a guide.  I cut squares and strips that were 2.5", 4.5" and 6.5" and played around with the placements.  After making the mini quilt, I attached a panel of black sateen to the back and quilted through the two layers.

Next I added the borders.  I added 3" strips to the sides, then cut the curve.  Afterwards I added the top and bottom borders, also 3".

The straps dictate how much fabric I needed of the black sateen.  The straps were cut at 82" by 5.5".  I cut four straps and tapered each pair down to 3.5".  The taper started just about 28" measuring from the tapered end, was down to 4" at 24.5" from the end to be tapered.  I also added batting to the straps for padding.  The batting was 18" by 5.5", sewn into the side seams four inches from the top of the strap, turned and top stitched.

The hip straps were next.  One was 22.5" and the other 14.5".  These straps tapered too from 4" down to 2.75".  I used a 2" side release buckle.

Then I attached the hip straps and shoulder straps to the body of the carrier.  It's a little confusing attaching the straps because they go in backwards, but going slowly and checking regularly works well.
Lining up the should strap
Proper placement and orientation for the opposite shoulder strap
Once one row of stitching was holding the straps on, I pinned them to the front of the body and attached the back, pinning carefully and sewing slowly.  I left a small opening in the bottom.
Straps folded in ready for back
All pinned ready to sew the front to the back right sides together
After flipping everything right side out, removing pins and ironing, I sewed up the opening in the bottom by hand.  Finally I top stitched around the outside of the carrier body and also outlined the quilted panel.

baby carrier blue green

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Preschooler Sewing

My youngest is three and she likes to be involved in everything we do.  She has done some hand sewing before, but likes to have me hold the fabric for her. When I was at the store recently, I remembered to look for an embroidery hoop for her.

We tried out the new hoop today with a scrap of muslin. She still wanted me to hold the hoop, but we both were much less likely to get poked. 

It was a perfect little project. We used fairly short strands of thread and changed colors frequently. 

She enjoyed making some x's and making different length stitches. The hoop is 4" diameter. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Slightly Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Having been informed about the overly ripe bananas in the house and a request for cookies rather than muffins, I sought out a recipe for banana cookies. After seeing a few recipes, I decided to simply follow a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe and make some changes along the way. The result is a sweet, banana flavored cookie that has a bit of a cake or muffin-like texture. I would highly recommend them. Also, I'm sure plenty more substitutions could be made successfully making them healthier yet. They are awfully light in color having only white flour.

2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bake 11 mins at 375 degrees.  Edges will get a touch golden. Yields 4 dozen cookies (+4) using a 2 tsp small cookie scoop. 

Before and after baking, they don't change too much.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hand Print Quilt Completed!

hand print solids pieced binding
Handprint Quilt for my Daughter's Teacher
 This quilt is a record breaker I'm sure. I knew I needed to move quickly on this and fortunately it all worked out.

Quilt Sandwich
Yesterday I sewed all the blocks together into the quilt top. The bottom was already done. I layered the top, batting, and bottom into a quilt sandwich and pinned the layers together. 

After laying out my scraps for a pieced binding, I liked it enough to go ahead and make the binding. 

Next I needed some new thread for the free motion quilting. I decided to go bold with a variegated thread of bright blue, green, pink and yellow. 

After dinner, I was able to free motion quilt the whole quilt and then sew on the binding.

The final steps were to hand sew the binding to the back and apply a quilt label. The label isn't pictured.
handprint, pieced back
Quilt back

I estimated the fabric yardage for this project perfectly.  I used almost every scrap between the binding and the back.  The finished quilt size is 48" x 60".

I used less than the 2 yards of white Kona, but was glad to have extra in case of hand print mistakes.
2 yards of school themed print
1 1/4 yard of bright green
1 yard of bright blue
1/2 yard of green
1/2 yard of blue
1/4 yard of pink
1/4 yard of orange

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hand print blocks done!

handprintI'm happy to report that all 20 handprint blocks are framed and ready to be sewn together.

The two missing kids were back at school and I was able to get their prints. I did run into the teacher on my way out, but I don't think she saw anything. 

The pieced back is done as well.  It has the school themed fabric, blocks of the bright green and bright blue along with some leftover stripes.

This progress puts me in great shape heading into the weekend for quilting and binding.  It appears I have enough scraps for a pieced binding. I will have to lay it out and see if I like the way it looks. 

My youngest has been super patient for all this sewing. She recently began using the machine herself, here she is taking a turn on a scrap. What's nice about many young sewers I've seen is that they sew slowly and cautiously.  The iPad helps too when it's not her turn to sew.

The tools and scraps that made it all happen.  For each block, I just kept adding strips until it was the right size.  I tried to plan out colors to some degree to keep everything balanced.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Handprint Quilt Progress

As time is of the essence, I wanted to get started with the hand print blocks as soon as the paint dried.

First I cut each handprint into a square or rectangle 9.5" or less. 

Then I cut strips of varying widths of the different fabrics I had.  With them I started making up the difference so that each block would be 12.5" square. I wanted to have some striped borders also and sewed many strips together, then cut them into 2" wide strips. 

I'm using the back of a tablecloth as a design board. It's perfect. 

Teacher Handprint Quilt preparations

Yesterday I read a note that my daughter's third grade teacher is retiring.  With 9 days of school left  I had not heard about a class gift.  Knowing that she is retiring too, something special would be appropriate.  A hand print quilt started to form in my mind.  Google images gave me even more inspiration.  One quilt by Carin really stood out to me.  I'm not sure I have enough time to make something similar or not.  I love her colors too!

I emailed all the families and asked about a class gift and offered to make a quilt if the majority liked the idea.  Email after email was a resounding yes, great idea, let's do this.

To begin, I would need to get the handprints of the students.  And white fabric.  The same morning I had inquired about the teacher's favorite colors and got a reply back just before my trip to the store.  

A trip to JoAnns proved quite successful.  I found three coupons to use and I loved the school themed fabric available.

I got 2 yards of Kona white, 2 yards of the school themed fabric for the back which will have to be pieced, and between 1/4 and 1 yard of blues, greens, orange, and pink solids.  The solids are to frame the handprint blocks.

Today I'm off to get the kids handprints.  I ironed creases in the white Kona to help with hand placement.  Initially I thought I would bring blocks, but then I had no idea how I'd get them home with wet paint.

The kids were great taking breaks from their lunch to come and get painted.  After drying on my multipurpose hoop rack, the next step will be to cut the prints into blocks and add borders.