Monday, July 15, 2013

Super Soft Burp Cloth Tutorial. Another T-shirt craft.

hoarded saved a bag of old t-shirts. Eventually, they might become garage cloths or a scarf or one of the nine millionty billion t-shirt recycling crafts on Pinterest and the interweb, right?  Or they could just be one more box of "junk" to move from Alaska to wherever we go. Anyway, I have been looking through my pins to make some cute burp cloths and bibs for Toots.  She'll be here in just a couple of months now, and even though she's our second baby girl, we don't have stuffies left over from big sister because she's 12 now. Those things have long since been handed down to other babies. I was brainstorming about what to use for backing on these since they need to be absorbent, and I really don't feel like spending more on pre-fold diapers.  While they make cute burp cloths, they are just as expensive as buying ready made cloths in the store.  I finally remembered the bag of t-shirts.  What's more absorbent and soft than an old t-shirt???

So here's my project.  Super simple.  I don't claim to practice the voodoo that is real sewing. I am not a seamstress, nor do I get paid to portray one on television.  I make things stick together with stitches. If you can sew a semi straight line, you can do this.

Step one: cut fabric rectangles.  Mine are 11x14 because I had a nice cardboard template. (pssst...It's the back of a watercolor pad) I used the t shirt for backing and a pre-washed flannel for the other side.  Both absorbent. Using a rotary cutter, I simply placed the cardboard on the fabric and cut my pieces.  You could also use a straight edge and measure, or just use scissors, but I'm for the fast way.

Step Two:  Sew front and back together with right sides facing.  Leave a three or four inch opening to turn the 2 ply cloth right side out. 

Step three:  Snip the corners so they will be square when you turn them and turn the whole thing right side out through the opening you left.
 Step Four: When your project is right side out, it will probably have wavy edges and it won't be aligned.  You can use an iron here to flatten your seams.  I didn't have much luck ironing a stretchy t shirt, so I opted to roll the edges out and pin the perimeter. 

 Step five:  Top stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge of the entire perimeter.  If you want, you can make this a double seam.  I usually run two or three lines on quilted blankets, but I left these cloths at just one top stitched seam.

Note:  I planned to have these little crocheted flowers on my cloths, but I sewed one together before adding this to the top layer.  If you want to add embellishments like this or embroidery to your cloth, I suggest you do it to your top layer of fabric BEFORE you sew your layers together, otherwise your stitches will show on the back. Duh. I figured that out on the second one. Of my set of four cloths, I have two that are embellished and two that are not. We might not feel like barfing on flowers every day. : )

 Here's the finished set.  I got four 11x14 cloths from one old t-shirt and about 1/3 yard of flannel. The crocheted "flowers" are from Michael's. I bought them about 6 months ago on clearance for 25 cents each, and used scrap ribbon for the stems. I kind of think these would be cute placemats, too if they were larger. Remember to pre-wash your fabric so it doesn't shrink and wrinkle when you wash your final project.

I'd love to see your baby projects.  Link up in comments below, or like KH Kellum on facebook and share there.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Oh Olivia! Nursery Reveal

So, it's been a while since my last blog post, but I assure you I've been busy as a bee. Where was Pinterest when I was pregnant 12 years ago? That's right, TWELVE years. Over a decade. How things have changed in our lives since then.  We are so excited to be welcoming a new member of the family around October. Being a military family, we move. A LOT. I couldn't even begin to think about a nursery for Olivia until we got settled in our new place 4,000 miles away from our old place.  We've been here almost three months and we find out next week (fingers crossed) where we will go (AGAIN) in January. Needless to say, Oli will never remember this house where she will spend the first few months of her life, and she won't be born in our home state close to family like our first daughter. It's a little bittersweet, but still exciting. I'm just glad to have her even if we live on Mars. ;)

With the thought in mind that she won't be born "at home" I tried to come up with some ideas for her nursery that incorporated things from our family and her unique heritage.  I'm not big on Winnie the Pooh and all the other pre-fab nursery junk out there. I can't help it.  I just want to do things my way. I love Winnie the Pooh, especially his friend Tigger, but I don't like the over commercialized versions of him hanging off all my walls. While we were in Alaska I searched and searched for ideas for the nursery. Thank goodness for secret boards so I could work on Pinning before we made the announcement.

The first item for the nursery was a painting by my husband's grandmother.  We had it framed and hanging in the loft area of our previous house.  I started working on the nursery before we knew the gender, but I have always leaned toward gender neutral baby things. The painting below is full of greens and blues which are common throughout our home.
Another piece I knew I would use in the room is a little dresser built by my Great Great Grandfather for my Grandmother.  It was used in my nursery, and I found it in my grandmother's garage when I was in high school and re-claimed and refinished it. The base has been many colors over the past 20 years, but now it is a soft light green.  When we knew we were having a girl, I had my daughter switch out the knobs with these Poppy pulls that I'd been hoarding for just the right thing.
I love that we didn't have to repaint this piece to use it here. I've learned that no matter where we go, we are never going to get the same floorplan twice.  All our furniture and accessories need to be useful and matching in any room.  It's a good thing we have an eclectic style that affords us some flexibility. Anyway, I feel like this is a room that will grow with this girl for quite a few years. Speaking of years.  Here's another piece from my childhood.  My paternal grandmother's rocking chair.  It was actually her mother's chair.  I might drag it out and put another coat of paint on it for protection, but for now it's as is. I think the seat has about 15 layers of fabric. Our daughters may never meet the grandmothers we knew, but we will do our best to keep their memories.
Many other things in the nursery are from Olivia's big sister, Emily, like this doll house book shelf.  We still have all the Barbies in a box, too.
The books are new and old.  From as far back as my parents' childhood days. We read them all with our first daughter, and I'm sure she'll help share them with her little sister.  She even bought Olivia a Dick & Jane primer so she can teach her to read. The painting is from Emily's last room makeover in Alaska. We covered her walls with matching fabric instead of painting.  Painting is allowed in some army housing, but we just didn't feel like doing it.  Besides, we have enough junk to cover any wall they give us.

Because of Pinterest, I've seen many projects using chevron printed fabrics.  I ordered (way too much) fabric and made a simple quilt and dust ruffle to go on the gorgeous convertible crib Olivia's daddy picked for her room.  I had something much "fluffier" in mind, but, in the end, simplicity won. I just didn't feel like hiding this pretty piece of wood. Her crib bumper came from a garage sale for $2.00! She'll actually use the quilt on the floor for playing, but it will fit her toddler bed, too.

I'm sure you're wondering at this point, "What is your theme??? All nurseries have a theme, right?" It was kind of an unintentional theme decided after gathering some of the parts and working them together with a few accessory ideas from Pinterest. I still haven't been able to pinpoint the right words for it, but being that she was conceived in Alaska, will move all over the USA, possible internationally, and we want to keep both our children rooted in tradition, this is what we came up with.

We want both our childrens' lives to be a celebration.  Celebrate love, life, nature, and everything that goes with those things, the good and the bad.  Never be afraid to dream big and go where you want, but always remember home and family. Here is one of the projects that help convey that theme.

All three of these projects were Pinterest inspired (Pinspired, ha) and I'll probably write/link to tutorials in the coming weeks. There are lots more projects in this little room, too. Mostly textile related. I told you I bought too much fabric. :)

Finally, I give you a couple of photos of completed areas.  I can't wait to get this girl home.
The crib wall with more canvas from big sister's past rooms.
The window wall with the "nanny" bed. We don't have a nanny, but I feel like someone will be in there frequently even if it's just big sister getting kicked out of her room for company. The only NEW pieces of furniture in this room are the crib and its matching dresser. Everything else is repurposed, thrifted, or hand-me-down.  Can you tell I'm excited about bringing her home? 

What's your favorite baby project?