Monday, October 27, 2008

Make something to go with the baby quilt

We've all been there. You make a single quilt, but end up with reams of scraps, blocks and ideas left over. So what to do with the little bits left over?

Now, I just cut up the rest of everything and put it in my scrap bins for future quilts, but sometimes the fabrics I would use in a baby quilt just don't blend very well with everything else in my stash. So it's time to think of what you can make to "go with" the quilt. This could be everything from a crib bumper to match the crib quilt or some quilted wall hangings. How about a bed skirt or a diaper bag? Simple as binding on a cloth diaper and you've got burp cloths or get a bit more complex and make a stuffed animal.

Getting the picture? Just using the scraps you have left over or by buying just a smidge more fabric (seriously? Does anyone buy just a smidge?), you can add some extra value to your baby gift without adding much to your time or cost.

I started looking around at some of the options and found the pattern featured here - Sweet Baby at Home and On the Go! This nursery set pattern includes three crib quilts, bumper pad, valance, crib sheet, bed skirt, mobile, organizer and high chair cover for home, and a diaper bag and peek-a-boo cover for on the go.

So what other options are out there? I just love this little teddy bear featured over at mumistitches blog. You can also look into doing a receiving blanket, washclothes or even vinyl bags for mom to keep all those little items collected inside the diaper bag.

You can also look to buy items that you could customize a bit by adding your scraps of fabric - binding on a blanket or towel, an added pocket on a bag or maybe some applique on a diaper stacker.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Straight edge or bias edge - which do you use for baby quilts?

I recently finished up my latest baby quilt project. (Still not washed, so I haven't taken a finished picture yet. Sorry!) And I ended up just doing a straight edge binding on it. In fact. I just left extra of the backing all the way around and used that as my binding. (Am I making anyone squirm yet?) There are times when I just don't see the point in going to all the extra trouble of making a separate binding, particularly a bias binding, for a baby quilt. But maybe you disagree with me?

There are a few misconceptions about using straight edge (or straight grain) binding, usually that it is easier to apply and takes less fabric. Neither of these are really true, but it can be easier to create the binding, as in my case where I just used extra backing fabric. I recently found a nice explanation of the two kinds of binding and when you would want to use either.

Whatever your preference, the binding is the final piece of the creation and should get just as much attention as the rest. I'm wagging my finger at myself here as I admit it, I tend to do binding like it's the last thing to get off my plate rather than something important. I promise to do better.

So what do you tend to use on your quilts? Straight grain or bias edge? Do you even care? Vote in the poll on the right and leave a comment to tell us why you do what you do. I love hearing from you about your projects!

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Are you quilting for the ages or just for today?

Waalre07.Tommorrow shall be ..38Image by qusic via Flickr

Lately, I tend to be an "in the moment" kind of girl, just trying to get through what's happening right now most of the time. (Which is a lot at the moment.) I'm a great planner, but often the day-to-day of life gets in the way of carrying through on plans - like that trip to Europe.

So a recent post I read over at Hidden Threads about where my quilts might be some day has gotten me in a bit of a philosophical mood. I'm not entirely sure I've really created anything that I expect to still be around in 80 years. Certainly not a baby quilt. I expect those to get washed to death long before 80 years is up!

Add to this the fact that it's State Fair time - which means drooling over some truly amazing works. I someday aspire to create something worthy (or unembarrassing enough) of being entered in a show of some kind. My basic instinct would be against doing that, though, as I truly do want the quilts I make to be used (and used and used).

Have you ever pondered where your handiwork will be in 80 years? Will it be snuggling with a great-grandchild of the baby you're making it for? (I really like that idea.) Will it be in a museum display of antique quilts? Will it still be around? And do you ever think about that or are you just creating?

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