Baby Stuff

My friend Lori  is about to pop! And I wanted to sew her something that would be both cute and useful when the baby comes. They’re waiting to be surprised, so I had the extra challenge of making something gender neutral.

The first thing I made was a baby swaddle. I’ve heard that they’re very useful for bundling babies up when they’re really little, and I’d seen them used at the hospital before. The free downloadable PDF can be found here (yes in MAKE magazine of all places!) http://blog.makezine.com/craft/craft_pattern_podcast_snuggler/

I lined it with a soft knit instead of fleece because it will be Texas summer during the months the baby can use it.

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The next project was for when the baby gets a bit older. I’ve heard several moms mention how great grocery cart covers are for babies (especially while teething), but couldn’t find a pattern I liked anywhere. They were either over complicated or called for waaay too much fabric (like 5yds). So, I improvised. I went the HEB to measured their seats (the biggest in town) and made sure that 1 yd would cover the entire hole (remembering that the fabric has to go down the sides and back up). It did, so I took my yard of cotton and my yard of fleece (2 yards total), laid them together, rounded the corners and sewed them together so that I could run elastic around the entire outside of the circle. Then I went back to HEB and used pins to mark where the leg holes needed to be and added those. Sorry if that sounds confusing, but feel free to message me if you’d like it explained more in depth or with photos). I also added toy clips and pockets to keep the pacifier and other toys off the floor.

The only thing I wasn’t happy with was that you couldn’t see very much of the pretty yellow fabric when I put it in the buggy, but technically it is reversible and I put toy clips on both sides.

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

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March 3rd was the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival in Austin and it inspired me to make my very own kite! I don’t know where I originally got the idea to use fabric and make a patchwork quilt, but this tutorial was very helpful: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-patchwork-fabric-kite/2009/06/29/

I didn’t follow the instructions exactly because I was looking at a few other tutorials at the same time, and I got turned around with all of the different instructions; so, the day of Kite Fest our kite didn’t actually fly! I was very disappointed since I had stayed up so late the night before building it, but I didn’t give up! That night we replaced the spars (rods) with slightly thinner dowels (less dangerous!) and put them on the correct side of the kite (my biggest problem was trying to fly it upside down all day…Hooray for late night tutorial misreads!). I also added pockets for the rods to go in on each corner and modified the way I finished the edges. Then, we made the tail bigger to add some more weight. For those of you wondering, this style of quilting is called crazy quilting or crazy patch. You either start in the middle or on one side and quilt the fabric to the back as you go…very fun!

On Monday I met Spencer at a park near his work on his lunch break and we had a wonderful picnic where we tested the new and improved kite! The weather was perfect and the kite flew amazingly! We let out about 150′ of string to my best guesstimate (based on how long the spool was and how much was left on it)! Unfortunately/ fortunately all we had were phone cameras so we had to go back on Tuesday to fly it again! The weather was much colder Tuesday and the wind was quite a bit stronger; but the kite still flew! And, my amazing garage sale camera lens finally came in handy ($50 for a brand new zoom lens)!

After our picnic I went by the quilt shop to get some fabric and show off, and they loved it so much they’re planning on posting it on their blog! It should be here in a week or so: http://honeybeequiltstore.blogspot.com/

If you’re in Austin and need fabric, Honey Bee is the place to go! They have the best fabric and are super nice! I go in just to visit some days! They also know just about everything about quilting and offer loads of great classes (like my kids sewing camp coming up in June!).

I’m thinking of posting more kites on Etsy, if I can find a good source for kite parts (rods/clips/string). I don’t know that anyone would want an expensive kite body with cheap parts! If you want your own, feel free to message me with requests. And be sure to leave lots of comments!

Here is Spencer at kite fest trying to fix it for me (notice the bars on the front!)

And here are some pictures of the wonderful kite in action!

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And here is me with the kite (on the nice warm day)!

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