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Welcome to my Blog

I am a grandmother to 4 little girls. I blog about the things I make for them, review patterns, provide tutorials on how I've dealt with techniques or problems, which I hope may help others, and give links to the (mostly) free patterns I use. Every so often, I do a 'Best of..' post listing the best free patterns I've found under specific headings - babies, girls, boys etc. Enjoy the Blog!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Teepee for Christmas

With all the girls coming for Christmas I wanted something to entertain them. This was what we came up with.

Yes, it's a teepee!

I'd been idly wondering how I could rig up a play tent out of some surplus orange curtains in time for the visitation of the grand-daughters at Christmas. We used to hang curtains or tablecloths over the dining table for our own children when they were young, but our current dining table doesn't lend itself to having toddlers crawling underneath and making a den there.

And then my internet searches brought up the idea of a DIY teepee. The curtains were big enough that, with a join in the back, I could make a teepee for our little ones.

Read below how I made it.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Baby Toy Bag

A toy carrying bag and 'Sounds Bag' and toddler rucksack all in one.

A small bag for a baby to contain toys for a journey? Or a 'Sounds Bag' to help develop speech, with numerous small things to find inside? Or a rucksack as a present for a toddler?

My little bag could be all of these, and more. I used the pattern that can be found here, and my blog covers some other tips for making it. But thanks to Indietutes for the pattern and the instructions - even though, as I so often do, I did things a bit differently.

Among other things, I decided it would start life as a 'Sounds Bag'. I think Sounds Bags can have other names, too, like Sensory Bag. The idea is that you have a bag containing familiar objects, and as well as the baby having fun taking them all out and putting them back (a favourite pastime for most babies and toddlers), the activities you can do using the bag can help speech development. But it's also a useful rucksack, and very handy for popping a few toys in to take in the car or on trips. Read more about how to make one below.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Neat Finish to Seams on Two-sided Pre-quilted Fabric

As you may know from my other posts, I am a fan of double-sided ready-quilted fabric for my baby projects. It's easy to wash, easy to handle and sew - and already lined! What more could you want? I've used this type of fabric in numerous projects, especially the cupcakes one and the turquoise one with toy aeroplanes.  These projects, covered elsewhere in the blog, and pictured further down in this post, have included baby sleeping bags, a toddler rucksack, and a playmat. But it could also be used for light-weight quilted jackets or padded trousers, and many other items. If you can find one with an interesting lining, you can also use them to make reversible items.

The only small sewing challenge is finishing the edges, or any seams. It can be hard to get the seams to lie flat (if you want this). You don't want to make any more bulk than you have to, and you may want to avoid a raw edge with the polyester wadding poking out. (Not that it will fray much, but it isn't very nice next to sensitive skin.) In this post, I'm sharing what I've learnt about this challenge.

First, here's what I mean by double-sided ready-quilted fabric. Our local store, Fabricland, has:

...... tartans, shiny, white and black and other plain colours  ....

....children's fabrics.....

 ... and a variety of others including camouflage, fruits, and several Christmas fabrics.

I only wish there were even more designs - or at least, more interesting second sides. Some do have another interesting design on the reverse, but most are plain coloured, including a lot of plain white.

So, how can we get a neat edge?