Van Seat Back Organizer

The other day, I was loading up the kids in the van at a friend’s house and she was admiring my van’s seat back organizer.  I didn’t make my own – it’s an Avon product from my grandmother (it looks like a puppy dog).  But she had seen a similar one through thirty-one, which cost $35!  So I knew immediately that I had my next project.  What busy mom on the go couldn’t use a little bit of organization in their mom-mobile?  Especially my friend – she has 3 little ones!  So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with.

Supplies:

  • Fabric – about a yard total (I used coordinating prints, so it was less than a yard of each)
  • Batting – 1/2 yard
  • 1/4″ elastic – 1-1.5 yards
  • 1″ elastic – about a yard
  • Coordinating thread

I’m gong to start off with a disclaimer: you don’t have to make yours the way I made mine!  I put extra cup holders because of my friend’s number of kids, and a book holder because her oldest is 6.  At this stage for us, that’s too many cup holders and my kids don’t read yet!  You can also nix the wipes holder if your kids are out of diapers… that’s what is so great about this organizer, is that it’s totally customizable.  So my instructions will show you how to make one identical to mine, but you can make yours perfect for you.

I measured the seats of my own van, since I drive the same kind as my friend, to get the dimensions for my organizer.  I measured the width of my seat to be 18″, the height from the top to where I wanted the elastic to be was 20″, and then I had another 8″ to the floor of the van.  I also measured around the headrest to be about 11″, which should be the same for all cars.  Lastly, measure all the way around the bottom of the seat (I got 45″).  So for my car, I cut 2 pieces of fabric and 1 piece of batting 19″x27″ (so the finished size would be 18″x26″ with 1/2″ seam allowances), 24″ of 1/4″ elastic (45″minus 18″ for the organizer minus 3″ so it will be taught), and a strip of fabric 4″x12″ for the top.

Press the 4″x12″ strip of fabric in half long ways, open up, press each raw edge to the center, and press in half again, making a strip 1″ wide with no raw edges (except the ends), and stitch a scant 1/4″ up both sides to secure.  Place the two large pieces of fabric right sides together, with the batting on top.  Insert the strip you just made at the top, between the fabric layers, with the raw ends each showing about 1/2″ over the top of the fabric (place them about 7″ apart).  Also, place the elastic 20″ from the top on each side, between the two layers of fabric (make sure it’s not twisted if you’re OCD like me!).  Stitch around the edge (1/2″ SA), leaving an opening about 4-5″ long on the bottom for turning.  Turn right side out, turn in the opening, and stitch 1/4″ around the whole edge.  You can keep the top loop out of the stitching, but you’ll have to go over the elastic – that’s ok.  Now you have a blank canvas for adding your pockets to your organizer!

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Fold back one of the fabric layers to insert the top loop; do the same at the bottom for the elastic.

I started off with the cup holders.  For a full fabric cup holder, cut a piece of fabric 7″x10″ and one Cup Holder Pattern.  Press the 10″ side down 1/4″, then another 1/2″ and stitch at the bottom of the fold, making a casing for the elastic.  Thread 8″ of elastic through with a safety pin, and stitch in place on the ends.  Then pin the bottom 10″ side right sides together around the curve of the cup holder bottom and stitch in place.  Then press the raw edges in, pin in place on the seat back organizer, and stitch in place.  I made 2 of these (although if you’re using a directional print, pay attention to which way is up so you don’t have flowers growing upside down like I did!).

Cup Holder

Left: Pin the rectangle around the cup holder bottom. Center: Press the edges in 1/4″. Right: Pin in place and stitch onto the organizer.

My 3rd cup holder was made with elastic – I thought it would be more useful for a bottle for the baby this way.  It’s also a lot easier!  Cut 3 pieces of 1″ elastic, 2 that are 6″ long and 1 that’s 3″.  Use a zigzag stitch to attach the 3″ piece to the center of one of the 6″ pieces.  Then sew the other end of the 3″ piece (with a straight stitch again) where you want the bottom of the cup holder on the organizer.  Fold the two ends of the attached 6″ piece in 1/4″ and pin in place on the organizer about 4″ apart, as pictured below, and stitch it on.  Fold the ends of the other 6″ piece similarly, and stitch in place about 4-5″ higher to complete the elastic cup holder.

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The bottom of the elastic cup holder

I don’t know about any other mom, but I am always looking for a wet wipe, so I wanted to make them easily accessible for my friend (and her little helpers in the car).  I found that using elastic was the easiest and most effective way to hold it on.  I also played around with the measurements, so the directions that follow should hold a brand new pack of wipes and also one that’s almost empty.  Cut two pieces of 1″ elastic 7.5″ long.  Fold the ends over 1/4″ like for the cup holder, and sew onto the organizer 4.5″ apart (width-wise), with the height of the holders 5″ (that means 5″ high for the 7.5″ elastic, so they’ll bubble out).  A package of wipes will insert in there snugly when full, but still securely when almost empty.

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Simple but effective wet wipes holder

Next to the wipes spot I had some extra space, so I made a little utility pocket.  It’s pleated at the bottom for more space, and has elastic at the top to keep the contents inside.  If you don’t want a large book pocket like mine, you can add more of these in different sizes – they’re super easy to make and super useful!  For mine, I cut a piece of fabric 6″x9″ and a 7″ piece of 1/4″ elastic.  Press the top 9″ edge in 1/4″, then another 1/2″ and stitch in place to make a tube for the elastic.  Feed the elastic through with a safety pin, and stitch to the ends of the pocket.  Press the other 3 sides of pocket in 1/4″.  Then pin in place on the organizer, creating a pleat on the bottom.  Stitch around the edges and you’re done!

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I had OCD making my pleat – this was about the 7th try!

The book pocket was by far the easiest part of the whole organizer.  I cut a large pocket, 12″x17″.  Press the top edge down 1/4″, then another 1/4″, and stitch in place.  Then press the other 3 edges in 1/4″, pin in place on the organizer, and stitch around the 3 sides.

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The inside of the book pocket, with all the edges pressed in

One thing to keep in mind when you’re attaching your pockets and elastic to the organizer – these will take a lot of stress, especially at the tops, so be sure to backstitch for security!  They’ll have kids pulling on them for years, so you don’t want it to fall apart!

Once you put it all together, this is what you get!  It’s super handy for all those things that seem to collect in the car.  My favorite is the wet wipes – you can never have too many of those when you’re on the go!

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The cup holders are great for bottles, Playtex sippees, Take N Tosses… whatever you use! And I know my friend’s 6-year-old will love having a special place to keep her books safe from her younger siblings.

I hope you find inspiration in this tutorial to create your own car organizer.  It really does help keep the clutter down and the necessities accessible!

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Teacher Christmas Gifts

It probably comes as no surprise that  love making Monster’s teachers presents for Christmas.  This year, he is in the bumblebee class at school, and I found the perfect fabric for a bumblebee teacher – it has apples and bees!  I’ve noticed that all of the teachers wear their ID’s on a lanyard around their necks, so I thought it would be nice to make them some to go with their class theme (I blame all the different animal squadrons we’ve been in for making me use a theme in everything!).  I also made them each a clip keychain, because I have one myself and it’s super handy!  And since it’s Christmas time, I wanted to give them each a bumblebee ornament (which Monster got to help me make).  Plus a gift card to Target.  Can you tell we love our teachers??

So without further ado, let me show you how to make some gifts to spoil the teacher (or friend or relative) in your life!

I made the lanyard and the keychain at the same time, since they use basically the same supplies and methods.  To make both, you’ll need:

Cut a strip of fabric 4″x36″ (one yard) for the lanyard.  Save the scrap from the end (since the fabric you bought was 42-45″ long).  Then cut a piece 4″x11″ for the keychain.

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Not pictured: the scrap from the lanyard piece that you will use

Press the short ends of the lanyard fabric towards the wrong side, then press in half longways.  Open it up, and press each of the raw edges into the center fold you just made.  Fold it back in half again to make a 1″ strip with no raw edges showing, and stitch a scant 1/8″ around the whole border.  Repeat for the 11″ strip, but don’t press the ends in (the raw edges will be covered later on they keychain).  Repeat one more time for the 4″ wide scrap, again making a 1″ wide strip.

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Folding up the lanyard. It’s the same for the keychain and the scraps except for turning in the raw edges at the ends.

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1″ strips for lanyard, keychain, and the scrap

For the keychain, loop the 1″ strip you just made onto the swivel clip.  Then use a wide zigzag to make a loop from the raw ends.  Move the zigzag connection down towards the clip, and cover with the scrap that you sewed, trimming and tucking the raw ends between the layers of the keychain.  Stitch around the scrap to secure and complete the keychain.

Key Ring Construction

Left: Zigzag to hold the ends in place. Right: See how the scrap covers the zigzag right next to the clip? And the raw edges are tucked between the layers to be hidden.

To complete the lanyard, slide the 2nd swivel clip onto the 1″ yard-long strip and stitch in place (think about making a V shape that will accommodate the wearer’s neck comfortably).

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Pin and stitch the swivel clip in the center, making a V shape

Then, loop the back like a necklace and stitch on the Velcro – I was careful to make the hook side face away from the neck so it won’t be scratchy.  You could just sew it, but many schools require that teacher’s have a “quick release” on their lanyards in case of strangulation (crazy, but we want our teachers to be safe!).

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Completed lanyard and keychain!

Last year, Monster was too little to help with making anything for his teachers.  But this year, he is obsessed with painting!  Anytime I ask him what he did at school, that’s the first word out of his mouth.  So I knew when I saw this adorable bumblebee ornament made from a light bulb, it was the perfect craft for us to do together!

I used a box from our favorite “fruit squeezes” to hold the bulbs.  The box comes with one hole which was perfect for the bulb, and I just used scissors to cut out the 2nd.  Then I laid down a paper bag with some paint, handed the toddler a brush, and he went to town painting them!

Paint Lightbulbs

He did a really excellent job, I only had to touch up a couple of spots later on – and he had a blast!

Once the yellow paint dried, I added black stripes and a black head (where the screw part was inserted into the box – an egg carton comes in handy for drying).  Then I used a glue gun to add googly eyes, pipecleaner wings, stinger, and antennae, and a pipecleaner to hang it by.  And don’t forget to sign your work!  Monster can’t help with that yet, but maybe next year!

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I signed Monster’s name and the year on the bee’s butt!

I feel like the ornament will be much more meaningful to his teachers, knowing that he actually contributed to it rather than me doing everything or buying them things.  And I hope that the lanyard and keychain are useful to them!  At the very least, I don’t know that there is a human on this earth who wouldn’t like a Target gift card, and especially a teacher, who I know puts her own money into my child’s schooling.

Feel free to steal my ideas to make your own teachers something nice and useful for Christmas, and let them know how much you appreciate them!

Halloween

Last year, Peach was only 2 months old for Halloween, so I dyed a onesie peach-colored, made a headband with a stem and leaves, and she “trick-or-treated” as, well, a peach!  My dinosaur-obsessed Monster wore a dinosaur costume, inspired by this Etsy product (you can’t see in the photo below, but there’s a triangle tail that the spikes continue down).

Halloween 2013

Trick or treating was hard work for Peach! Monster’s hoodie was made of fleece, so I cut the sleeves off for our Florida October weather.

I didn’t dress up because, frankly, with a 2-month-old and a 19-month-old, just getting out of the house within an hour of what we planned was a big accomplishment!

This year, however, I will not be slacking.  Peach, in keeping with the peach theme, is going to be Princess Peach!  Monster will be Mario (I know it’s a cop-out, since every American boy is required by law to own the blue overalls, but it goes with the theme!), and I’m going to be Bowser.  Yes, you read that right.  Back in May, before Radar left, the wardroom held a Nintendo 64-themed party, and rather than go as something simple, he constructed a Bowser costume!  It didn’t occur to me to take tutorial photos of the construction of “Bowser,” but I can describe the parts:

Shell – The basis was a throw-away turkey roasting pan.  Radar used stuffing and hot glue to create the shell, then spray-painted it green.  The spikes were made from party hats spray-painted white and hot glued on.

Chest – I had some canvas from another project left over, and he just cut the oval out and drew lines across it with a Sharpie.  The shell is on the heavier side, so we use safety pins to attach it to the fabric at the front of the fly on our shorts and keep it from slipping.

Head – This was the piece de resistance!  I didn’t see exactly how Radar put it together (because, you know, I was keeping the kids alive), but I know he started with a baseball cap, sewed the jaw and stuffed it, and hot glued most of the features on, using pipe cleaners to give some shape to the horns and a few of the red spikes.

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There’s a photo below to show a front view of the head on me

Princess Peach was pretty simple.  I bought a little pink dress and found a teal decoration at Joann’s.  I just safety pinned the decoration on so that Peach could still wear the dress after Halloween – it’s so cute!  I also found an adorable crown headband on Amazon that is perfect for my little baldy.  And that’s about it!  She won’t put up with much accessorizing, so I tried to keep the costume simple.

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Cute and easy!

Mario was also relatively easy to put together.  I got a red cap and used white puffy paints to add the trademark “M.”  Then I used his blue overalls (he has long ones, but the kid HATES to wear pants, so I went for Florida Mario) with a red shirt underneath.  And don’t judge, but a 2-year-old won’t keep a stick-on mustache on for an evening, and face paint will smear…. so I plan to use Crayola washable marker!  He might have a mustache residue for a couple of days, but he’s looked worse/crazier before haha!  I opted out of the white gloves because it’s still 80 degrees out, and Monster is really sensitive with that sort of thing (see the pants comment about 4 lines up).

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Please ignore the fish on the chest!

It’s an annual tradition for the squadrons on base to host a “haunted hangar,” where they decorate the hallway and the offices for the kids to go through, get the tar scared out of them (for the bigger kids), and trick-or-treat.  It’s a blast, and we look forward to it every year!  Downstairs in the actual hangar, they use the large open space for bounce houses and socializing – and dessert, in case we haven’t been sugared up enough.  Participants are asked to bring a treat to share, and I found this darling idea on Pinterest last year for pretzel ghosts.  I know it’s lame, but they were such a hit that I’m using it again!  The combo of salty and sweet, plus easy portion control and clean-up make this treat the perfect goodie to bring to a party.

Supplies:

  • Large pretzel rods
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Handful of mini milk chocolate chips
  • Solo cup
  • 2 tbsp butter (optional, if chocolate is too thick)

Pour the white chocolate chips into the Solo cup, and microwave until just melted – 10 seconds at a time, don’t overheat or it will seize.  If your chocolate is too thick, add the butter to loosen it a little.  Dip a pretzel rod in the chocolate, and lay on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Then, use 3 mini chocolate chips to create eyes and a mouth on your ghosts.  Repeat as many times as you want – a bag of white chocolate goes a long way!  I usually run out of cookie tray space before I run low on chocolate.  As the chocolate gets lower in the cup, tip it to coat further down the pretzel sticks.  When you’ve filled your cookie tray, pop it in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is hard.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Don’t be like me – melt the chocolate just enough! I went way too far today, and had to add butter and milk to loosen it up – the results were not pretty, but still delicious!

So after all this prep, we were ready to enjoy our evening as a family!  We had a great time, as always, and it’s super fun to make family-themed costumes while the kids are still too little to protest!  (You’ll note that Monster isn’t wearing anything from his costume but the shirt – he decided to dress up as a stubborn two-year-old tonight.  I’m hoping he’ll be Mario on Friday for trick-or-treating!)

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Monster was just not having it this evening. Peach was super happy with all the activity, though!

And of course, I had to send Radar a grown-up Halloween care package, stuffed with Trader Joe’s goodies (they just opened up here in Jacksonville) and other adult treats.

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I used Halloween memes to decorate the box!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Birthday Peach!

Today, my little Peach turns 1!  I thought that Monster’s first year went quickly, but it was nothing compared to hers.  She has learned so much so quickly in her attempt to keep up with her big brother.  Here is a list of all the things she can do already:

  • Walking – first independent steps at 9 months(!), walking consistently at about 10 months
  • Words: Dada (her very favorite), Mama
  • Loves giving kisses
  • Hates bananas
  • Starting to learn to climb, but clever about getting down without falling

The one thing she’s done slower than Monster is getting teeth!  He got his first at 8 months and had 12 teeth on his first birthday (I’m not exaggerating here), but she’s still just got the first 4, which she loves to show off!  I guess her hair is a little slower than his too haha!

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She also loves peanut butter… and some of it even makes it into her mouth.

A friend of mine was so sweet and sent Peach a package for her birthday (they’re birthday “twins” on August 29th) that had a gorgeous quilt for her!  I love the fabric, it has yellow giraffes, pink rhinos and orange elephants, and she used a decorative stitch on the binding that just adds such a nice touch.

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Gorgeous girl on a gorgeous quilt!

She also included a little gifty for me, a few different varieties of Heat N Bond that I haven’t used before – be on the lookout for me giving them a try in future posts!  You can check out her blog here – she does a lot of recipes and sewing, too!

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I normally use the Lite (on the left), but I’ve never tried the regular and I’m super excited about the Ultrahold!

On a more serious note, my grandmother who was battling pancreatic cancer passed away on August 3rd.  Today is the memorial service, so I’m in Arizona with the family while the kids hang out with Radar’s parents.

Nana and Zaidy actually happened to be passing through Jacksonville a year ago when Peach was born, and got to hold her even before Grammy (my mom)!

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Nana was talking – what she was most known for 😛

I’ll get back to tutorials and recipes and fun stuff with my next post.  I’ll close today with a big happy birthday to my little girl, and a rest in peace, Nana.

Watermelon

I saw this great idea on Pinterest to cut your watermelon up like fries to make it easier for little ones to eat.  For Monster, this was a Pinterest fail!  He is so used to eating it sideways from a wedge that I COULD NOT get him to turn it the other way!

BlogI guess technically this is a kid fail, but it’s still funny either way!

Moon Sand

I had an ad in my inbox recently where Michael’s craft stores were trying to sell me Kinetic Sand.  I checked it out, and immediately thought – I can make this!  There are a lot of recipes online for moon sand, but all the ones I’ve found use water, and therefore dry out.  I created my own version, which uses baby oil instead so it shouldn’t ever dry out.

Moon sand ingredients:

  • 2 cups fine sand (Walmart’s sandbox sand works just fine)
  • 1 cup corn starch (again, go for off brand because it’s all the same!)
  • 1/2 cup baby oil

In a gallon Ziploc, shake up the sand and corn starch to mix evenly.  Pour in the baby oil, and combine until uniform consistency.  It will be crumbly, but hold together when packed.  The recipe also scales up well, so make a double or a triple batch if you feel like it (any larger probably won’t fit in the gallon Ziploc).

I love the smell of the baby oil, and how the moon sand leaves my hands nice and soft after we play (perhaps I should play with it every time I finish doing dishes!).  It’s similar to Play Doh, although a little more crumbly, but it doesn’t stick in the carpet if it’s spilled.

Cleanup

Monster dropped it on the carpet and managed to grind some in, but a quick sweep with the vacuum took care of the mess!

We brought some to a playdate at a friend’s house, and the kids had a blast playing with it in the back yard!

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Is that not the cutest little girl you’ve ever seen??

Monster especially loves when I pack a ball of it for him, and he squishes it and makes it fall apart.  What a fun sensory activity!

Easy Scrap Quilt

One of my favorite blogs, Crazy Little Projects, is hosting a monthly challenge all year long, and this month’s challenge inspired me!  The task is to make something for a baby, and she suggests making a blanket for an organization called Project Night Night.  I really enjoy working with charities, but I can’t always donate time or money.  This opportunity gave me a chance to do something I love – sewing – to benefit little ones who don’t have a home.  It was fun to do, and I got the warm and fuzzies doing it!  I ended up making 3 blankets because my fabric stash is out of control.  So, here’s a tutorial on making a scrap quilt without too much work!

Supplies needed:

  • Scrap fabric (more details below)
  • 1 yard cuddly fabric (I used minky)
  • 1 (4.5 yd) package satin blanket binding
  • Coordinating thread

As always, seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.

Start by cutting your scrap fabric.  You can do this however you like!  I cut 2-inch strips because a lot of my scraps were around that width.  As far as length, I varied anywhere from about 3 inches all the way up to about 12 inches.  You could also do all of your pieces the same length, but then you’re going to have to make the seams match up to make pretty corners; by doing random lengths, I didn’t have to worry about it!  As far as how many to cut… it really depends.  My goal was a 30″ x 40″ blanket, and I got so sew-happy that I ended up with enough for almost 4 blankets (3 to donate and a smaller one for myself to remember all the fabrics I’ve used in my past projects).

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I sorted my scraps – boy on the top, girl bottom left and neutral bottom right

Then start sewing!  Begin by attaching two pieces along the 2-inch edge.  I recommend sewing a whole bunch in a line without cutting between, then trimming when you’re done (or when the pile behind your machine gets too big).  Also, if you’re OCD like me, pay attention to the direction of prints – keep them right-side up in the same way if they’re adjacent.

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I think it’s quicker this way, but maybe I’m just stringing myself along (ba-dum-ch)

Once you’ve attached all of your 2-pieces and separated them, do the same thing again, putting 2 2-piece pieces together to make a 4-piece; then 8, then 16.  At this point they got pretty long (like 5 feet plus), so I stopped.

Next, cut your strips into 31 inch lengths (I found giving an extra inch made it 30 inches when it was all lined up and I trimmed off the excess to make it square).  If you did 2″ strips and you’re going for a 30″x40″ blankie, you’ll need 27 strips – keep in mind you’re losing some width to your seam allowances.  Now it’s time to start assembling the front of your quilt.  I alternated a boy or girl strip with a gender neutral strip so I didn’t have to worry about similar fabrics touching one another, but as mentioned above, I’m slightly OCD.  Do it how you please!  Similar to assembling the strips, I made 2-strip pieces, then combined those to make 4-strip pieces, and so on and so forth, until all 27 strips were put together.

I’m going to pause here to talk for a second about pressing seams on a quilt like this.  Generally, I’m a press-the-seams-open sort of girl, to reduce the bulk of the finished product.  However, when you press seams open on a quilt, it can create a gap between adjacent pieces, and make the quilt weaker over time; not something desirable in a security blanket!  So, be sure to press your seams to one side.  I did all mine to the left for the strips, and down for the assembled quilt front.

So, now that our quilt front is assembled and all nicely pressed, go ahead and use your plexiglass ruler to square up and trim the edges and make it all nice and even.  Then, lay it flat on top of your cuddly backing material and safety pin the back to the front.  (Usually I’ll add some Pellon batting in the middle, but it does make the quilt a little stiffer, and the minky fabric is just so soft and cozy, I just didn’t think it was necessary here.)

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Hard to see, but the safety pins are in there

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See that funny little bend? That’s what makes quilter’s safety pins so awesome! If you quilt on a regular basis, I recommend investing in some of these babies. Lets you pin on a flat surface with minimal effort.

Now you’re ready to start quilting.  I do not own a fancy quilting machine, and I haven’t yet tried to use the quilting foot on my machine (that will come at a later date, when I’ve built up my courage), so I usually stitch in the ditch.  Well, sort of… I have a lot of trouble keeping the seam right in the ditch, and I think it looks really sloppy if it’s not perfect.  So, I purposely move to the side about 1/8″ – I think it gives it a neat effect on a quilt like this.  Also, if you pressed your seams all in the same direction, you can sew right over the seam allowance, decreasing the bulk in the finished product a little.  I stitched over every other row, so it was just under 4 inches between.  I wouldn’t worry about vertical quilting – every 3.5″ or so horizontally will keep the front and the back together.  Then stitch all around the outer edge, and trim off the excess backing.

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I quilted just to the side of the “ditch,” so my stitches are visible and work like an accent

My mom makes “cuddle blankies” for all the grandkids; she put the fear of God in me about using satin blanket binding.  She said it’s too slippery, keep the seam ripper handy, watch YouTube videos about sewing satin, and have a back-up plan.  Being the chicken that I am, I almost just went to Plan B (binding the old-fashioned way, which I’m not a huge fan of) right off the bat.  But I had already bought the binding, so I decided to give it a try.  You know what?  It was the easiest way to bind a quilt that I’ve ever done!  (To give my mom credit, her experience with satin binding is using it not on a cotton quilt like this, but on ultra cuddle material, which is super stretchy and very “squirrelly” to begin with)  I started in the middle of one of the sides, and just sandwiched the quilt between the two sides of the binding (one side is slightly wider than the other; put this on the back side of where you’re sewing so you’ll be sure to catch it with the thread).  I pinned it until I got to the corner.  I wanted a mitered corner, so when I got to the corner, I bent the binding at the corner of the blanket and pinned it straight on the next side; it creates a bump of binding on the front and back.  Just lift the flap of the binding on one of the sides and tuck the bump in; it will create a nice 45 degree angled corner.  Do the same on the back side, and pin both with one pin.  Continue all the way around the blanket.  When you get back to where you started, just leave a tail for now.

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The bump at the corner; you can see I pinned right at the corner to make the turn in the right place

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Pull the bump all the way under one side, and flatten to get a mitered corner

Then start sewing your binding on!  Begin at the start of the binding.  I used a zigzag stitch for strength and because it’s pretty.  When you get to a corner, stitch outwards, then pivot and stitch back in (you can peek on the underside while the presser foot is raised to see if you need to aim right or left to catch the mitered corner fold on the back side on your way back in), and continue on to the next straight side.  Every so often I would check to make sure that I was catching the back side of the binding, but it was perfect the whole way.

When you’re approaching the end, cut the binding about 4 inches past the beginning.  Fold it back under itself to create a finished end, and pin in place.  Finish your stitching by going past the fold, then backstitching back over it.  I also recommend tying a knot, as demonstrated in my applique post – this blankie is going to get a lot of loving, you don’t want the stitching to come out!

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Showing off my mitered corner and the end of my binding

As I said, I ended up making 3 (2 girlie ones, 1 boyish one) to donate to Project Night Night.  I had a lot of fun, feel good about doing it, and learned something along the way – that’s a successful project in my book!

I hope this inspires you to make a blanket for a baby you love.  The satin is so smooth on the edges, and the minky is soft and cuddly.  Even better if you can make one to donate to a charity!  There’s nothing like making everybody feel warm and fuzzy 🙂

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