Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sewing baby blankets

So, I've podcasted a lot about the fact that my friend Gigi is teaching me to sew. Well, we finished 4 baby blankets for the baby overlord, and I thought maybe I should share. These are more or less my first real sewing, so they are going to be less than 100% perfect, but that I am incredibly pleased with how they turned out and am proud of them. Besides,  I also believe that most things we make are not 100% perfect anyway.

So, without further ado...

Obviously, from the patterns you see, the theme of the nursery is robots. Although we're planning a mix of friendly and not exactly friendly robots for the room decor (such as there will be when we get around to it), I wanted all the robots on the blankets - theoretically the stuff he's going to see the most since it will be touching him - to be friendly and non-threatening. So I wanted human-looking, happy robots.

Each blanket has a robot pattern in cotton on one side and a flannel coordinating pattern on the other. Gigi gets major credit here since she did a fantastic job of picking the flannels to match up with my cotton selections. Along with other nice touches, the blankets feature a nice, crisp edging. We did purchase that instead of make it (never occurred to me that we could make that), but there was work to install it and to join the edges together.

This blanket was the last one we did. It caused me the most stress.....Not because I didn't have the skills yet - Gigi had already put me on my own more or less after I finished the last three and did mostly quality control on those rather than active instruction - but because this was the only one with a pattern that it really MATTERED if I messed up. You can see that it's a number of stacked squares. If I cut something a little crooked or sewed an edge a little askew, it would be super-obvious.  It's not exactly that I doubted my abilities - it's more that I was aware of the fact that I'm not a master at this yet, and I can still make mistakes - some of which aren't easily correctable. Of course, like anything that you worry about and are very careful while doing, my attention to detail paid off and it turned out lovely. I love how well the flannel co-ordinates with the front. I also love that happy little robot guy in the close-up. This isn't my favorite one of the blankets, but only because I feel in love with some of the other fabric. This blanket is downright adorable.  I wouldn't be surprised if the baby likes it best as he grows up.                                           

This is the first one I made. We gave it large rounded corners using a plate as a guide. I have to admit, I love this fabric. The robots all appear to be smiling and in motion. They look...well...they just look happy! They look like they want you to come play a game with them.

It always makes me smile to look at this fabric. I also like that it's in darker colors. It's almost like it's should have been in brighter colors and then someone was like "we always make these things in bright green, light blue, and yellow, let's get some burnt orange in there!" And there is a version that is the same fabric in those colors (I might have purchased some of that on the vague assertion that I would make curtains for the nursery), but this one just grabbed me. I'm usually fond of orange or brown, so I wanted to push myself a little bit. Besides, how could anyone not love these little guys!

And here is what may be my favorite. I don't know if I have a favorite, actually. They are all so cute and feel really proud when I look at them. I feel like I'm doing things for my family. Not just in providing blankets, but in learning sewing techniques. I don't honestly know how much time I'll have to sew for my family as time goes on, especially after I have a child to take care of, but I like feeling that I'm learning skills that make me better able to take care of the family.

This one has the same robots from the above blanket, but it's done like a blue-print. How cool is that? I'm charmed by the print. All the happy little robots, sitting there smiling. And, because of this post and looking over what I've accomplished, I'm sitting here smiling too.

7 more weeks until my due date!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spinning Fever! 2013


So, being pregnant, I've run into a common pregnancy symptom called "nesting." I'm given to understand that this usually affects women by having them clean and organize. I'm no exception for the most part. I've been cleaning and I did reorg my entire stash and catalog it. But I've got an added fiber dimension to my nesting. I call it SPINNING FEVER!

I don't know why, but I have been spinning like a mad woman. As you can see from my last post (April 25th), I already finished 2 wheel-spinning projects. While I'm still working on the wheel, I've now moved to drop-spinning. You know, because it's soooo much more efficient (/sarcasm). 

Here's another pic (with better detail, but not as true to color as the above). This is the fruit of two different drop spindles. The teal and purple are the same batt - I split it so that most of the purple would be in one set and most of the teal on the other. There's some cross-over, and the accents are black, white, green, and firestar.   The grey is from another spindle that I decided to clear so I could give it to my friend Sherry, so I could teach her to spin. First it needed a hook added to it. I had been spinning without one since it broke.

Then, there's the 3rd drop spindle I'm working on. This is the one I call my "lucky spindle" because it's 4-leaf clovers saved in resin (or something). It doesn't spin exceptionally well, but it's decent and it's pretty. I'm spinning two different batts (I think) that are almost exactly the same. I know that one of them I got on my cruise to Alaska when the husbean and I got engaged. The other.....may be the same. It also could be something I bought later. The similarities are stunning. I'll really know when I finish the 2nd half of the first batt and move to 2nd bat, which looks like it has more purple. 

And here is a close up of the first bat, one finished half and one progress. The batt is purple, lavender, light green, super light blue, and sparkle. You can see some of the sparkle glinting at you from this picture. So....apparently this is my new nesting activity. You know, not really something useful. Let's just hope I can keep myself from the supported spindle for a little bit longer.......