Monday, November 21, 2011

learning lessons

the whole time i was pregnant with five i planned on making her a blanket. i just loved the faux chenille blanket over at Made, and even did a ‘practice run’—making one for a friend’s baby.

so i gathered quite a few fabrics that i loved over the course of my pregnancy.

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actually, too many fabrics that i loved. because the faux chenille blanket only really shows off the two you use on the bottom and the top. the others just become layers.

which really is a tremendous problem when you love all your fabrics.

lesson #1: don’t pick out so many fabrics you love. pick one you love love, and some that you just like like.

or you can be like me, and just complicate things for yourself—trying to give each fabric equal time—and turn a simple blanket into a frankenstein-esque type of stitched together craziness.

wanna be like me? here’s how:
i stacked up my three patterned fabrics (the brown minky i left whole to use as the backing) and pinned them together.

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then i cut them into random sized strips. i didn’t measure or anything—just used the argyle pattern as my guide to keep them straight.

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which gave me this: IMG_7682_7061

then i began alternating them. again, no pattern here—just willy nilly. sometimes the argyle on the top of the pile, sometimes the green pinwheel fabric, sometimes the polka dot.

then i sewed them together—the whole clump to the clump next to it.
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i even started to get a little crazy fancy and took a piece of the brown minky and added it as a strip in one spot.

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and then i threw all caution to the wind and started cutting chunks from my clumps and piecing them in there, too. (i really should stop with all this technical type sewing terminology, i know)

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once i had it all cobbled back together in the relative shape of a blanket, i pinned it right sides together with the minky backing and sewed it up, leaving a small hole on the side to flip it right side out.

now the tedious magic part of the faux chenille blanket—making all those little stitching lines. but i decided to change it up a bit, and follow the patterns i had set for myself in all those little clumps and chunks and blocks.

i started stitching. sometimes i made a square spiral (??? huh? can you do that?) in the sections…

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some i just sewed straight lines…some i didn’t sew at all.

once i finished all that i took a piece of the argyle and wrote her name with fabric marker. i cut out and pinned that to the minky side of the blanket.

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and stitched it on with a zig-zag (which took FOR-EH-VER).

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last touches: a little tag in the hole i left to turn it right side out.

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and then the cutting. and cutting. and cutting.

and then the washing. and washing. and washing.

the end result:
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one fuzzy blanket, and #2 lesson learned.

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namely: don’t think you’re going to lay a blanket down on the floor in the sunshine and take pictures of it without interference.
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it’s simply too tempting.

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the blanket, however, is soft and warm and cozy.

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just right for my little ell.

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