Category Archives: Tutorials

Baby Burp Cloths: a tutorial

I am to the point in my life that I’ve decided that I can’t make every baby that comes my way baby blankets.  There are simply too many people having babies in my world.  I’ve tried and tried to think of something that is homemade but isn’t so much work.

Then not so long ago Kalissa came to my house with Gannon and had a cute little burp cloth with her.  Kramer’s sister gave it to Kalissa.  I have no idea if she made it…all I know is that it’s homemade.

I’ve tried to make burp cloths for many years…so many that I even tried when my own kids were babies.  I never liked the finished product.  I’m super picky (in fact to picky) but I admit it. I’m pretty picky about my own work….other’s people’s work doesn’t bother me a bit.

I’ve taken this style of cloth diapers and sewn a colorful fabric down the center…

Gerber Baby Organic Cotton 5pk Prefold Birdseye Diaper - White One Size - image 1 of 2In theory they look nice but they are a little bulky for use-at least that’s been my opinion.

I’ve sewn fabric together and then turned it right side out.  Typically there is a curve in the pattern and it’s such a pain to trim the curves, turn them right side out and sew the opening shut.

I’ve tried them with terry cloth of one side…too heavy.  I’ve tried so many things but have never loved any of them….until I saw the one Kalissa brought to my house.

It is three layers of flannel.  It’s the perfect weight.  The raggedy edges mean no turning right side out.  It also means that my sewing lines are hidden.

Look in the picture below…the seam line varies in width but the beauty of it all is that it is completely hidden by the raggedy edge.

This is my kind of burp cloth…now to replicate them.

I got three pieces of flannel.  You need 21″ of each or 5/8 yard of each.   I used a color for the top and underside.  In the center I used white.  In the future I’m going to search the thrift stores for a light colored flannel sheet for the inside fabric.

You will need a pattern piece.  It doesn’t really matter what the shape is.  This is the shape I came up with.

You will also need a pattern piece in a similar shape only about 1/4″ smaller.

Here I am cutting the burp cloths out.  I used the LARGEST PATTERN PIECE.  To do this I folded the fabric in half and pinned my piece in place with the straight line along the fold.

I cut out five.  I cut two at a time, two at a time again and then the last cut I last cut out by opening up the fabric at the regular fold of the fabric, refolding, and then cut out the last one.

I did that for the top fabric and then did it for the backing fabric.  I had a problem with the cutting the backing fabric though.  I went to cut the last one out and the fabric wasn’t wide enough.  I ended up being able to turn my fabric around and the fabric fit…but it was no longer on the fold.
I ended up cutting it out but leaving a 1/4″ more at the top where the fold was.
I ended up sewing the piece at the top and pressed the seam open.  After that, I treated the piece just like every other piece.

Next I used the smaller pattern piece and cut out the middle fabric pieces from the white piece of cloth.

Then I layered the pieces I cut….The colorful top piece was laid on the table right side down.  Then the middle white piece was laid on top of it.

Then I laid the bottom piece right side up on the grouping.
I put a few pins in place to hold everything together.
From there I put burp cloth into the sewing machine.  I used a 1/2″ seam making sure to catch the slightly smaller middle piece of fabric.
From there I folded the piece in half and marked it with pins.
I sewed along the middle where the pins were.
From there, I snipped in to the sewing line about 1/2″ apart.
I popped them into the washing machine and they frayed up wonderfully.

I am SUPER happy with these.  I’ll be making a lot more of them.
It took me just over a half hour to make a set of five.  If I watch for sales on flannel at Joann’s or buy fabric at Wal-Mart, that can be a NICE baby gift for not a lot of money.  I’m guessing the fabric for these likely cost around $7…I’ll likely add a baby book to go with these when I need a present.

Like I said, there are so many babies being born.  I simply can’t make baby quilts for everyone anymore even though I’d love to and I still want to give a homemade gift.  These are perfect!!

New Busy Bag

When we go to Hubby’s appointments I’ve been taking my bag….
I love my bag.  It’s the perfect size when we are staying overnight and I need the laptop with.  There’s room for magazines for the hotel room in the evening…room for stitching projects and my English paper piecing.

When we go to the actual appointments, the bag is a little too big…so, I decided to make myself a smaller busy bag that can go inside my big bag.  I’ll take that out and bring it with when we go to the actual appointment.

I thought about buying a pattern.  I thought about searching the internet to find a free pattern.  Then I thought WHY…you can sew Jo.  You can just work it out as you go…and that’s what I did.

I started with an orphan block left over from my Tulip Fields quilt.  I put a 1 1/2″ strip on each side.

Then I put 2 1/2″ strips on each side of that.
Then… Continue reading

Binding Tutorial

When I first started binding quilts one of my biggest fears was seaming the binding strip together at the very end.  At first I overlapped the seams and didn’t sew them together.  That was awful and looked like a bulky mess.

Then I got the binding tool.

I had watched Jenny from Missouri Star and she made it look so very easy.  I ended up ordering one and loved it.

Fast forward a couple years….I lost it.  I was too spend-thrift to buy another…so I started doing it on my own.  Being I had used the binding tool for so long, I could kind of make it work without one using about the same technique only lazily cutting instead.  Then I found my binding tool.  But by now I was using 2 1/4″ binding instead so it wasn’t working quite right.  So back to doing it on my own with no percision…but good enough.

That was working okay…then one day I was going through my Facebook feed and saw a video.  I watched it…then rewatched…then when I was binding my baby quilt, I decided to give it a try.

I was thrilled and tried it on the baby quilt I finished recently.  It worked splendidly and I decided to write blog post about it.  So I started this post…but…do you think I can find the original video I watched.  I couldn’t.  BUMMER.

So…when I went to bind the Daylilies quilt I took pictures so I could show you how.  If I can’t show the video, at least show you the pictures.  Here goes…. Continue reading

A Tip of Sorts

I’ve gone to retreats and someone will say…”Oh thanks, that’s a great tip.”  I didn’t know I was offering one.  I was just busy sewing and they were apparently watching me and caught on to something I was doing.  It was something I do everyday and didn’t even realize it was something other people don’t do.

This is one of those “tips”.

Here I am busy ironing the pieces for my Tulip Fields quilt.  I leave them all together in a chain as I do it.

Then I go along with the scissor and cut them all apart cutting off the dog ear (hang piece) as I go.

Then my ironing surface.  Ends up looking like this…. Continue reading