Friday, November 13, 2009

Puppy Paddy Wagon

Today I added to my family. Today, a wonderful little girl named Billie came home with me.

I wanted to share a few pictures of the wonderful little dears.

After some running and barking (Reese), some mouthing of ears (both parties), we have all come to a truce (and everyone has slimy ears).

I throw the ball for Billie and while she runs off to bring it back (have I mentioned I LOVE retrievers?) I lavish Reese with love. While not the best plan, it seems to make sure no one gets upset, or their ears chewed on.

It took me a minute to get them into the same picture. I had to put the tennis ball up on the fence so Billie would sit still. (Yes, Reese still looks a little uneasy, I'm sure she'll overcome it.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bex Blanket

One of the Ladies Circle ladies asked me about a baby blanket. Since a baby quilt can seem a little daunting as a beginning project, I thought I'd come up with something a little simpler.

I have put the instructions here for everyone to use. I only ask that you do not take my photos or instructions and sell them as your own. Besides, you can find similar instructions all over the internet for free.

This project uses two yards of fabric. For my instructional photos I used on yard of quilting fabric and one yard of flannel. This would work just as well with two yards of flannel.

As with most sewing projects, pre-wash your fabric. This makes sure any shrinking happens before you put something together.

Iron your fabric and lay the two pieces down, right-sides together. I used the selvage edge to line up the two pieces of fabric. Smooth it all out so there aren't any wrinkles. (Yes, you may have to clear off your kitchen table to get these lined up.) This will allow you to cut both pieces the same size--at the same time.

Use your ruler to cut both pieces to 36" x 36" (a yard stick comes in handy for this).

Pin around your pieces at about 6" intervals, or what you're comfortable with. You'll start sewing near the middle of one side. I used a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around. When you get about 1/2" from the corner, stop with the needle down, and turn the work before continuing down Stop about six inches from where you began stitching. This will be where you turn the blanket right-side out.

Be mindful of two things when creating this opening: 1: you'll have to be able to get your hand inside and pull the entire thing out through that opening; 2: you'll have to sew it up by hand.

Clip the corners. This will make it much easier to make the corners lie flat.

Turn the blanket right-side out and press. If you have trouble with the corners, a carefully wielded chop-stick can be helpful. Make sure you opening is neat with the 1/2" seam allowance pressed.

Sew the opening closed by hand. This may seem unnecessary after you stitch a top-seam, but it really makes a difference.

I finished the edge with top-stitching approximately 1/2" from the finished edge. About half-way 'round, I thought a decorative stitch might be nice, so I went around again. One or other would have been plenty. The simple top-stitching is quick and creates a nice finish.

The finished blanket is 35" x 35", which should be just right for swaddling a new family addition. It is also a good size to follow a toddler around.