Under the Sea Crib Bumpers

under the sea
This is a little blast from my sewing past. When I was pregnant with my oldest, I wanted to make some crib bumpers that would be non-gender specific in order to use it again and again. I didn’t account for a few facts:

* I love to sew
* I was inexperienced and bound to make mistakes when not using a pattern
* After a couple of kids, it’s nice to change things up a little

So I could use a new crib bumper now, even though this under the sea one has served me pretty well. Luckily, since I am too exhausted, my beautiful and talented sister in law will be putting something together to go with the maze quilt, but before Under the Sea retires, I thought I’d share.

detail1

I was immensely pleased with my little sea creatures. I googled coloring pages for a sea horse, and I drew the octopus free-hand and cut them out in felt. I had those tiny buttons in my stash, and they made great eyes. If I did it over again, I would change a few things:

* I would make ties on the top and bottom of each panel, as well as intermittently. The first bumper I made had just one tie at the top corner of each of the four sides. They hung okay, but could have used more support.
* I would buy the good felt instead of the cheap stuff. These have only been washed a few times, and they looked much worse after each washing.
* I might do something more scrappy, because the strong turquoise in this one didn’t ever really match or even remotely mesh with any of the decorations or other quilted things I made for either child.

detail2

I liked the way these little yellow fish turned out. I love texture. I only embellished the side that I would see standing from the side of the crib. The other sides, I overstuffed with doll batting, and quilted in waves:

quilting

I almost liked these sides as much as I liked the one that took all the energy. Almost. šŸ˜‰

Pants to Skirt re-fashion

I once found a pair of limey green stretch corduroy pants for $4.50, and they fit, although the waist was a little generous and low for me. I bought them, and just wore a long shirt with them to cover my low-riding. I was thinking the pants would makeĀ  a great maternity skirt with that generous waist, so I googled and found this tutorial. I was really happy with the results:

skirt1

skirt2

Since I didn’t use a pair of baggy jeans, I had to improvise in the back. I made a little two layer ruffle to fill the gap where the former pant legs came apart. It made a good mid-maternity skirt. I am now far too fat for it. Still, I’m happy to have only two weeks left until my due date!

Tired of Naked Dolls? Me, too.

Vidia and Rosetta

Do you ever get tired of naked dolls lying around your house? Me, too. My friend suggested the other day that nail polish could solve some of my woes, so Tinkerbell and her friends got camis. I find it strange that Disney can paint on some panties, but ignore other areas of concern for conservative parents like myself.

doll skirt 1

This is a cute retro bride doll my mom gave my daughter, and some small children in my house pretty much shredded her beautiful wedding gown. She is too anatomically correct to be leaving around on the ground. However, she was also a little tall to be curing with nail polish. So I made a quick spandex shirt, and a drawstring skirt.

doll skirt2

“Hello, My name is Susan, and I have recently left the nudist colony.”

Make a Minky Monster Puppet

12 minky puppet tutorial

This is the little guy who was destined for the the picot / prairie / pioneer points. The picots are the spines on his back. He really likes thread for a bedtime snack, so if you make one, watch out!

Materials

Leftover Minky from your son’s baby quilt

Buttons or other embellishments, with contrast thread for the pupils. I used embroidery floss.

Fabric for inside of the mouth

Scissors

Sewing machine

BeverageĀ  or sugary vice of choice (skittles for me)

01 minky puppet tutorial

Start by cutting out two pieces for the top and bottom that are an inch or so wider than your hand, all the way around. You might want to cut the top a little big, because inserting the picots shrinks the top / back a little. Fold the fabric for the mouth in half, right sides together. Stick it in between the layers to the depth you’d like the puppet’s mouth to go, and trim the fabric to a circle. I used my hand to measure this depth so the mouth would be just my size.

02 minky puppet tutorial

Cut a slit up his back, and tuck the points between, right sides together. Pin, and sew.

03 minky puppet tutorial

04 minky puppet tutorial

I left his tail sticking out, and shmooshed the bottom up around it to hem. If you don’t want the tail to be awkward like that, match a good picot-cutting-point to the end of his back so you can hem easier.

Next, fold your inner mouth circle in half, and sew in the tongue. I just cut a little red reptilian thing out of some felt.

05 minky puppet tutorial

Ta da!

06 minky puppet tutorial

Now sew on some eyes, and any other embellishments you wish. I was thinking little stuffed horns would be fun, or some white yo-yos under the eye buttons, but I am eight months pregnant, and a girl can only do so much in my condition.

07 minky puppet tutorial

Next, lay it out with the mouth in place, right sides together, and pin from the edge of the mouth down to the bottom of the puppet.

08 minky puppet tutorial

Then you can take the mouth out, if you like, and sew those two seams. I left the mouth in while I sewed (NOT as pictured below), in case my pinning was not perfect. It wasn’t.

09 minky puppet tutorial

Lay out your inner mouth, right side up. Place the right side of the outer mouth on top, like so:

10 minky puppet tutorial

Pin, and sew a C on each side. At this point, I turned my puppet right side out to admire, and he had a serious underbite. So I went back and sewed another C inside of the first one on the bottom jaw to straighten him out a little. See:

11 minky puppet tutorial

Trim the extra, clip your curves, and give that minky monster to your delighted child. She will have a hard time being in the sun for the picture after all the bad weather recently, and will pretend to be a pirate. At least, that’s what mine did.

final minky puppet pic

Continuous Pioneer / Prairie Point Tutorial

This post is a prep post for a little puppet I made today. The first time I did pioneer points on a quilt, I cut a bazillion little squares, ironed them carefully and pinned them individually to the edge of my quilt. It was a royal pain. Later, I learned an easier strip method, which I would like to share.

Decide on the size of points you want. I made these for a very small project, so I did two inch square points, which ended up very small. For a normal baby quilt I usually do four inch squares. Whatever square size you decide to do, multiply that by two, and cut a strip of fabric of that width by the length of points you need. I started with a four inch strip. Iron it in half, and then cut to the fold every two inches on one side of your strip.

Next, stagger it starting half-way on the other side, one inch in this case, and snip to the fold again, trimming off the first and last little short pieces. I snipped by starting each cut with my quilting grid, and then finishing it with the scissors, so I had the accuracy of the grid, but I didn’t have to try to quit at the fold with a rotary cutter. Your snipped strip will look like this:

pioneer point 1

Next, fold your points. First, diagonally from one side,

pioneer point 2

And then from the other side.

pioneer point 3

It will look like this as it comes unfolded:

pioneer point 4

Now go iron each of those little babies down so they will behave themselves. They’ll look like this after you iron them:

pioneer point 5

Fold your points train in half, with the raw edges in the center, and baste together an 1/8th or a scant quarter of an inch from the edge.

pioneer point 6

Now you have those cute little triangles all ready to go.

You can also do a two-tone prairie point by sewing two strips of different colors together, which makes them alternate if you fold each point around the next one carefully.

Next up: something fun to do with these now that you have made them.