I went to a baby shower this weekend for a dear friend and tried to give her something cute and something practical, but also cute.
The first was a crinkle square. I don’t actually have a photo. I ruined the one that I made for the occasion, and had to draw on a backup. I do have an innovation to share, though: crinkle squares shouldn’t be a suffocation hazard to begin with, considering their small size and the fabric layer preventing a seal from forming, but for an additional point of reassurance you can hole-punch the plastic.
I tried something new for the rest of the gift: burp cloths made by backing cloth diapers with flannel. The diapers are quite absorbent and the flannel clings to your clothes, preventing the burp cloth from slithering down off your shoulder mid-spit-up. This was not my idea originally but apparently I did not bookmark the site I found it on (which was also not the origin of the idea, so I don’t feel too guilty). I got a package of 10 diapers by Gerber and washed them all twice (the first time their edges were quite crumply and I thought that might indicate they were mid-shrink – sure enough a second wash smoothed them out a bit). They seemed rather thin so I doubled them up.
The first three burp cloths were large: fabric cut 16″x18″, sewn face down to a pair of diapers at 3/8″ (i.e., presser foot at the edge of the fabric but needle ticked over to the left) with an opening for turning, then diapers trimmed around the edge and the whole thing turned right-side-out. After a good press I topstitched around the edge and did a little quilting to keep the diapers from sagging on the flannel. For the mushroomy one and the elephants I outlined parts of the design, and for the fruit I made some jagged lines. I had a lot of trouble with catching strands of the diaper cloth and shoving them down into the bobbin housing instead of piercing them, even with a brand new fine needle. Fortunately nothing was ruined.
After I made those three I put one on my shoulder and found it was rather large for its use (though the parents to be are both taller than I am and might not find them quite as overlarge), so with the remaining four diapers I made smaller cloths. Two of them had shrunk enough in the wash that they didn’t have a 16″x18″ flat region anyway, so theirs would have had to be reduced. I ended up making two with fabric that was 9.5″x16″ (out of the two diapers that hadn’t shrunk as much) and one with 15″x15″ fabric (out of the smaller pair). Their quilting was simple: for the checkerboard one, a sort of zigzag the long way, outlining the boxes, for the zebras wavy diagonal lines, and for the monkeys a single continuous stitch line from top to bottom that looped around the monkeys nearest its path.
I tried one other new thing as well: making my own card. I have a Cricut die-cutting machine that mostly sits on a shelf, and it was time to start really using it. The card took an unreasonable length of time given its simplicity (three die cuts on a purchased blank card with a colored border), but most of it was set-up. I’m pretty happy with how it came out.