A good friend of mine and fellow doctoral student is pregnant with her first baby, a little boy, due in another few months. I decided to live on the edge and try to make her baby shower gifts.
When I first bought my sewing machine, I found a really easy-to-follow tutorial to create a baby blanket in the shape of a football at Happy Together. I pinned it on Pinterest in the hopes I’d someday find an excuse to make it. Excuse found! I followed the instructions and created this:
It wasn’t quite as simple as I’d hoped. The white fleece I purchased for the laces, was incredibly stretchy and the brown minky fabric was nearly as bad. I did some hunting online and discovered a walking foot would keep the fabric from stretching out. After calling several local sewing machine dealers, I found one store with one walking foot fitting my machine in stock. I raced across town to make the purchase. Nearly $40 later, I had the snazzy gadget and no idea how to attach it to my machine. The packaging contains zero directions and my sewing machine manual didn’t even tell me how to take the existing presser foot off. Googling ensued and after a bit, I discovered a tutorial on how to attach a walking foot. The how-to was clear and in just a few minutes, I successfully attached my walking foot and was ready to sew. Unfortunately, the white fleece was too delicate for the walking foot (it chewed it up with it’s little teeth) and I went back to Google to figure out what to do. Several blogs suggested using a spray bond on really tricky fabrics. I headed off to Joann’s and found a heat bond product for $16. Luckily, I had a 50% off coupon. The spray was a bit stinky and messy, so I’m glad I used it on my patio rather than in my apartment. It did work pretty well. A hot iron stuck the fleece to the minky fabric securely enough for me to use my normal presser foot to sew all the white fleece onto the brown minky fabric. The walking foot worked like a dream on the minky and flannel. It took a few hours, but I was pleased with the end result.
Thrilled that my walking foot worked, I decided to make the baby some quilted bibs in addition to the blanket. I picked up a bundle of puppy themed quilting squares on sale a while back with the intention of doing something small for one of my pregnant friends. I pulled out the squares and pieced them together to create two bibs.
I found the pattern and tutorial for these bibs on Sew She Sews and thought it looked pretty simple. It was. In a little under two hours, I had two bibs. Now that I know what I’m doing, I can probably make them a lot faster.
At the shower, I was a bit nervous- I haven’t given someone a homemade gift since I was a little kid! I shouldn’t have worried. The mom-to-be seemed quite happy and her mother-in-law was very excited to show the dad-to-be the football blanket. I think my first foray into making gifts went okay.
Another friend of mine (and fellow shower attendee) announced that the blanket would look great in a University of Florida (her alma mater) themed nursery. It was a not so-subtle hint as well as a lovely compliment!