So excited... I just had to share!

I just barely finished making this custom set of chenille burp cloths! As in... they are probably still warm from their final ironing!! 


They are headed off to my cousin in NY and her sweet baby girl ... and yes, I embroidered baby's name on all 4 burp cloths. 

Embroidery is an option for burp cloths and blankets in my shop, but my embroidery machine is small and size is limited. If you are thinking about it, feel free to ask! I can embroider any custom order... the listing in my shop are already made and sold as is. 

I had fun with this set for sure!! 

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Mingle Monday - 4.30.2012 - PLUS a quick poll...

Now that I'm less than 11 weeks away, I am totally feeling that time crunch to get prepared for baby #3. I know, I know... you can never really be prepared for a baby ... and you would think I would learn that by know. BUT, it's still fun to make lots of fun new baby things. 

Baby things are just sooo cute, aren't they!?! And possibly even more fun to make!!





If you aren't expecting, you can file these tutorials away for when you are, or for making your own gifts to give away to your friends!!

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As I start making my own stash of baby "stuff" I want to know what you are interested in learning how to make yourself .. that way I can put together tutorials for you guys based on what you want to learn! 

So, to make it easy, I created a quick little poll. Just vote for the thing that you want to learn most. Then I will take the top couple of them and those will be the ones I focus on creating really great tutorials for! 

If you are just dying to learn how to make something but don't see it on the list, vote for your second choice, and leave me a comment with the specific baby "thing" you are yearning to learn! 

What tutorial would you MOST like to see in my "Nesting Series" as I get ready for baby #3?


  
pollcode.com free polls 

Then once you're done voting, make sure you link your blog to Mingle Monday! Can you believe it's that time again!?! These weeks seem like a big blur to me because they are going by so fast!!

Visit as many blogs on the link list as you would like. Make sure you leave a comment and tell them you are stopping by from Mingle Monday!

Please link family friendly blogs ONLY!! I would hate to have to delete anyone from the blog hop. 

Become a follower here on my blog so that you can take advantage of any and all freebies that I offer {usually once a week}.




The Home Stretch

I have officially entered the home stretch! The third trimester, and the last 11+ weeks of this pregnancy! 


Sadly, I can no longer see the floor. I can't pick things up off the floor unless I squat... which I suppose is good exercise so I should do it more often, right!??! 

I have 2 pairs of pants, 2 capris, and about 5 shirts that I wear... so I am doing laundry... ALL.THE.TIME!  But, this little girl is as active as can be and I'm thankful for that! The Dr. says all is well. That she is growing just fine and is healthy!! Yay! 

The major downside? She likes to settle in really low! Yup! Fun times!!  It causes a lot of pelvic pain and I'm moving slower and slower these days. Oh the joys of pregnancy, right?!?! I can't wait to meet this precious little girl! 

Is anyone else expecting!? When are you due? What are your favorite and least favorite parts about being pregnant?!!? 

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Mingle Monday - 4.22.2012

Did you check out the first post in my "Nesting Series"?? With just about 12 weeks left until my due date, I am really feeling the time crunch to get my nursery and other fun baby sewing/crafting projects done! Not to mention cleaning the house and trying to baby-proof again! 

Make sure you check out the fun things in store in this tutorial/advice series! If there is something in particular you are interested in learning to sew/create for your little one{s} leave me a comment. I'm sure it's something that I need to do too!!


DON'T FORGET about my Mother's Day Sale going on now through Mother's Day!! Visit my shop and enter coupon code MOMMY2012 for 10% off your entire order - OR - choose coupon code FREESHIP2012 for free domestic shipping. Use whichever coupon code you want -- but you can only use one. 



Visit as many blogs on the link list as you would like. Make sure you leave a comment and tell them you are stopping by from Mingle Monday!

Please link family friendly blogs ONLY!! I would hate to have to delete anyone from the blog hop. 

Become a follower here on my blog so that you can take advantage of any and all freebies that I offer {usually once a week}.


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Nesting Series 1: Tutorial - Flannel Receiving Blankets

One of the BEST things for a newborn is a receiving or swaddling blanket. WHY? Most newborns -- I say most because not all fall into this category -- LOVE to be swaddled all day and night. 

My daughter was swaddled until she could roll over. She was pretty sneaky though... we would swaddle her nice and tight at bedtime and when she woke up for a night time feeding she would have one of both arms free. We called her "mini houdini". 

My son wasn't always keen on being swaddled. We kept him bundled up at night but he liked to wiggle -- and hasn't really stopped since! I would use his receiving blankets as on-the-go blankets, sun shields, and nursing covers. They are small enough and light-weight enough to throw in the diaper bag and pull out when needed. 



I have had a lot of fun getting some x-large swaddling/receiving blankets ready for my little girls arrival in about 13 weeks. I used to sell these in my Etsy shop and at craft fairs, but now I mostly give them away to friends who are having babies! My friends LOVE these receiving blankets because they are at least 10" larger on both sides than store bought flannel receiving blankets -- making them perfect for bigger babies, or ones who like to be swaddled for a l-o-n-g time! 


My tutorial is for making serged receiving blankets -- with a serger of course

First of all... if you like to sew and DON"T have a serger yet... put it on your Mother's Day or Birthday list! I cashed in some credit card points for a gift card to Wal-Mart to get mine a while back.. and I haven't regretted it one bit! I have a Brother 1040D. Once you figure out how to use your serger you will seriously want to SERGE EVERYTHING!! 

Supplies:
1-1/4 yd of snuggle flannel
serger and thread
rotary cutter, ruler and mat

Normally I say to wash and iron all of your fabric before starting. NOT in this case. It's so much easier to cut everything before you wash it. Especially if it was wound neatly on the bolt at the store. Most snuggle flannel is 42" wide. You will want to cut your flannel to 42" in length so that you end up with a perfect square. {Before you cut, double check the width of your flannel -- just to be sure it is really 42"}.


Then fold it in half -- take the right side of your rectangle and lay it on the left side. 


Don't worry about cutting off the edge of your fabric with the designers name or print name on it. This will come off when you serge. If you want to cut it off, measure the new width of your fabric and adjust your length measurement so that you will end up with a square. 


**If you don't have a serger, see instructions below on how to finish your edges.

To get those picture perfect rounded corners, I turn to my trusty tools: rotary cutter and a cereal bowl. 


Line up your bowl with the corner of your fabric. I find I can easily cut through all four corners at one time. JUST BE SURE TO CHECK WHERE YOUR CORNERS ARE BEFORE YOU CUT!!!  You don't want to line up your bowl, cut through your layers, and discover that you rounded the center of your blanket -- I did that once! Learned quickly from my mistake.


You can also cut through each corner separately, or two corners at a time. Whatever you are most comfortable with. 


Just for fun... here's a view of my preggo belly as I sit on the floor and cut fabric. I am begging and pleading with my hubby to build me a workbench. In another month or so I will end up stranded on the floor until he gets home from work to help me up! 

Our plans for a workbench/workcenter/homework station/fabric storage area is in the works... I am SOOO hoping for it sooner rather than later! 


Now... time to wash and dry your fabric. Once it's done take it out of the dryer immediately... otherwise you will have to iron before you can serge it. {I'm always looking to make things a little easier!}

Here's a look at my serger settings when I make my receiving blankets. All sergers are a little different. I always test serge on a scrap of fabric that is the same as what I will be doing to make sure my settings are just right. 


I usually zip through the straight sides of my blankets.. but GO SLOW around the corners. If you don't they won't lay flat. 


When it comes time to meet back up with where you started here's what I do. {I don't know if it's the right way or not, but it's the way I do it!}


I overlap the beginning and ending serges {don't know if that's the right term or not} then gently pull my fabric out of the feeder foot and needles and just trim off the excess thread. 


Lastly, pull off or trim any loose threads and steam iron all the way around your blanket. You will want your iron set on the highest steam setting for cotton fabric. This helps to set the serging stitches. 


Now make a few more to give away!! When the flannel goes on sale at JoAnn's I usually buy a bunch. Then I am ready for future baby showers! 


These three are for me and my new bundle to come! 


If you are giving them away, use some simple baker's twine and a cute embellished tag and your gift is ready to go! For girls, I like to include a matching flower clip and headband with my receiving blanket gifts. 



** If you DON'T have a serger yet.. I suggest making the following alterations to the tutorial.

Unless you are an expert seamstress -- and really if you are you wouldn't need my tutorial -- I suggest you keep your corners square. 

After washing and drying your fabric, you will want to heat up your iron and make sure that your flannel is nice, smooth, and flat. 

Then fold over each side about 1/4" inch and press in place. Then go back and fold it over another 1/2" and press. Straight stitch this fold in place as close to the edge of your fold as you can. Be sure to line up your corners so that they are nice and straight. Back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to secure everything then steam iron your stitches to set them. 

The sides of your receiving blanket will be a little thicker and your blanket will be a tad smaller than if you serge it, but it will still be 10" or more larger than most store bought flannel receiving blankets. 

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This is the first in a series of nesting tutorials. On tap are nursery curtains, changing pad covers, boppy pillow covers, nursing cover, car seat shade cover, and anything and everything else I can think of. If you have a suggestion, please comment with it and I'll see if I can do it! 

Mother's Day Sale!!

It's been a while since I offered a super great coupon code for my shop... and since Mother's Day is coming up in about a month, what better time to offer some great deals!!?

From now until Mother's Day, you can choose the coupon code you would like to use. Only one coupon code per transaction. You can type in one .. see what your discount is, then type in the other and see if it gets you a better deal or not. YOU CHOOSE! !!

The first is open to all orders no matter where your items will be shipping. SAVE 10% on YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE by using coupon code MOMMY2012 at checkout. 


OR... 

...if you are in the US, you can use coupon code FREESHIP2012 to receive FREE SHIPPING ON YOUR ENTIRE  PURCHASE. 



These coupon codes will remain active through Mother's Day. Use them to get your favorite mommy or mommy-to-be a one-of-a-kind gift. OR splurge and get you or your little one a little something fun! 

Here's just a taste of the kinds of things currently for sale in my shop!

Hair clips and headbands: $4-6 {regular price}

Chenille burp cloth singles or sets:  $5-20 {regular price} 

Chenille and Minky Baby Blankets: $20-35 {regular price} 

Don't miss out on these GREAT sales... and feel free to share these coupon codes with your blog followers and facebook friends!! 

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Mingle Monday - 4.16.2012

Welcome to another Mingle Monday! Stay tuned tomorrow {Monday} for a couple of coupon codes to my Etsy shop... just in time to get some Mother's Day presents!

P.S. - Did you notice the new baby ticker on my sidebar?!?! Yup... that's my countdown! Only 13 weeks to go!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Visit as many blogs on the link list as you would like. Make sure you leave a comment and tell them you are stopping by from Mingle Monday!

Please link family friendly blogs ONLY!! I would hate to have to delete anyone from the blog hop. 

Become a follower here on my blog so that you can take advantage of any and all freebies that I offer {usually once a week}.


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Tutorial: Cloth Diaper Burp Cloths

Spring seems like the season for babies!  Do you have a baby shower to go to? Want to add just one more quick item to your purchased gift to make it extra special!?!? 

While I totally recommend my chenille burp cloths {if you are going to purchase a gift} these cloth diaper burp cloths are a great substitute if you are wanting to include a little something you made yourself!! 


They are super easy, fairly inexpensive {about $10} and you can customize them however you would like. 

Regarding my fabric placement on the cloth diaper... here's my quick two cents! I like the look of the fabric strip down the middle. It's cute, it looks great in pictures... but is it really practical? Cloth diapers have the extra protection {layers} in the middle for a reason... that's where things get the messiest! Cotton fabric alone is not all the absorbent. I choose to put my fabric on the bottom so that you can still use the bulk of the cloth diaper/burp cloth for soaking up those little messes while still looking cute!

Stuff them in a gift bag, tie them with a cute ribbon and tag, or roll them into cupcakes! 

Want to make some of your own? Here's how.


Gather your supplies:
1 package of 3 or 6 ply cloth diapers - mine are organic
coordinating fabric scraps
sewing machine, iron, scissors, rotary cutter, and all that other fun stuff!! 

When you look for your scraps, double check -- by holding them up to your cloth diapers -- that they are wide enough to cover the width of the diaper, plus about an extra inch.
 {Though I could share my dimensions with you, I find this is the easiest way to make sure they will work. All cloth diapers are slightly different.}

**Be sure to prewash all of your fabric and your cloth diapers. Then iron everything so that they are smooth.

Once everything is ready, cut your fabrics into rectangles. I chose to add two fabrics to my burp cloths, so the larger rectangles are 5" wide x the width of the cloth diaper plus an inch. The smaller rectangles are 2" wide x the width of the cloth diaper plus an inch. 


Take your small rectangles and pin them to the larger rectangles -- right sides together. Then straight stitch where you pinned with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Once you have sewn your strips, iron the seams open. Make sure when you press the seam, that the back of the seam -- on the wrong side of your fabric -- folds down {behind the larger rectangle}. 

Press your seams nice and straight so that your finished burp cloth has nice neat seam lines! 


Then fold down and iron the top and bottom of each sewn piece. You will want about a 1/2" fold. If you want to be exact, you can use a ruler to measure your fold -- otherwise just eye-ball it. 


Here's a front and back view so you can see how they should look. The bottom piece shows the back seam was pressed down behind the bottom rectangle piece. 


Now take one of your cloth diapers and one of your sewn strips. Line of the bottom of the strip with the bottom of your cloth diaper. I like to start by pinning in the middle. Then pin the top to your cloth diaper. 
DO NOT pin all the way to the side edge of the cloth diaper!!  


Now grab your scissors and trim off the excess side fabric leaving about 1/2" on both sides. 


This is the fun part! Ever wonder how those Etsy shops make their side look so awesome?!? Here's my little trick! Turn your cloth diaper over and fold the excess fabric over the back. Then steam iron it. Pull your fabric snug around the side of the cloth diaper as you iron. 


Turn your cloth diaper back over and bring your folded fabric to the top. Simple pin it in place! You will have a perfect edge every time!! 


Repeat for the other side of your cloth diaper. Then you are ready to sew it on! {the fun part!!}


I start by sewing a huge rectangle around the entire exterior of my fabric. I used about a 1/8" seam allowance -- just enough to catch the fabric and the cloth diaper but still be super close to the edge. 

Then I sew a straight line 1/8" from the seam where my two strips join together. Sew it on the bottom rectangle. This is why we folded our original seam down... so that this stitching will serve to hold that seam in place as well as add a decorative look to it.


Here's a close up of my stitching. I use a small stitch -- on my machine it's 2.5 mm long -- so that it looks professional {not hand sewn} and to really hold all that fabric in place!


Once you are finished top stitching your fabric in place, iron everything to secure your stitches. Make as many burp cloths as you want! 

Now they are ready for gift giving... or for using yourself!


These lovelies are headed to a good friend of mine who just had an adorable baby girl!!! 



Happy sewing!! 

{BTW... I used Lila Tueller fabric from her Eden collection for these burp cloths!!}

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