Baby Projects


My kid’s stuff branch “Sweet Potato’s Baby Boutique” has been busy this winter with baby quilts. These were custom ordered and designed, constructed and longarm quilted by me. I really had fun coming up with designs and fabric choices.
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This last one was a pattern I found on “about.com” called “In the Pinks”. It was easy to put together and came out beautifully.

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I was asked to take a Dr. Seuss fabric and make an all-over quilting design, then bind for a baby shower gift.

First I had to prepare the back because the front and back are really the same fabric. They are the same width.

First I removed the selvedges. This is easiest done by cutting a notch parallel to the selvedge and right next to it. Then rip the fabric. It should tear in a straight line right along the selvedge (that thicker woven part that on one side often has the fabric maker’s name, copyright information and color dots on it). There is a selvedge on both sides.


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The next thing I did was create 4″ strips to sew on the sides. I cut the back 8″ longer than the front and stitched the sides on.

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In this photo you can see the 4″ strip against the roll bar of the longarm. I am able to put the batting up against that seam and can get the machine head right to the edge to quilt.

When I got home (my apartment is smoke free and pet free, by the way) I attatched binding to the edges. See quilted fabric below.


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 The blue swatch above is actually NOT quilt binding. It is bias tape. This can be used as a binding, but the polyester batting in this quilt is thicker than the available width of the bias tape. This narrowness makes it more difficult to work with. Quilt binding is double folded and wider. It will be labeled “Quilt Binding” on the package. I can also create binding for either hand or machine application.

The customer had a brilliant idea! She asked me to cut 8″ off the quilt, cut the strip in half and bind the pieces to make burp rags. They worked out beautifully as you can see.

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After trekking to North Dallas by 6:30 a.m. and waiting for the estate sale to open at 9, I was disappointed in the look of the Bernina sewing machine. It looked old… Really old. I found the manual though, and thumbing through it I realized that the previous owner had followed each of the instructions and made a sample of each stitch design covered. The samples were stapled into the book and notes were made in the margins. The stitching was beautiful and the samples sold me on the 1980 model 831.

I had no luck talking the price down, so I went ahead and paid the full asking price. When I got the Bernina home, the zigzag knob wouldn’t turn. I applied some WD-40, but still no movement. I was resigned to the concept of a trip to be serviced.

Meanwhile I proceeded to clean and oil the machine. Later in the day my friend Don came over and I was showing him the stuck zigzag knob. He managed to open a compartment I had not been able to move, and then directed me to apply more lubricant to a few specific areas.

Now the 33-year old baby purrs like a kitten, and the stitching is beautiful. The tension is perfect and the seams are so smooth I just want to feel them to make sure I’m not dreaming!

I can’t wait to get creative with this great machine! I’ve already whipped out two valances and curtain tie-backs for my April grandbaby’s arrival.

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After years struggling with my old student model Singer machine, I have located a Bernina 831 at an estate sale. I will be blasting off at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to be one of the first arrivals to view and hopefully purchase this machine.

I will be ecstatic if I am able to acquire the Bernina because I will be able to sew things again – the Singer only works when it feels like it, which is rarely when I feel like sewing.

Since I have my first grandaughter due in April, this is especially exciting. I will be first sewing a valance for her curtains, and then the sky is the limit on little pink baby projects!