Baby gifts

Hi habibis!  It’s still technically winter but it’s finally starting to feel just a bit spring-like, isn’t it?  I’m so ready!

A few of my friends are having babies or had babies, so I’ve been making some baby gifts/baby-themed gifts. Here are a few of them:

Here are mom and dad mug rugs – for a pair of new parents-to-be. I hand embroidered “Mom” and “Dad” in stem stitch. Then I pieced the tops and backs from scraps. The mom one is machine quilted with a freehand heart and then a wavy box surrounding everything.  I used bright green thread.

 

The dad one is machine quilted with concentric rectangles.  I filled in the remaining space with other geometric shapes using dark blue thread.

Here’s an uncle bookmark for an academic and bibliophile. Again, “uncle” is hand embroidered in stem stitch and then I machine quilted rectangles around the center rectangle. The blue book print is from the same line as this bookmark and mug rug.  The back is the same print.

A grandpa pillow for a baseball lover: I saw a tutorial on sew mama sew handmade holidays for a pennant pillow and loved the idea. (I didn’t actually follow the tutorial.)  I hand embroidered “Grandpa” on the light blue fabric and then added a darker blue border to get the size I wanted.

I chose baseball fabric for the back because this grandpa is a huge baseball afficianado.  I added the blue to the back side, too.  I sewed them right sides together, stuffed it with loose batting, and handstitched it closed.

 

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Assorted Christmas Presents: Bookmarks, Golf Towels, and a Mug Rug

While I was improv piecing the coasters for my cousin M, I took extra scraps and made this bookmark for my sister’s boyfriend. It’s a weird shape – too wide and not quite long enough, I think. I quilted it with vertical lines in navy thread.

I made another bookmark for my friend A. She’s from Tennessee so I picked orange (for UT). (And she loves orange.) I have a great set of library-themed prints I got from Connecting Threads once so I used the orange book print. (A is also in academia and was an English major when we were in college, so I knew she’d appreciate the books.)  I quilted it with vertical lines.

For A’s birthday I made a mug rug. I’d never heard of mug rugs until I started paying more attention to the quilt blog scene. A’s is made with the orange print and this brown print with spirals of books. The other side is these library book stamps in cream. I quilted it with a freehand spiral.  Freehand spirals are kind of fun.

I got the idea for the golf towels from one of the sewmamasew handmade holidays gift guides (http://www.sewmamasew.com/2013/11/november-19-gifts-for-men/).  They had this tutorial for golf towels: http://www.aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com/2012/08/golf-towel-tutorial.html.  I kind of followed it.  I made the golf towels for my uncle P, who’s a really big golfer, and my cousin who enjoys a round of golf.  (Presents for men can be difficult!  Especially homemade presents.  The golf towels weren’t too hard to make and I didn’t have to worry that they would look cutesy.)

I bought two fluffy white towels and set to work.  I pulled out my golf ball print. I’ve used it before.  I cut strips wide enough that I could fold the edges under and cover this non-fluffy stripe at the end of each towel. I wanted the fabric to go all the way around, which involved sewing over it on one side. I used white thread to blend. I folded the edges under at the end but the backs just aren’t perfect.

The other challenge was the grommet thing for the carabiner. I went to Michael’s and bought eyelets and an eyelet tool. I didn’t notice that I bought 8 mm eyelets as the tutorial instructed but an 11 mm eyelet tool. If you’ve never done this before, the eyelet tool is supposed to fit right inside the eyelet and then you hammer it down and the force seals the two eyelet pieces together.  With a larger eyelet tool it doesn’t fit right inside so you can’t evenly apply the force. For one towel I managed it anyway. Then for the other towel I tried multiple times and my dad helped, too. We had to give up because I ran out of eyelets.  In this picture both eyelets look like they’re on, but one was loose and came off.

So I used a zigzag stitch to sew up that hole in order to fit the carabiner in. I had to sew around it twice but it worked.