Baby Boy’s Car Seat Tent & Quilt

Before Nolan was born I made a car seat tent and a car seat quilt. I’ve made them as gifts for other people before so of course I wanted to have my own. Since my son was born in November I thought they would both be useful.

For my own tent and quilt I used mostly fabrics that I had left over from different nursery projects.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 1

The tent was pretty simple. It’s just stripes of patterned fabric and white fabric with a white minky on the back. At the time I purchased the minky I would have rather had a grey on the back but the fabric store was all out. Even though it’s white it has only gotten dirty once and it washed up just fine.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 2

Since I had my car seat already I used it to figure out where I wanted to place the straps.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 3

Here it is all laid out.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 4

To finish off the tent I did two rows of top stitching and used velcro on the straps.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 5

If you want more info on how to make a car seat tent I’ve got another post you can check out <here>.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 6

For the quilt I wanted to do a little bit of a interesting pattern but being pregnant and working on other things I didn’t want it to be too complicated. I ended up cutting out a bunch of squares of fabric that matched the tent.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 7

Then I just assembled the squares into rows. I started every other row with a half size square so that the seams ended up a little offset.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 8

I finished it up with some basic binding and some ribbon ties for attaching to the car seat.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 9

I used a piece of warm and white batting in the middle and teal minky on the back so that it would be nice and warm.

Car Seat Tent & Quilt 10

We used the tent quite a bit when Nolan was a newborn, especially because it was cold and rainy out. After about 2 months though I don’t think we used it very much. Chris really liked it but I just found that it ended up being in my way more than it was useful. I was always having to push it out of the way when it was in the car or I was trying to carry the car seat somewhere.

As for the quilt it was great at first too but we stopped using it fairly quickly as well. Everyone talks about how cold babies are and how you have to dress them so warmly and I thought the quilt would be perfect. The funny thing is though we have a really warm baby. Every time I used this after the first couple of weeks we’d pull him out and he’d be so sweaty and I felt so bad. It almost didn’t matter how little we dressed him in he was still hot. As the weather got warmer this spring I just threw in a muslin swaddle blanket if I thought it was going to be a little cold. Of course he still rarely needed that.

So they were both nice to have, but they are things I could have done without. I know some people love to use both but they just seemed less than necessary for us. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up with another baby boy in the future and he’ll be chilly all the time and these will be great to have.

Anyone else have or used a car seat tent and quilt? Were they must have items for you?

Baby Rag Quilt

I have a confession to make. I really like rag quilts. I like to use them and I like to sew them. I’ve made quite a few over the years and many I’ve given away as gifts. Below are the ones that I have currently in my house.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 1

The size I make most often uses 10.5″ x 10.5″ blocks in a 5 x 7 pattern. I’ve found that it’s the best use of the flannel fabric so there’s less waste. When I’m doing these quick easy quilts I will usually use 2 or 3 different flannel fabrics.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 2 Nolan's Rag Quilt 3

Towards the end of spring I was wanting a small light weight quilt that I could put on my lap while I was feeding Nolan. The final quilt ended up being about 35″ x 35″.

Since I was doing a smaller quilt I decided to go with a little bit more involved pattern then I’ve done before.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 16

For my rag quilts I always use flannel for the outer fabric and muslin for the inner or batting layer. For this quilt I went through my stash of fabric and picked out three coordinating flannel fabrics. One print and two fabrics that were a little more solid. I already had white muslin on hand as well to use for the middle. Most of the rag quilts I’ve seen online use something else for the batting. I’ve always used muslin or another inexpensive solid cotton. I think it’s the perfect fabric. It’s lightweight, adds the right amount of warmth, inexpensive and it frays really well.

So lets get started on the quilt. The first step was cutting a big stack of blocks. For this quilt I cut 26 – 8″ x 8″ squares out of the main flannel fabric and 48 – 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares out of each of the solid fabrics. I also cut out 13 – 8″ x 8″ squares and 48 – 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares out of a white muslin for the batting.

Once the fabrics were cut I layered them up into the blocks. Two layers of flannel with one layer of muslin in between.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 4

After all the fabrics are layered in blocks I sewed an X on the front of them. This helps to keep the fabrics from shrinking at different rates which could make the quilt bunch up weirdly. I always do this and it’s especially important if you’re doing larger blocks.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 5

With all the blocks ready to go I laid them all out on the ground in the pattern that I wanted. I did this so that I could determine which blocks will be on the edges. Then I sewed down the edges of the blocks on the outsides with a 1/2″ seam allowance. It can be a tedious process but I have found that if I don’t do it now I have to do it at the end and then I have to sew all the outer seams flat which doesn’t look as nice. It’s totally worth it to finish the edges at this point instead.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 6

Here are some edges and corners all stitched up.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 7

With the edges done I started assembling the smaller squares into blocks. Just like with the edges I use a 1/2″ seam allowance in all of my rag quilts. I think it’s the right thickness of seam to fray well but no to long that it looks stringy.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 8

To make the seams less bulky, easier to work with and easier to match corners I made sure all the seams were laying toward the green blocks.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 9

When the seams lay in different directions it makes the seams thinner and it helps to lock the corners together when it’s being sewed so that the corners and points will match up really well. This is a great tip for any quilt not just a rag quilt.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 10

Once the smaller blocks were together I laid them out again with the other blocks.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 11

The I just sewed the blocks into rows and then the rows together.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 12

Just like with the blocks I kept the seams always laying toward the patterned blocks to lock the corners together and kept the seams from being to bulky.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 13

One of the last steps is clipping the seams. It takes forever and starts to hurt my hand every time but the seams will not fray well without this. And that’s the whole point of a rag quilt is to have the frayed exposed seams. I usually clip about 1/4″ apart  (I just eye it) along every seam as well as around the perimeter.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 14

The last step is washing the quilt to get the seams to fray up. I always make sure to shake out the blanket after it comes out of the washer and before I put it in the dryer. Otherwise I’ll end up with a ton of strings clogging up the dryer.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 15

So that’s it. One baby rag quilt. I’m really liking it and I’ve been using it throughout the summer. Hopefully once Nolan gets a little older he’ll like it and what to use it too.

Nolan's Rag Quilt 16

DIY Nursing Pillow and Covers

Back when I was working on projects for the nursery I also made a few other baby items. One of those items was a nursing pillow similar to ones that you can purchase. I’ve heard somewhat mixed reviews on these so I was a little hesitant to spend the money to buy one.

Instead I did some searching on the internet and I ended up finding a combination of two online tutorials to make my own pillow and cover. The first blog post by <A Load of Craft> has a link to the pattern I used and the second tutorial on <Vanilla Joy> has a little bit more description on how to make the pillow and covers.

I printed out the pattern pieces and assembled them like in the directions.

DIY Boppy 1

With my pattern assembled I cut out two pieces of white muslin for the main pillow. I serged around the edges and then used a 1/2″ seem allowance to sew the pillow together. I left a big enough opening in the seam so that the pillow could be stuffed with filling.

DIY Boppy 2

After the pillow was sewn together I turned it right side out, ironed it then added a bunch of polyester fiber fill. I had read online that the biggest complaint about other nursing pillows was that it’s too soft and flattens too easily especially once it’s been used a while. Because of this I probably ended up over stuffing my pillow a little bit. Once the pillow was stuffed I hand sewed the opening closed.

DIY Boppy 3

To make the pillow case a little softer and easier to wash I made two covers to go on it. Instead of using the pattern that included extra pieces for the zipper section I used the same pattern as for the pillow to cut out two pieces of fabric. then I just sewed on an invisible zipper right into the top of the seem.

DIY Boppy 4

After I sewed in the zipper I sewed up the rest of the seam and tried it out on the pillow. It fits nice and snug. I’m glad I put the zipper in the seam instead of along the back like in the other tutorials. This way I can use either side of the pillow as the top and the zipper won’t be in the way.

DIY Boppy 5

Here’s the two covers I made. Each with one side cotton print and the other soft minky.

DIY Boppy 6 DIY Boppy 7 DIY Boppy 8 DIY Boppy 9

Now that Nolan is 5 months old I can tell you my thoughts on the pillow. I am glad that I had it especially in those first few weeks but I’m also glad I didn’t spend the money to buy an official breastfeeding pillow since I didn’t use it very much past the first few weeks. Honestly I regular bed pillow would have been good enough for me but everyone is different.

As far as the stuffing is concerned I am glad that I over stuffed it since it held up Nolan’s weight really well as a newborn and it’s held it’s shape over time.

I’m also glad I made two covers and went with the minky on one side. I ended up using the minky side up most of the time and if anything got on it I could pretty much wipe it right off since minky is a little bit water resistant.

Since Nolan is older now I think we’ve used it more for things other than feeding him. For a while I would lay him on it to prop him up a bit and now as he’s getting just a little closer to sitting I put it around him every once and a while so he can sort of sit on his own.

Nolans 5 Month Photo 12

So I’d say if you’ve got some sewing knowledge and some extra fabric like I did go for making your own. It’s a really simple project and you can save some money instead of paying the $30-50 that it would cost to purchase a pillow and two covers.

Baby Shower Gifts

Here’s another one of those posts I’ve been hanging onto for a long time. It’s not really a tutorial of anything but more just a memory of a few things that I made as baby shower gifts back well before Nolan was born.

The first set of gifts went to my cousin Kayla for her first baby who is now getting so close to 1 year old.

The main part of the gift was a car seat quilt and a car seat tent. I used the same basic measurements that I’ve used before. You can check out those posts here and here.

While I was making these gifts I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy myself and wasn’t feeling all too well. So instead of making an elaborate pattern I ended up finding what I thought was a really cute flannel that looked like it was a quilt pattern.

Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 3

The quilt was just flannel on one side and minky on the other with grosgrain ribbon ties.

Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 5 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 6 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 7

The tent was made out of the same flannel and a lighter pink minky for the back.

Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 10 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 11 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 12

With some of the left over fabrics I made a little taggie blanket.

Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 1 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 2 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 4

One of the last items was a matching burp rag. It’s got the same flannel pattern with a pink terry cloth backing.

Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 8 Kayla's Baby Shower Gifts 9

As I got even farther into my pregnancy I made a few things for my sister in law’s first baby. You can tell I wasn’t very motivated to blog at the time because all I ended up taking was a shot of everything together.

The little rag quilt is from the Simplicity Pattern 1822 which I’ve used before. I’ve also got another burp cloth like the one I made above and a little ribbon pacifier clip.

Heather's Baby Shower Gift 1

Keeping track of projects like this was one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place. It didn’t feel like a really exciting post but I do enjoy being able to remember these types of projects.

Kindle E-Reader Cover

Before Nolan was born I had a few posts in various stages of being worked on. Obviously I never got around to finishing them but I don’t want to leave them out so I’m going to try to finish them up now. One of those projects was a kindle pouch that I made back in last January (as in 2014) and I just never got around to finishing up the post. Chris and I were planning on a vacation at the time and I knew I wanted to take my kindle along. I already had two different pouches. One that was envelope style that was really bulking and another that I had made a while ago that was book styled and I never loved how it looked or worked.

I did a little searching on the internet and found a pattern that I thought I would like a little better. I hoped it would be protective yet slim and flexible.

Kindle Cover 7

I used <this tutorial> to come up with the size and the basics of how to put it together.

I cut out one piece of a pink chevron cotton, one piece of black chevron flannel and one of quilt batting. All of which I already had on hand. I chose the flannel for the inside because I wanted it to be a little softer so it wouldn’t scratch the screen.

Kindle Cover 2

Just like in the <tutorial> I rounded the top edge for the flap using a diapering ink pen.

Kindle Cover 3

Before I assembled it all together I attached half of the velcro to the flannel since that’s what I used for the inside of the pouch.

Kindle Cover 4

Then I sewed all three layers together and left a small opening at the bottom to turn the fabric right side out.

Kindle Cover 5

Once it was turned right side out and ironed I top stitched the bottom to close the hole. Then I folded up the bottom to make the pouch and top stitched around the rest of the pouch.

Kindle Cover 6

Lastly I lined up where I needed the second half of the velcro and sewed that in place.

Kindle Cover 7

Kindle Cover 8

I ended up using the pouch for our trip and it worked out great. It was slim and protective and when I wanted to read I could just pull out my kindle and there was nothing else in the way. I just love projects that I can do with what I already have. Especially since lets be honest I already have way to much fabric.

Have you ever created your own case or pouch for a tablet or e-reader? What style is yours?

Fall Yarn Wreath 2014

I have to admit that fall just came up out of nowhere for me. I guess it’s here’s since it’s getting colder and all the leaves are turning and falling off the trees. That being said my yarn wreaths still had spring flowers from when I switched out the last time (which still had fall leaves on them from last year).

Since my fall wreaths stayed on the front porch until last spring the paper didn’t really survive very well. I ended up just throwing away all the decor I used last year.

This year I just wanted to do something really quick and inexpensive.

Fall Yarn Wreath 1

I ended up gathering a few fall colored papers I already had on hand and then just cut a few leaves and a bow shape out using my Silhouette Portrait. The only thing I had to purchase was the bow shape from the Silhouette store since I already had the leave shapes from last year.

Fall Yarn Wreath 2

They may not look amazing but they were really quick and only cost a dollar to make.

Fall Yarn Wreath 3 Fall Yarn Wreath 4

Now I guess I can forget about them until next spring like last year.

If you’re interested you can find the leaf cut outs here and here and the bow cut out here.

Woodland Animal Canvas for the Nursery

Back when I created the nursery mood board I mentioned that I had found some really cute woodland animal cutouts from the Silhouette store. I knew that I wanted to incorporate them somehow and I finally decided on making some art to hang on the nursery.

I picked up six flat canvas boards to use as backgrounds. I also picked out three paint colors that matched the papers I picked out as well and the rest of the room colors. The colors I grabbed where Indian Turquoise Barn Wood and Irish Moss.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 3

To give the canvas a sharp border I used a one inch frog tape around the edges of the canvas. It’s pretty similar to what the creator of the cutouts did on her blog post here.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 1

It took about three coats to get a good full coverage of the colors. Once they were dry I just peeled off the tape.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 2

As for the animals I just adjusted the sizes and cut them out using my silhouette. I used glue to assemble the layers of the animals and then I used sticky glue dots to attach them to the canvas.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 4

I love how all the animals turned out. I think they are just so cute and fill up this wall without being too much.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 5

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 6

Chris helped me line everything up over the dressers and we used 3m velcro tabs to hang up all the canvases.

Nursery Woodland Animal Canvas 7

I think that pretty much concludes the nursery! Stay tuned for the final reveal. I’ve finally picked up and I’ve got a few more fun decorative finishes to share.

If you’re interested in the cutouts here’s the links: fox, raccoon, hedgehog, deer, owl, skunk.

Nursery Flag Garland

I’m so very close to calling this room done. At least for now. All I really have left to talk about are a couple of decorative projects I’ve finished.

One of these projects is a flag garland I sewed for over the crib. All over the internet I have seen flag garlands and I thought it would be a fun way to decorate the space above the crib.

With a little research and planning it was a really simple project. All it took was some triangles of fabric and a length of double fold bias tape. I think the triangles I made were close to 6 1/2″ long and about 6 1/2″ wide. The fabrics are the same ones that I’ve been using all over the nursery.

Nursery Flag Garland 1 Nursery Flag Garland 2

I love the way it turned out and I think it nicely fills the blank space on the wall.

Nursery Flag Garland 3

You may not remember from my nursery to do list but I actually mentioned that I wanted to have a monogram or something with the baby’s name over the crib. Well we decided on a name and I cut out letters using my silhouette and appliqued them on the flags. They are currently hiding on the back side for the flag garland. Sorry Grandma Dixie we still aren’t sharing but we’re getting close to the due date so you’ll find out soon. 🙂

Update: Now that our baby boy is born we’ve turned the flag garland around. Check out his introduction post here.

Nolans Birth 11

DIY Contoured Changing Pad Cover

Another quick sewing project I did for the nursery was to make a couple of changing pad covers. I found this tutorial online about how to make a countered changing pad cover.

I ended up piecing together two different covers using some minky and cotton fabrics that I had left over from other projects. They weren’t my first choice of fabrics but I wanted to work with what I had.

Here’s the first one I made. . .

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 2

and the second.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 4

The directions aren’t to complicated but it did involve me having to create my own pattern for the ends which I didn’t love doing. The pattern ended  up being a little lopsided but it did turn out ok.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 5

For the top all I had to do was piece my fabrics together to get the dimensions I needed.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 6

The most confusing part of the process was actually sewing the top to the side pieces.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 9

As a side note: With my first cover I used cotton on one end which doesn’t stretch at all. I found it really frustrating and nearly impossible to get lined up with the length of the top. The corners were also really hard to get to come out smoothly. That’s the reason I switched to using the minky on both ends of the second one.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 3

Once everything was sewn together I serged the edges to finish them and then just created a casing for the elastic. I did find that since I used some cotton fabric the covers didn’t stretch quite as well over the pad. I think on the second cover I did use a longer piece of elastic than the tutorial suggested.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 7

I know the color choices and fabrics may not be ideal for a changing pad but at least we’ve got a few covers to start out with.

Nursery Changing Pad Cover 8

Folding Laundry Bag for the Nursery

Since I still had an over abundance of left over fabrics I wanted to figure out a laundry basket that I could make instead of buy. I found a tutorial on Make it and Love it of a wooden framed laundry bag. Nursery Laundry Basket 8

The tutorial is really detailed so I don’t have a whole lot to add to it. If you’re interested in making your own go check that out.

Since the laundry bag is reversible I chose two different fabrics to use. One is a heaver weight home decor fabric left over from the pouf and the other is a lightweight cotton. Nursery Laundry Basket 1

The only difference I made from the original pattern was making the straps so that they have a different fabric on each side. Nursery Laundry Basket 2

For the frame Chris cut some 1×2’s for me following the sizes in the pattern. Then I just used some of the Minwax express stain in onyx to give it some color. Nursery Laundry Basket 3

After the stain dried Chris assembled the frame. Nursery Laundry Basket 4

Then all that was left to do was hang the bag on the frame. Nursery Laundry Basket 5

Here’s the chevron side out. . .

Nursery Laundry Basket 6

and the green side out.

Nursery Laundry Basket 7

I’m happy with how it turned out. Right now I’ve got it tucked in a corner and since it’s foldable it’s really easy to move around. I think the only change I would make if I did it over would be to make the straps a little shorter and make the shorter sides of the bag a little wider. I’m not sure what it is but it doesn’t seem to fit the frame quite right.

Nursery Laundry Basket 8

There’s another nursery project done and up on the blog! I’ve still got a few more projects to share before I’m ready for the final reveal but I’m getting close.