Making for baby episode 10

There have been fun times in my sewing room as I got a Cricut Maker 3 for my birthday. I’ve been looking at cutting machines for a couple of years as my right thumb is giving me grief and I have never been good at cutting out small things. As soon as the Maker 3 came out and I learned that it can cut fabric, felt, leather, etc without too much faffing around I started talking about it. My husband took the hint and did a good job buying one with many of the accoutrements bought by Archie. I enrolled in an online course as I felt I needed to learn the software, which, frankly, is pretty clunky. Think back to the sort of business design software we were using ten or twelve years ago. Having said that, much of it is very familiar so I haven’t had too much trouble. There’s a lot of talk of converting PDFs to the SVG files needed but I’ve found this to be not hugely successful so I’m currently creating my own files where necessary. This is something that will be useful so I’m working hard on mastering this.

The machine itself is quite small and doesn’t take up too much room when it’s not in operation.

When it’s open it takes up a little more room and it uses mats to hold the material to be cut and there has to be enough space behind to accommodate these.

I had to grab some photos off the internet as I forgot to take any and I’m currently away from home. These will show you what they look like though.

Anyway, on to what I’ve made. I have made some cards, which are a lot of fun, but more about them in another post. A few years ago I made Tom a rag quilt but I know that my squares weren’t square and things didn’t line up to my satisfaction, so I thought I’d make a small one for Miss G using the Cricut. All I had to do was choose the fabrics and the size of the squares and go for it. I used two different flannelettes for the back, six different cottons for the front and a wool blanket for the wadding. I cut it all on the Cricut and it was a joy to put together as everything is so square and identical in size. It’s so nice that all my seams line up perfectly.

Of course I forgot to take a photo of the pile of cut out squares, and even a photo of them being cut out, for which I apologise.

For the front I used floral fabrics given to me by Jenny, who has given me a lot of things as she destashed. These are fabrics she bought for her granddaughters so I was pleased to use them. The plain pink came from my friend Leonie. The flannelette. for the back came from my sister’s destash, the blanket used for wadding was given to me by Mark’s cousin, and I used embroidery thread that came from my friend Catherine, so this little quilt is full of memories of lovely, generous family and friends.

When my children were little I bought them a couple of car quilts from the Williams Woolstore and they loved them, so I wanted to make something similar. The ones I bought folded into little pillows via a pillowcase sewn on the back so that’s what I’ve done here. The quilt is a little bit bulky so I made the bag a little bigger to accommodate the bulk. I pleated the excess fabric at the bottom. I also self lined the pillow case so the inside of the fabric doesn’t show at any point.

I wanted to use the flannelette as it’s nice to snuggle into.

The top is made like a typical rag quilt. A pack of three squares consisting of a top, middle and bottom, sewn together with an X and then joined to other squares with underside (or wrong side) together. This means that there is a visible seam. The seam allowance is snipped at regular intervals and when washed it goes fluffy.

I actually got some photos whilst Tom and Bridgette were camping and we visited from the comfort of our hotel. These photos give an idea of the size and show the pillow pocket. I am bothered by its droopiness but I didn’t want to use any sort of a fastener as it might impact on the comfort

I added a label to establish when it was made.

I had six plain pink squares to break up the floral and I decided to embroider one of them with a rather gorgeous frog which was in a book of embroidery I bought in Hobart on my birthday trip. I always sing “You are my sunshine” to her, so was pleased that this phrase was with the frog.

I used my newly acquired light box to trace the pattern (printed at 68% to fit on the square) on to my pink square. A Frixion pen worked perfectly.

I love the way the embroidery turned out.

I was so pleased with how it turned out that I decided to trace a couple of the other designs in the same way. They are a bit hard to see, but I have two elephants and a mouse; a bird standing on a pig, standing on a cow; and a basket of mice. They are really charming designs.

It all looks a bit wrinkled because it’s been washed and the blanket may have shrunk a little bit, although it did look well washed before I started. I don’t mind the look in real life. This photo also shows how delightful the fabrics are. Thank you Jenny!

I decided not to randomise the blocks. Instead I took my six top squares and laid them in a row. I then moved each square along by one on each row so that the pattern is arranged diagonally. I like the order of this and it certainly simplified the make.

I really wanted the Cricut for cutting small felt things, so when Bridgette and I saw a little felt doll in a blanket at the Salamanca markets in Hobart, I thought I’d see if I could make one. I found this little Pocket Baby on Etsy and bought it. I also bought a couple of other patterns and have to say that the owner of the store gives absolutely fantastic customer service. All the pieces were cut out in the blink of an eye and it’s nice to know that they are perfectly cut. The assembly instructions are excellent too.

The doll’s hat has two tiny pom poms, which I tried to make from wool. This didn’t end well, so I remembered some chenille pipe cleaners that I bought right at the end of the Fibres West Garage Sale, clearly of no interest to anyone, and I’m sure I gave myself a good talking to for adding them to my stash. I was able to twist one into a couple of pom poms, making sure that all wire was well buried.

I’m not sure I did a good job with the eyebrows, but I’m sure I’ll make this pattern again. The cheeks are “painted” on with a red crayon.

The pattern showed ribbon sewn through the middle, which I did, but i was very unsure. When I handed it over I did say that it could be easily cut off. How cute is the pocket baby though? The little pillow with the moon and star is lightly padded and she’s got these tiny limbs that I would not have been able to cut out well.

I’ve made a few more baby things but I’m saving them for a future post as they will be gifts. I am so happy with the Cricut. Most people seem to use it to cut vinyl but that doesn’t interest me too much. Being able to cut felt, fabric and even thin wood does have a lot of appeal however, and I have a lot of plans for Christmas. Let’s see how I go!

Finally, the end of post treat. Miss G was enjoying me kissing her hand!


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