Tummy time mat, all the rest

Well, I got it done for Christmas.  I sure didn't get step by step pictures of the rest of the making, though.

Here's the finished product, complete with baby:
The play gym above her is from Ikea.  I find it not nearly as obnoxious as a lot of the other ones I've seen.  I love babies, but I hate the baby land feeling that comes when you have a newborn and your whole house is just covered in blankets, bouncers, swings, burp clothes, and all the rest.  Am I alone there? Anyway, I feel like the Ikea play gym is a lot less baby-ish than a lot of others, so I don't mind it so much.

Now for some details. Here's the other vision quarter:
{Don't mind my feet there at the bottom}

Just a child mirror attached to a wedge pillow and two loops for attaching toys. 

The mirror is one of those ones you can get for your car to look at rear-facing children.

The mirror sticks to the mat with velcro.  The wedge pillow actually has two sets of velcro on it- one set on the short side to make the mirror stand up at a steep angle, and another (in the picture above) on the opposite long side that will make it be at a low angle, for when the baby is sitting up and looking down at the mat.  I feel pretty smart about that.
I also felt smart figuring out my pillow dimensions.  I used the pythagorean theorem and the sine function to get things right.  I always liked trig, and as it turns out, it's still actually useful!

For the last quarter, the sound/hearing one, I had a bit of a dilemma.  A lot of store bought play mats have squeakers in them, or buttons that play music.  I thought it would be really cool if I could DIY that, but I never figured out anything that was actually doable.  Thus, for this quarter, I just attached a bunch of loops.

I'll use the rings to attach things that make noise.  It's nothing too special, but it works.  My parents got Elle a bus that lies flat and has a bunch of buttons that make noise and play songs, so that works. 

After I finished all the quarters, I pieced them together and then put the grey square down over the center and just like that my quilt top was done! The grey square is attached like an applique- I cut it, folded the edges over once about a half inch and ironed, then sewed it down around the edges over my pieced top.

I quilted it quarter by quarter, too.  My original plan was to use different techniques in each section, like a grid in one and stippling in another, but that proved to be a bit ambitious.  I just did wavy lines instead.  I kind of wish I had done them a little closer, but it was Christmas Eve night and I just wanted this thing DONE.

I machine bound it using this tutorial and it worked out pretty well.  It's got some problems, but I'm not embarrassed of it as a first try. 

{The backing is the same grey as the middle square and the binding}

{This was by far my best corner.  The others are a bit wonky.}
 Here it is, all finished.  It was such a great feeling to get this done.  The littlest miss likes it, too, if drooling and chewing and spitting up on everything is any indication of fondness.  I'm pretty sure it is.  If you're less than a year old. 

Making it was not nearly as frustrating as I thought it would be (my expectations of frustration were incredibly high, but still).  Working on it in quarters made it pretty manageable- I definitely recommend it as a strategy. 

I hope everybody else got all their handmade projects done in time for the holidays!


Tummy time mat, part 2

The mat is organized by senses (it was the easiest way to think of things to put on it) and yesterday I finished the touch quarter.

So, the big thing is like a little touch book.  I took a bunch of different fabrics with distinct feels, used Heat n' Bond, zig zagged the edges together, then put eyelets in.  I just used normal 3 ring binder hoops to put it together. The fabrics I used include velour, burlap, denim, terry cloth, minky, satin, felt, monk's cloth, suede, flannel, cotton with puff paint on it, and corduroy.   I thought I was going to have a hard time thinking of more than 3 or 4 fabrics, but then I couldn't stop thinking of them.  I already had all of them, too.  Nice.

The book attaches to the mat like so:
Those little bits with the trims on them are detachable, too:

One of the goals I refuse to sacrifice with this mat is that it NEEDS to be washable. Pretty much everything will be detachable. 

Again, I know that the book might be a little advanced for her at this age.  Mim will be there to help, though.  The little tassel bits will be perfect for Elle, though.  She loves grabbing and pulling right now.  My hair, Mim's hair, faces, everything.   

That's part 2.  Here's part 1


Tummy time mat, part 1

So it's possible that previously I've mentioned the tummy time mat that I'm making.  Maybe here.  And maybe in my last post.  Things are moving on it, though.  Today I actually remembered to take pictures of some progress, so here you go:

It's my little picture flap quadrant.  Now that it's done, it doesn't actually seem like enough, so there might be more added to it.  Maybe like pockets on the tops of the flaps for more pictures.  I'm not sure.  Maybe some simple appliqued shapes. 

The details:
 I first sewed the flaps down while they laid open, the folded them over to cover the pictures and sewed them down again.  Also, you might notice the tape on the vinyl.  That's what I was using to hold the vinyl in place while I sewed.  I didn't want to use pins.  I thought the tape would just rip off, easy as that, when I was done and it would be awesome.  It was not. 
 I just used a zig zag to sew the vinyl on.  Don't make the stitch length on the zig zag too short, or you might just make it really easy for the vinyl to rip along the perforations the needle makes.
And there it is.  A drool proof little pocket for pictures so the baby has a little something extra to look at during tummy time. I realize the actual opening and closing might be beyond her at this age, but I want her to be able to grow into it a bit.  I'm betting that her big sister will be more than happy to help her until she can do it on her own, though.

Stay tuned for part 2!


Sweater stocking

I've seen stockings made from sweaters all over blogland and on pinterest.  Since I needed a new stocking for little miss Elle, I decided to upcycle an old sweater of my husband's.  It was just plain red, so to give a little detail, I did my pretend embroidering (as seen here and here) and added some snow flakes.  Here it is!
{It's not lined, the cuff is just a bit of fleece that I sewed on.  I'd explain how, but I didn't take pictures and I don't think I can do it with just words.}

{I used a yard darner and a fuzzy off white yarn to add the snow flakes.  The yarn was left over from this project.}

{Here it is with the rest of our mismatched stocking collection.  Mike's is his from when he was a kid, mine is one I picked up at Target two or three years ago, Mim's is my old one from when I was a kid.}

 It still kind of makes me do a double take when I see four stockings up there.  I kind of love that they don't match, too.  Maybe I won't ever end up making the matching set I've been planning for three years.

Also featured on the mantle: my old school paper chain advent calendar.  I was going to use those paper maché boxes from craft stores to make a fancy one this year, but I just won't have time.  This one is good for us for now, anyway- Mim totally gets a kick out of tearing the links off everyday.  And since we made it, she hasn't asked every day if Santa is coming.

I'm more excited for Christmas this year than I have been since I was a kid.
Happy holidays to all!

Thanks for reading.


Polly Pocket Beds

For Christmas, my side of the family does a name drawing for all the cousins.  Mim drew the name of her cousin Ari, who is really into Polly Pockets (so different from the Pollys of my generation).  Anyway, my sister in law told me Ari really wanted Polly Pocket beds and bedding.  So here they are:
The beds are popsicle sticks and some wood craft circles cut in half.  You could save yourself some gluing by getting the balsa wood pieces in the width you want from a craft store, but I had popsicle sticks on hand, so I went with that. 

The bottom "sheet" has a few layers of batting underneath and all the layers are secured with modpodge. 
I put the quilts wrong sides together and just finished the edges with a zig zag. 

There you have it.  My niece lent me a Polly to make sure everything was to scale, so here she is all tucked in. 
I actually quilted the blankets a little bit because I wanted some practice with my free motion foot, but I didn't do that until after I took the picture above and now they're all wrapped up in their box.  Ahwell. 

Anyway, I think these would be an awesome gift for the Polly enthusiasts in anyone's life.  They were also free for me, as I had all the materials, and they weren't even that time consuming.  My daughter was even able to help a little bit (since the gift is from her, after all) by painting and picking the fabric out. 

There will be more posts soon, I promise.  I've just been mostly working on a more involved project for my youngest- a tummy time mat.  Part one of that will hopefully be done by tomorrow!