Fisticuffs and Other Shenanigans

 I Started making a layered Chenille Blanket for a baby shower gift because it looked easy (ha ha), and oh yeah, the baby shower was less than 24hrs away so I had one night to trow it together. But it was just sewing straight lines and cutting and washing it to make it fuzzy, so I decided to go for it.  Here is where you shake your head and laugh because you know (and by now I should know too) that you never make something “new” for a gift on a deadline. But I did. Needless to say, this was not the gift that I gave at the baby shower (that was 2 weeks ago). I made her a cute disposable-diaper cake around an empty tall formula can and whipped up a fleece contoured changing pad cover (I’ve made those before and even saved my pattern) that I stuffed into the formula can. Cute bow on top, and wha-lah.

Back to my Chenille blanket…
I used Dana’s Tutorial from MADE, which really is excellent, and I would consider making one of these things again doing it her way with the right fabrics. And Alan even made me a nifty tool to cut the fabric using a razor blade letter opener, but the flannel was too thick to use it.
Remember the Plaid Fabric from Redding’s Bias Trimmed Smock? Here it is again, and here is 2yds light blue flannel, and 1yd plain thin white cotton broadcloth. I Layered and sprayed my fabrics with the white sandwiched between the 2yds of blue that I have beef with because it wasn’t 45″ or even a full 2yds as the pre-packaged fabric label claimed (You Suck Walmart!) so my blanket finished at about 30″ x 36″ instead of the 36″x45″ it should have been. Whatever.

Ok, Here you can see I have started quilting my fabric to find out that, yes, I should buy a walking foot for my sewing machine. Lots of wavy lines and unevenness on both sides, but it’s only noticeable on the front. I even tried to do it the right way by starting in the middle and working my way out, but alas, well… you see it.
And here’s where the crap REALLY hit the fan. I started cutting my lines in the fabric to make the chenille, and I was only supposed to cut through the 2 blue layers and the white layer leaving this back piece whole. But no. A dozen rows in, I whacked through all 4 layers in a serious way. Dana over at MADE, shows how to fix a super small hole that she cut into her fabric with fusible web. I began this method also, because, well what else was there to do. I was too many hours deep into this project to chuck it. So I got things all lined up-or so I thought- and then realized my stripes would not line up no matter how I turned the fabric patch. About 30min after staring at the stripes going “HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!” I realized that the homespun fabric doesn’t have a right or wrong side, and that I had fused the fusible web to the opposite side of the fabric than I should have, and I was trying to match a mirror image patch of the plaid to my blanket. I re-cut the fabric and matched it up as best I could because my fabric was stretched and katty-whompus from my wavy stitches.
Moving on… If you decide to make this project, I suggest you follow Dana’s directions exactly and use only quilting cottons for the front and broadcloths for the chenille layers. I ran into massive amounts of trouble trying to cut through the layers of flannel and ended up buying new little Fiskars-looking kid craft scissors to use. That made things much easier. I also recommend washing and drying your blanket BEFORE you start cutting the layers. It is easier to let the wash take the spray adhesive out instead of trying to separate it from the back fabric and layers you want to cut with your scissors. It was a nightmare. I washed it twice before all my adhesive came out. 
But Here It Is! All Soft and Lovely and Innocent looking. I used the bias binding I already had made from my last project on the blanket. I like it with the bias-plaid stripes anyways. This will be one of Wyatt’s Christmas presents. Redding has 2 quilts already, and little Wyatt needs one of his own.

Here is the infamous cut and patch in the fabric.I had to patch over about 3 rows to completely cover the cut and then sew over top of it. It’s not too bad.

I really do like the blanket now that it’s finished and cute. I’m still in love with the plaid even after all that and am using the rest of the binding to make placemats and napkin rings for my table.

On to cute projects that turn out right the 1st time. I’m entered in an ornament swap with my Etsy Street Team, the Fabulous Artistic Moms and started looking for some ideas. I love the look of crocheted snow flakes, but have always been a tad scared of them because of their using doily size thread. Super fine and it intimidates me. But I want to carry on the tradition of my Great Grandmother -Mama Bea- who taught me to crochet when I was eleven, and learn to make beautiful doilies like her. 
I found this pattern on BH&G website and after looking at some completed projects of these on Flicker, decided to whip out my doily thread and hook. It turned out perfect. And the directions were great. And all I need to do now is grab some fabric stiffener to finish this puppy up. And maybe some sparkley spray paint. I dunno just yet. My question is…. Would this be cute for my ornament swap and something everyone would like, or should I go with something else? I do have a back-up plan that is more trendy. Last year I bought all the stuff to make little hanging air plant ornaments similar to this but in glass ornaments instead. That is also an option. I am just not sure what to send. What do you think?

(By the way, if you zoomed in on this picture you will notice the brown stains in the thread. I have no idea how the thread got stained, but this was the only thread I had to work with. I will be replacing it or painting it with silvery glittery paint. Or bleaching it.)

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