Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Something old, something new

K cuddles on the couch with the completed cashmere baby blanket:

It may be kind of tricky getting her to give this one away!

The blanket is far from perfect but it is done as neatly and carefully as I know how and it is made with much love, and I am going to try to keep those things in mind and hold my head high when I present it to the recipient's mother.

Things I learned while working on this project:
  • If you take a picture of your layout to help you remember it when you're sewing your blocks together, refer to it when sewing your blocks together. Observant readers will see that my finished blanket does not quite look like the one in the previous post. Oops!
  • When working with stretchy fabrics, be careful not to let them stretch out of shape as you sew. Lowering the tension and extending the stitch length can help, but going slowly and carefully is most important.
  • It's okay to start over. My work got stretched beyond recognition and I ended up cutting cutting around the outer edges and re-sewing the top to the backing. I'm glad I did, because now the edges have a much cleaner finish.
  • Using a walking foot seems like a good idea to feed multiple layers of stretchy fabric through the machine, but it is not; things just get too slippery. Use a regular foot and see above.
  • Fusible web is nothing short of a miracle. If you have ever been afraid of applique, this stuff will get you over your fear in the 10-15 seconds it takes to fuse your first piece of fabric. I always told myself that I preferred not to embellish, that I liked my work plain, but let's be honest, who was I kidding?
I can't think of a project that I've enjoyed working on as much as this one. There will definitely be more to follow.


  1. It looks wonderful! I had no idea it was that big, looking back to the previous post. I'm so impressed you've sewn anything with stretchy fabric without a Serger. I'm still afraid of touching anything in a knit!

    Well done. Can't wait to see more!

  2. Thank you!

    Don't be afraid of knit fabrics; along with the things I learned above a good thing to know is that you need to use a ball point needle (something I also learned the hard way.) If you're worried about ruining expensive fabrics you can experiment with T-shirts from the thrift store -- a great book to look at is *Generation T* by Megan Nicolay.

  3. Ooooh...aahhh...so pretty and soft-looking! Congratulations on a beautiful finished product!