Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's about the process

The project started because I had been in the hospital and a nurse, who was expecting a baby before long, had been extra kind to me.  Before I even got home I knew that I wanted to make the super-soft patchwork-bound blanket from Weekend Sewing for Baby C.  As soon as I was feeling up to it, I headed down to the fabric store and bought a length of beautifully soft wool/cashmere blend, and fearlessly tossed it in the washing machine to felt it.  The results were amazing, dense and plush and warm, exactly what I'd had in mind.

I cut the two pieces, but not carefully, and the blanket ended up being an inch short on all four sides because of it.  The blanket-construction and decorative zig-zagging went well -- a pleasant surprise for me because the other times I've made this blanket I've botched those.  Then I sat down with my bins of fabric to start creating the patchwork binding strips.

It was so hard to decide!  I wanted to use all of my favorites -- it took a long time to narrow it down.  Finally I worked out my patchwork panel.


I really like this method of making binding -- it leaves so much room for interpretation and creativity.  Here are the finished strips, ready to sew on the blanket:

Here is the bound blanket -- it doesn't look too bad, although the binding is not sewn on perfectly and there was some difficulty sewing through the thicker parts where the binding overlapped (this was done before my Kenmore came home.)

Had I left well enough alone, I think the blanket would have been gift-able.  But because I knew the baby's name, I wanted to personalize it.  This is where I ran into trouble.  

Because I bought the wrong kind of interfacing (Wonder Under instead of single-sided fusible) I had to cut out the 'C' three times before I accepted the fact that I was going to have to fuse the thing on in one layer and machine-applique instead of stitching the letter to the fusible, turning the thing inside-out, ironing it on the blanket and doing a decorative stitch by hand.  Enter the dreaded zig-zag stitch.  Although I tested it on a scrap and thought I had it right, I accidentally set it too wide and too short, making for a very sloppy stitching line around the 'C.'  Hoping to disguise my messy work, I satin-stitched an edging around the letter with an embroidery needle and pearl cotton.  You can see the result below:

So I'm not at all sure what to do about this.  Give it away?  Cut it up for scraps?  Make another one with the fabric I have left over?  The truth is that I don't like it very much.



  1. I realise this is probably unhelpful, but I like it?

  2. I know when you make something yourself, all you can see are the imperfections, and you hold yourself up to the standard you see in the beautiful books where you got the pattern (at least I know I do that, too often!). Honestly, though, I love the hand-made imperfect look of it. It would be clear to me that you cared very much about making the blanket, and I can see your vision for it. Personally, it's a blanket I would be honored to be on the recieving end of. Maybe put it out of sight for a few days, work on some other things, and then come back to see it with new eyes.

    Your fabric selections are beautiful, by the way.