Sunday, September 5, 2010

Knitting & Life

We have a new grand baby! She's beautiful. Then, we are biased, she's also now 18 weeks old-so not so new.

I think I must have sewed myself out before her birth & knitted everything I could think of & then, nothing. Not a thing really. Got very slack.

The machine just wasn't calling to me. I've knitted a little. Life took over.

After the jubilation of the arrival of our grand-daughter we were shocked (doesn't even come close) to find she has a rare genetic disorder. You know the heel prick test all new borns get, that no one ever hears anything about? That one. Its called PKU and there is lots on the web about it. Missy was only the second baby born this year with it in New South Wales.
Life has settled down somewhat. Blood tests & changes in her formula (which smells shocking & she has for life) & breast feeding amounts. Her parents seem to be coping well with it all (not that you get a choice)-might be easier when solids are introduced. Fruit & vegetables is basically what she'll eat.Guess I'll be learning to cook all over again. I wonder if gluten free (me) & PKU can be blended (wouldn't be much choice there). The specialist unit at Westmead Children's Hopsital have been wonderful.

Missy is now smiling, laughing & 'talking' & today she rolled over, twice, just to show her parents it wasn't a fluke the first time! What a delight they are at this age & even better as a grandparent that you get to give them back when they start to cry too much. It's wonderful having them live so close as well-we don't miss any of the action this way.

Today I made Missy some new shoes-the ones I made her before she was born, she has grown out of, she may be small but she has big feet! (they are on another blog post further back). These ones were from and are so cute and girly. I made a size 3-6 months but aren't too sure that these will actually fit her. No matter I have another expected girl who they can go to.

On the knitting front I've made my Grandson some socks (special request as he had grown out of the last ones I knitted him) and have moved onto scarves and shawls-these have been sent to my DIL. I've found something else she likes and I'm only too happy to oblige! (it seems I have misplaced the pics on both my computers...hmmmm) Done some dishcloths & more baby tops for Missy-the needles are really empty these days.

A new position at work has also had me busy. These days its all day in the office, although I do escape sometimes to do the odd call or 2. A new challenge, in more ways than one!
Happy crafting

Simple Changemat

I have been missing for months.

Not that I haven been idle all this time, life just got in the way.

As promised here are the instructions on making a very simple change mat for baby. These make excellent gifts & I'm always being asked to provide one in a baby bundle or asked, how do I make them.

So here goes.

This is a SIMPLE change mat, designed to be folded up fairly small & taken in a handbag or baby bag, to be to be washed frequently & user friendly, it's not all singing all dancing. Also makes an excellent play mat when older and you need somewhere to sit bubs.

You could add all sorts of variations to this basic idea. Machine embroidery, applique to the outside, piping, PUL or vinyl (I don't find this practical cause if baby pees, or worse, while changing, it runs off- more than likely onto something you were trying to protect in the first place), also bubs sticks to vinyl- that's just me.

I am presuming that you do know how to sew a basic seam & have a little bit of sewing knowledge & you at least own the basics -sewing machine, scissors, thread etc.
You will need all these things.

Let's get to it.

Outer fabric.You'll need about a yard in length of 45" fabric or a metre of 115cm (even though I'm Australian & work in metric I'm not converting all the measurements, you'll get a bit of both more than likely- convert, its not all that hard.)

Cut the fabric in half length ways (down the middle on the fold)- you'll have enough for 2 change mats or matching bibs/ burp cloths or something else with the other half.

I use quilting cotton as there is such a huge choice & it launders well. You could use lightweight furnishing/ dress fabrics as long as they wash well.
Pellon- the iron on one- its not thick- you don't want thick if you want it to fold up small. By all means if you want lots of padding, go right ahead, just remember the thicker it is, the bulkier it is when folded up.

You need a piece as large as the outer fabric 22x 36" or 56 x 100cm, if you bought a metre of fabric.

Lining- I use interlock stretch cotton-its soft, very washable & adds little bulk- also comes in lots of colours, if you want a colour, and it is 'all season friendly'. Same size as the pellon. Flannel would work too-will make the mat a little thicker when folded up.

Velcro about 2"

All the usual stuff to sew.

Putting it all Together.

Iron the pellon to the WRONG side of the outer fabric (the quilting fabric).Press well, so it sticks.

Lay this piece of fabric so the pellon is underneath & the right side of the outer fabric is uppermost. Pin the RIGHT sides of the lining & quilt fabric together. You have a rectangle with the wrong side of the lining & the pellon on the outside & the 2 right sides together.

With me? You haven't sewn anything yet, so if its wrong you can easily fix it. Trim any excess fabric so all edges are even (I tend to cut my lining a little larger so it's easier to match up- I'm lazy when it comes to sewing!)


You are now going to cut 2 pieces of fabric out of one end of the rectangle- this makes the head piece which is also the flap that folds over when its all folded up and not in use.
Every time I make one of these I cut out slightly different sizes so mine are all truly OOAK (ha!). As long as the flap width is no less than 8"/ 20cm it'll be fine.

Fold to find and mark the centre with a pin on one of the shorter ends. That means you fold long sides together-measure out about 4.5"/12cm either side of the centre pin. That will give you a total length of 9"/24cm. Measure down about 6"/15cm on the long (side edge). I use chalk to make my markings then cut this section out. Check it looks right before you cut it out. Pin the new raw edges together.

Sew all the way around, using the edge of the presser foot as a guide to where to sew (about 0.5cm or a little more than a .25"(that's not an accurate conversion-just do a seam that isn't too wide ).

Leave a gap to turn it through -4" will be plenty-10cm-the lining is stretchy so its easy to turn. It doesn't matter where you leave the gap. To make nice corner stitch up to within a stitch or 2 or where you would pivot- do 2 stitches across the corner at an angle, then pivot & go down the other side.

Clip off the corners-don't cut the stitching. Make a snip in the seam allowance fabric on the flap inner corners, so it will turn through nicely.

Turn it right sides out. Press. Push those corners out. Tuck in the fabric where you left the opening. Pin it closed.

Top stitch all the way around close to the edge & then again the presser foot width apart (or where ever you want)

Fold the flap in half so you can place the soft part of the velcro centrally on the very top edge & stitch it on.Goes on the lining side.

Fold the mat up as per pictures & pin the grippy part of the velcro to the outside where they will meet up.Stitch in place.

Fold Up
Fold one long side in so that long edge is even with the flap width.
Repeat for other side.
Take hold of lower edge and fold in half. lower edge even with the top edge of the body of change mat.

Fold in half again.

Fold flap over and velcro in place. easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Admire your handy work.You can make these to sell, give away or whatever. You may not sell these instructions (who would want to) as your own or claim them as your own (again, who would want to!)

Go forth & multiply!

Happy Crafting