After finishing up a quilt that is meant to be Christmas gifted to someone, I have been gravitating toward smaller sewing projects that can be finished in a few days or even an evening – quilted bags, boxy pouches, Noodlehead’s Envelope Clutch, and am currently loving Noodlehead’s Divided Basket pattern. It’s so versatile and can be a great gift for just about anyone with variations to the fabric choices. I made one a few days ago using fusible fleece on the exterior pieces and lightweight interfacing on the interior pieces. Cutting out the pieces did take forever (it seemed) but the basket actually sewed together in a about 2-3 hours. (I am slow compared to other sewers) The only tricky parts for me were sewing together the divider to the lining pieces and folding the interior and exterior pieces in toward each other at the end and top stitching. Top stitching is definitely not my strong point – I always dislike the way my stitching looks – wonky and uneven.
Late last week I cut out pieces for a second basket, but this time used interfacing on both the interior and exterior pieces so I did not have to cut out both fabric and interfacing separately. Instead I ironed on the interfacing, and then cut out the pattern pieces to save some work. Version number two turned out better in most areas, except for my topstitching around the handles. There’s a tiny bit of puckering, but I’m really trying to let that go.
Around this time last year I had ordered a large amount of Cynthia Rowley for Michael Miller fabric during a Fabric.com clearance sale and have been slowly using it up. It’s pretty gender neutral and has a palette of aqua, navy blue, red, pastel blue, pink, and peach. The striped fabric is so amazing for binding/handles/accents.
With the leftover scraps, I made three burp cloths from Diary of a Quilter’s tutorial – which really is the easiest one I’ve seen online. She used a cereal box template, and I don’t ever buy cereal so I measured an approximate area to be covered with the fabric and added an inch to the width and height to allow for pressing a half an inch under on all sides. Next time I will make a template since I do have 7 cloth diapers left in the pack and plan to buy more for future baby gifts. For whatever reason it took me several trips to Target/Walmart to be able to locate the Gerber cloth diapers Amy uses. I kept looking in the diaper section, but no luck. Then I went to Target’s website and it said they were in “Aisle 6” of my local store, so the next time I was there I checked. Technically they were in aisle 7 and were on the bottom shelf displayed in a way that was very easy to miss. That explains a lot.
I have never bought cloth diapers before, but the material is so multi-purpose – they would make great dust rags and even replacement paper towels since they’re so absorbent and lint free. The burp cloths were quick – it only took me an hour from cutting the fabric to folding them to put in the basket. What I really like about this project is that if you do have trouble making your topstitching look “professional” – then this is a very forgiving project. You could do a decorative stitch, but I wanted to keep them simple looking.
For someone without children, I sure have been making a lot of children’s items lately!? Made some scrappy bibs with cuddle minky on the backs to give to friends and this new gift basket is a surprise for someone I know who is expecting.