DIY Toy Hammock

My son is collecting way too many toys, but I have a hard time getting rid of any. I have to start finding ways to organize them better so that they fit in our house! I have a feeling that we will have to turn one of our rooms into a playroom soon.

My inspiration came from The Junk Nest, check out her toy hammock here.

Rope (aka “Clothesline” from the Dollar Tree)

1. Hem the two long edges.

2. Hem the two shorter edges with enough space to fit the rope inside the hem.

3. Slide the rope through each side.

4. Tie rope to crib, bed or wall.

Super complicated, right? If you need help, refer to the drawing below on my super cool legal pad from NAU. (My souvenir from visiting my sister!) Also please pretend that I wasn’t drawing it while someone was tugging on my arm and throwing books at me. It is a pretty good drawing for suffering through all that though!

See Also:
The Nursery (that has never been completely finished)
Bathroom Organization
Closet Door Writing

My First Quilt- a T-Shirt Quilt

I finally finished my first quilt! I used my husband’s t-shirts to make a quilt for my little boy to have while he’s gone. It made it easier for my husband to go through and get rid of some of his old t-shirts.

Each of the squares are 15×15. For a baby it’s huge, but he will grow into it. I used sheer fusible backing for the t-shirts and there is no batting because it’s hot here and I want the baby to be able to use it all the time. With the fusible backing on the t-shirts and the actual backing it is still plenty thick. I used painter’s tape to make my sideways lines while quilting it, and each line is A Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book apart. (You know you love my measuring methods!) I used a nice gray for the quilting after finding out that micro-filament is difficult to use.

Baby Playmat

This is going to be an unusual post. I am just going to tell you not to do this project, and I will tell you what was so terrible about it, so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Hopefully it will give you ideas to do something like this but a billion times easier!

I found a playmat at a yardsale and got it for fifty cents. I didn’t realize until I got it home that the bottom was torn up pretty badly and was not worth fixing. Being the crafty gal I am, I decided to make a new bottom for it.

I knew I wanted the bottom nice and cushy like a blanket, but I noticed that even crib sized batting was expensive so I decided a puff pillow would be neat and I had a pillow of fluff that could fill it for a tiny bit of the price.

This was at the time my sewing machine was broken, so most of the squares were hand sewn together and then whip stitched closed. I did get to use the machine for some of the squares, but when the squares are finished they all have to be whip stitched together. And that was the nightmare. I started this when I was pregnant, and did alot of the work when I was on bedrest, but it still wasn’t finished until the baby was almost too big for it! It was very time consuming and very frustrating. Not to mention that I dreaded doing it, so a week at a time it would just sit until I would pick it up again the next week.

I also recovered the poles that went over the top. Those were fun and easy to sew, I just copied the originals. By this time my sewing machine was working, I wouldn’t do these by hand, they get pulled on and eaten too much!

If I were to do it again I would do a few things differently. 1. Buy one already made, new at a store. 2. Find a Joann’s coupon and just buy the batting. 3. Make it with an existing quilt. 4. Sew thick straps to go corner to corner and put blankets I already had over the straps.

Number four is my favorite idea, I wish I had done that! Well now you see a cute project that took FOR-EV-ER and know what not to do. Thanks for reading!

Cloth Height Charts

I was stuck in a recliner for awhile on bed rest, and I wanted to make a height chart for my baby boy that I was waiting for. I had been taking up a little bit of hand embroidery, and I thought that a cloth one would be perfect, and I could work on it right then.

This is the first one that I did. Click on the picture so you can zoom in to see it better. I was allowed to do stuff while sitting. So I cut the fabric, while sitting. I then ironed the edges under, while sitting. I cut fabric for the tree, while sitting.

I then stitched on the tree trunk and treetop, while sitting, what else? My sister helped with those, while sitting next to me. Those and the clouds are all done with a very simple running stitch. We also added a bird, he was stitched with a running stitch but then I used some back stitching for his legs, a french knot for an eye, and the satin stitch for the beak.

For the lines and numbers going up the side, I put the cloth in an embroidery hoop to make it easier. I measured and marked the lines with a tape measure and stitched them with a split stitch.

For his name I wanted it to be bigger and more special, so I used a bold chain stitch.

I didn’t worry about finishing off the edges because most of them were stitched over at some point. For the top and bottom I basically hemmed them with hot glue and slid the dowels in. The top just has yarn tied to it.

I showed off my masterpiece at work, and my boss wanted one for his little girl. I told him he was crazy because it took me about 6 hours to make this one. He offered to pay me for one hourly so I made this next one.

I did this one a little bit differently. I knew I didn’t want to stitch all of the lines, that was the most time consuming, so I bought a fabric paint pen.

With using a fabric pen, my edges wouldn’t be finished as well, so I ran them through the sewing machine first.

The design is also majorly different, I had fun cutting out the pieces and arranging them. I pinned them all down and started on the bottom pieces first and continued to the top layer of pieces until everything was sewn on. Sometimes I had to move stuff around to get to the pieces underneath. With this one, I used too many little pieces and that was really time consuming.

I did a tiny bit of embroidery on the ladybugs, using a french knot for the spots and antennae ends. I made a long stitch to separate the wings and for the length of the antennae.

Once everything was sewn on I used the fabric pen to make the lines and numbers. This one was shorter because the girl it was for was a lot taller to begin with than my unborn child so I made it to start at 18 inches. She also had a less of a chance of reaching six feet, so it is a few inches shorter there too.

On this one I sewed the hems for the dowels, because if they were to fall apart in years to come I didn’t want to fix them.

I still did the embroidered name, using the chain stitch as before.

With the two different versions that I learned from, my next one will be even simpler by using a simple design like the tree and by using the paint pen. Thanks for reading!

The Wild Olive is a good place to learn the basic embroidery stitches if you want to make a fancy one of your own. Thanks for reading!


The (Mostly) Finished Nursery

With the first baby on the way, we have been working for months on decorating and setting up the nursery. It was so fun to plan for this mural by drawing on the walls. It was only with pencil, of course!

All of the accents painted on, the clouds, sun, and tree are all painted with acrylic paints, I found that the Joann’s Craft Smart brand worked the best. My husband did most of the painting, I only did the clouds and tree trunk. He also stenciled the sun and tree.

The curtains I made, the valance was actually hand-sewn with embroidery thread while my sewing machine was broken and I was couch-bound on bed rest. I appreciate my sewing machine a billion times more now!

My favorite part of the room is the shelf with the cloud, I wanted the shelf to match somehow, and figured that making it a part of a cloud should work.

The height chart is another product of bed rest, with the exception of the cloth sewn on, it is all hand embroidered. It took forever, but I learned some neat stitching techniques for it. I’ll be posting more on all of my embroidery projects later.

There’s still a few more things that I would like to do, who knows if they will ever get done, but I have a few things on my wish list. One thing is to paint clouds on the ceiling. (Not an option for me and my big belly, I’d fall!) I would also like to paint glow in the dark stars on those clouds so that they were only visible at night. I would like all the main fabrics in the room to match a little better, so a new bumper and bed skirt that match the curtain and height chart are on the to-do list eventually too.