Sewing for New Babes

My kids are well beyond the baby phase (3, 6, and 8) and I know very solidly that we will not be having anymore babies. It is a good place to be in my life right now. BUT, that doesn’t stop me from loving pregnant mamas and babes to be. And one way I can do that is by sewing baby quilts.

One of my friends from high school moved just minutes from me in the last year (from California where we grew up to Washington) and was expecting a baby. Before he was born, I created a quilt design (the b is for his name) and sewed it up and delivered it to her. Now that the baby is born, I need to get in gear and deliver a dinner (if you have a favorite post-baby dinner to give, please share!).

I started with this design (this is done in Inkscape. I recently upgraded computers and am trying some new programs out before I purchase Adobe Illustrator).

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It ended up a bit differently once made up in soft Kona cottons, but I love it. I finished the back with mens cotton shirting fabric. In the computer transfer, I somehow lost the finished outside photos of this blanket, so you get the cruddy “I just finished sewing this so I’m going to take photos of it on the carpet in the sewing room” photos. (Photos were all modified using GIMP).

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And one showing the back of the quilt…

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I personally love the simplicity of the quilt and the use of minimal colors. I can just see it in a myriad of other colors/appliques, etc..

Easy Canvas Silhouettes

So, I have a confession. I’m not much of a home decorator. In fact, my husband has better ideas than I do most of the time.

Until now.

We had this blank wall in our living room right above our couch that was just begging for something. Something big and something bold. But my husband and I couldn’t agree on anything. I wanted bright and colorful art. No. He wanted photos but we already have peppered the house with photos.

After finding an old paper silhouette that had been done at Disneyland of myself, I knew what I wanted to do.

Silhouette Canvases Photo

The first step in creating something like this is to figure out what your subject will. I chose my kids, but in all honestly, it could have been a dog or a cat or a butterfly, or a hot dog.

Get a photo of your subject’s profile. Or, like we did way back when in kindergarten, use a projector to project their shadow on a wall and trace it on a piece of paper. Anyways, with the photo, blow it up to the size that you want to do your silhouette and adjust the contrast so it easy to decipher the silhouette’s outlines.

Get a canvas. You can either buy one or make on yourself. We made them ourselves and they sat around in my sewing room for months. So long, in fact, that one of my kids (the boy), decided to make art on them. Which made for an extra step of painting the canvases so they would be white. Again.

Layer your photo on top of a piece of transfer paper on top of your canvas. Using a pen, trace around your silhouette.

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Now, using a black (or whatever color your choose) acrylic paint and a small paintbrush, paint in your silhouette.

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Finish painting in your silhouette trying to keep the outside line as smooth as possible.

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Repeat as needed.

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Hang on the wall and admire your work. It really is an easy project that can be completed in an afternoon.