Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Be Inspired Features and Link Party #114

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back for features and party day!
Elizabeth and Co.

Lots of great features this week, so let's get right to it ...

This antique sideboard from Mary at Orphans With MakeUp is simply stunning!

This beautiful buffet from Suzanne at The Painted Drawer is all set for Easter!

Reeves from The Weathered Door always has beautiful furniture to share and has a knack for accenting it with the most wonderful hardware! Are you in the mood for orange ...

or blue?

And the best way to accessorize a new potting bench? Linda from Coastal Charm used vintage garden tools - so cute!

I am so loving all things green and botanical right now, so these ferns in apothecary jars from Beaux R'eves totally make me smile!

Patti from Old Things New gave an old wicker basket a fresh spring look with a little moss. Simple and so clever!

And this house tour from Caught in Grace appeared on A Woman's Haven. It feels young and fresh with a wonderful mix of vintage and modern. I love every single room!

Thanks so much to everyone who linked up and linked back!
If you've been featured, feel free to grab a cute little button from the sidebar!

Elizabeth and Co.

Now on to this week's party...
*Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds, etc... We want to see whatever is inspiring you at the moment! 
*It would be awesome if you grabbed a party button or linked back in some way.

*And we'd love to have you follow along with us!
We'll be back next Tuesday with features and a brand new party!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Flannel Baby Rag Quilt

It's hard to believe, but this is my 500th blog post!
So I thought I'd share a special little project for someone small and sweet!

Long before sweet baby Clare arrived, I got the idea in my head that one day I would make each grandchild a quilt to welcome them into the world - a gift made by hand, with lots of love. I imagined something soft and cuddly to put on the floor for playtime when they were a baby and to curl up with at naptime as they got older. I wasn't thinking family heirloom. A blanket that gets dragged around and loved until it falls to shreds was more what I had in mind. I decided that a cozy flannel rag quilt would be perfect!

At one of our very first link parties over two years ago (party #10), I featured this rag quilt from Northern Cottage. This image has always stuck in the back of my mind as an inspiration of what I wanted to create one day. I had seen rag quilts made from squares, but I especially loved the stripes on this one. *Northern Cottage now has a lovely little Etsy shop with cozy rag quilts and sweet fabric garlands!
Now here's how I made my flannel baby rag quilt ... The choices at my local fabric store seemed a little too juvenile, but I found a wonderful selection of flannel at Fabric.com. They also have a really nifty feature called the design wall, where you can see your fabric selections side by side. I chose a mix of pink, yellow and coral, very much like the color scheme of Megan's vintage inspired garden baby shower. And the wall behind the crib in the nursery has a big world map, so it's a colorful and lively space!

I ordered 1/2 yard of 8 coordinating flannel prints and 2 yards of solid white flannel for the center layer.
I ended up with a little extra of this fabric, which was a nice bonus.

I already had a rotary cutter, a cutting mat and a quilter's rule. These are not a necessity, but they sure made cutting the strips a whole lot easier! Each quilt strip is made of three layers, a matching top and bottom with a layer of white flannel in the middle.

The width of my strips varied from 3" to 6" wide and I made two strips of each pattern. No need to measure the length of your strips, just use entire width of your fabric. You'll even everything up later. The hardest part was doing the math so that I didn't waste any fabric. I used seven of the patterns for the body of the quilt and put one aside for the binding.

After I had all my little fabric sandwiches made, I just stitched a straight line down the center of each one. This hold the layers together and helps create the quilted look.

 I ended up using the bonus fabric, so there are four strips of that pattern. I wanted a generous quilt that wouldn't be outgrown too quickly. The completed size of my quilt is 41" by 47".

Then the fun part was laying all the pieces out in a pleasing pattern.

Next, I sewed all the pieces together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Notice how all the seams are facing up. This will be the ruffled side of the quilt.

Now is the time to even up all the edges.

At this point, you can simply sew a seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around the quilt and create a ruffled outside edge.

But I've done some small quilting projects and just liked the look of a nice bound edge. Plus I found a cute little polka dot fabric and decided it would make the perfect binding. And really, it's a snap to do. Again you are dealing with simple strips of fabric.  You need one long continuous strip to go all the way around your quilt. Just pin the strips together at right angles ...

stitch ...

cut ...

and you end up with a nice long strip that becomes your binding.

I don't have any photos of how to attach the binding and there's a reason for that ..... I started this quilt the day after our holiday sale in November. I couldn't wait to get started. I knew it wouldn't take long and our little one wasn't expected for another few weeks. Well, I was sitting at the dining room table one evening working on the binding when the phone rang and we learned that sweet baby Clare was about to make her arrival three weeks early!  Let's just say that there were a few anxious hours that went well into the wee hours of the morning and thoughts of taking pictures went right out of my head.  A calm husband, encouraging friends and working on this quilt was exactly what I needed at that moment! ... And if you want to try your hand at binding a quilt, there are lots of great tutorials and videos out there, so don't be afraid to give it a try!

The next morning, I met this little bundle of love for the very first time! At just over 5 pounds, she really was tiny! And let me just tell you, it was love at first sight!!!
When we got home from the hospital, it was right back to my quilt and time to make lots and lots of little snips in all the seams to create the pretty ruffles. Just be careful not to cut through the seams!

The final step was to wash and dry the quilt a few times. All the loose little strings came out, little ruffles began to form and the quilt just got softer and softer!

It's so cozy and cuddly ...

and turned out even better than I imagined!

The smooth side of the quilt is pretty too!

This is a project that even a beginner can tackle. If you can handle a scissors and sew a straight line, I promise that you can make a rag quilt too!

Our little baby Clare is a few months old now and loves playtime on her quilt! She is the sweetest, happiest baby, so full of smiles and giggles. She just totally melts my heart!!!


And I just love that I was making her quilt as she was coming into the world!

I hope there will be a few more quilts in my future one day!

I'm sharing with ...