In PoppyHill Baby I decided to FINALLY expand my product range and thought that the BBA’s September challenge would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Brought to us by Nancy of N. Fallon Design Studio, the challenge is to try a new media or technique.
While scrolling through Pinterest one day, I found an awesome tutorial on how to make handmade burp cloths. Now, I’ve been sewing for a long time. In fact, I do make baby quilts. So, you are probably wondering how making a burp cloth would be any different.
Well, there are a couple of aspects that are different. First, I have never worked with terry cloth or chenille before. Plus, I lined the terry cloth backed burp cloths with fleece which added to the thickness. I had to figure out how my little machine would do with these thicker fabrics. It turned out that the machine did really well, which made me very happy! Though I did have some trouble with the very thick corners once I turned the fabric right-side-out.
Second, I used two new stitches that I have never used before, and boy was that a challenge! Both of those stitches need specific (and different) speed settings or they get all tangled up and look terrible. I had a lot of trouble in particular with the zigzag stitching around the edge. It took a lot of time on the first set of burp cloths to figure out that my machine wants to go really, super slow for this particular stitch. Yeah, I could have just chosen another stitch, such as a straight triple stitch, but that would not have been a new technique AND it would have looked like every other Etsy shop who sells handmade burp cloths. It is really important to me that mine stand out and have an extra little something special.
It took several tries on a few of the sets that I created, but eventually I figured it all out. I’m very happy with the end results and I’m very proud of how they have all turned out! This was a really great challenge Nancy!
I am in the process of creating a beautiful quilt for a friend’s baby shower this weekend. I love my quilts, and I’ve made a total of 6 over the last few years (two belong to my kids). I have been told by several people who say I should sell them and now that I have my Etsy shops I can. The problem is that I have this idea in my head that if I’m going to sell something handmade like a quilt then it has to be perfect. This makes for some very high standards. With my quilts, the satin binding on the edges is my Achilles. I feel that my work is less than perfect and so it keeps me from creating more of them.
So, I got this idea to take the current quilt to a seamstress and have her sew on the binding – only the binding. Yeah, I tried to take the easy way out. Only thing is that it totally backfired on me!
I have never seen such sloppy sewing. There were holes in the binding where the satin did not get stitched on to the blanket. The seamstress had put in an additional stitch to make up for I don’t know what, except that the additional stitch was a 1/2 inch from the original stitch. The absolute worst part was that some of the stitches went into the quilt squares creating holes in my flannel! It was absolutely unacceptable.
When I left the shop (I didn’t pay for the work), I was furious. But, I wasn’t furious at the seamstress, I was furious with myself. I knew…I mean I really knew…I could do better than this. How stupid was I to try to take the easy way out?
Thus, I immediately drove over to Hancock Fabrics and picked up a new package of binding (I had no idea if I would be able so salvage the mess that had been created), went home and started tearing apart seams. The results are fabulous! I have never been so proud of my work. The new binding looks beautiful and I even used a decorative stitch that really adds a little extra touch.
What did I learn? I learned that I will NEVER doubt my skills again. You should always have confidence in your work and even if it’s not perfect, it’s the little imperfections that make it human, personal, and extra special.