Monday, August 18, 2014

I Don't Get People....

We've been so busy the last couple of weeks, that we decided to take the weekend off and go camping.  So Friday evening, we jumped into the truck, with our dandy little camper in tow, and went to a nearby place in the Mountains called Yankee Meadows.

Yankee Meadows is a popular spot.  It's lovely to look at, the weather is perfect, and there's a reservoir within a mile.  The US Forest Service has marked several spots where you can camp for free.  So we had our fingers crossed that we would find a spot on a Friday night.

We drove through the left side off the dirt road, and found one camp site that was severely off-level for our camper.  So we went to the right side of the road.  Toward the end of the camping lane, we came up to another truck coming toward us, between two empty camp spots.  The charming young man explained that these seem to be the last two left...  which would be easier for us with our little trailer?  What a wonderful, considerate thing to do!!!  We picked site 13, and they took site 12.

We backed our little trailer into the site.  We waved at a woman in the distance near a red vehicle parked near the creek, and went about the business of leveling and stabilizing the trailer....  blocks under one side, disconnect from the truck, level it front to back, stabilizing jacks, awning out...  you get the idea.  This took us about 25 minutes or so.  Paul got into the truck to move it to the side of the trailer and I started cooking us some dinner.  It was at this point that the red-car-woman shouts, "You can't stay there - you're blocking my driveway!"  I came out of the trailer and just returned Paul's puzzled expression.  The red car was parked behind the campsite next to the one we were in.  Huh???  Then she shouted, "I'm in site 13.  It goes all the way back in here."  WHY THE HELL DIDN'T SHE SAY SOMETHING HALF AN HOUR AGO?

So we undid everything we'd done and went to the seriously unlevel space on the other side of the road.  But really, folks...


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Make a Baby Comforter Tutorial

This tutorial will take you through the process of making a Baby Comforter. 

You will need:
  • two pieces of fabric
  • yarn for tying the comforter
  • a darning needle
  • quilt batting and scissors
  • A measuring device
  • A sewing machine. 
The first thing to do is to pre-wash the fabric using the machine settings you want to use for the finished comforter.  For my comforter, I am using 100% cotton baby flannel for the face (top) and the back.  Polyester/cotton blend fabrics also work just fine, but I want the soft, comfy feel of flannel.  The choice is completely up to you.

Once the materials are washed, the next step is to get them square and the same size. My comforter is going to be 60" x 42".  Your comforter can be any size, but be sure to buy 1 extra foot of material to allow for shrinkage.

Lay each piece of fabric out on a large surface, folded in half lengthwise, with the selvages even.  Measure the fabric, allowing 2 inches for seams, pin it across your cutting line and cut it.

After both pieces of fabric are cut, lay them right sides together and pin all for edges.  One one short edge, leave a space at least 12 inches wide which will not be sewn.  This will be for inserting the batting once the comforter is sewn and turned.  Sew around the edge of the comforter, making 5/8" seams, trim the corners and turn right side out.  

Once the comforter is turned, lay it on top of your batting on a flat surface.  Trim the batting edges even with the sides of the comforter.  One would think that you want to trim it a bit smaller than the comforter, but trimming it even will give you a nice poufiness around the edges when the piece is finished.

Next, roll or fold the batting from the edges into the center.  You are going to insert this through the opening you left in the perimeter, and then unfold/unroll it out flat inside the comforter.  This doesn't have to be perfect - it just needs to fit through the opening to the inside.  You will unroll it with both hands/arms inside the comforter.

Here is a picture with the batting, still rolled, inside the comforter.  I left the end out so you could see what I am talking about.  Unroll the batting gently, as you don't want to tear it.  Once you get the top of the batting lined up inside the comforter, it goes pretty quickly.

With the batting flat inside the comforter, again, pin all the way around the perimeter, including the opening through which you inserted the batting.  Whip stitch that opening closed with tiny stitches.  Using the sewing machine, sew around the edge of the comforter 5/8" from the edge.  This creates that nice poufy border on your comforter.

Before the comforter can be tied, you will need to do some math.  Measure the width and length of the piece.  You can tie a comforter at any interval you like, but it should never be more than 6" apart.  My preference is not more than 5".  I've decided to tie this comforter at 5", with rows 2.5" apart and the ties staggered.  Using a piece of quilter's tape (which is simply narrow masking tape), I've marked every 2.5 inches, using horizontal and vertical alternating lines.  For the first row, I will tie at each vertical mark, for the second at each horizontal mark, etc.  All I need to do is to move the tape to the location of the next row, and tie...  no need to measure the tie placement in every row!

Note the lines of yarn across the face of the comforter now.  Each row is staggered from the row before to add interest.  Plus, by tying it this way, it gives the comforter more integrity to stay in tact wash after wash for years.  All that's left to do is cut the yarn half-way between the stitches and tie all the ends in knots.