Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mama Bear's Family Tag

The Wednesday Challenge, for this week, at Simon Says Stamp is tags!  They are also featuring Ranger products, because we all know Ranger and tags go hand in hand!

My tag features only a few of the great products and manufacturers that you can find at Simon Says Stamp!

The tag base is from Ranger and I blended both Distress Inks and various Tattered Angels shimmer sprays to create the background and the hill.

I used this awesome Big Bang Scenery set from Winnie and Walter along with some Versamark and Hero Arts Silver Embossing Powder to create a starry background.  The moon is a heart from the Simon Says Stamp Set Tons of Hearts!

The adorable bear family is from two Mama Elephant's stamp sets Bear Hugs and Cub Cuddles.
I stamped the bears with Antique Linen Distress Ink onto Ranger Watercolor Paper and used my Distress Inks , Ranger Artist Brushes and Distress Markers to paint them.  I then fussy cut them using my Fiskars Spring-Assist Micro Tip Scissors.  The sentiment is also from Cub Cuddles and was embossed with the same Silver Embossing Powder.

The ribbon was an older SEI one from my stash ;)

I plan to hang this in a shadow box on our family's gallery wall in the living room.  Our kiddos are growing up so fast and this sentiment really sums up exactly how I feel.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I love to read your comments so feel free to leave one below!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fashionable Foxes Weighted Blanket

Sharing a sewing post today; it has been a bit since I could get much sewing done. My Littlest is now older and I can do a bit more while she plays, with the pin cushions, because of course the dangerous things are her favorite *insert head shake*.

Speaking of my Littlest she is BUSY, like all the time BUSY and has trouble falling asleep.  I had read about weighted blankets several years ago and thought about making one for my Oldest but I never did get around to it.  Fast forward a few years and I am talking with my friend about Littlest's sleep troubles and she mentions that her nephew has a weighted blanket that he loves... hello light bulb moment! I immediately was on Pinterest and Google searching DIY Weighted Blankets and holy smokes there are tons of awesome tutorials out there!  I am going to link a few below in case you are interested in making one too!

I let Littlest dig through my fabric stash and she picked out these adorable fox fabrics from Joanns for her blanket. I pieced the flannel side in stripes so that it would be easier to make my grid pattern for the weight pockets.  I combined quilting techniques and simple sewing in this blanket and I learned a TON while creating this blanket!

Helpful DIY Weighted Blanket Links:
Craft Nectar Weighted Blanket Tutorial
MamaSmiles Weighted Blanket Tutorial
Weighted Blanket Size & Weight Chart from Mosaic Weighted Blankets

What I did differently than the tutorials:

- When creating the pockets for the weights I sewed 1/4 of an inch from each side of the vertical grid lines I had drawn.  My thinking behind this was that it was one more seam to reinforce the fabrics and strength of this blanket, it was another line of defense in case one seam ripped out and the weights started to scatter through the blanket, and it created smaller weight pockets so they were more compact and stayed 'flatter' instead of all being on one side of the pocket. (You can see this in the largest photo above)

- I also made half pockets on the sides of the blanket so that the edges were easier for little hands to grasp and pull up for covering herself. I also left several inches before the pockets began on the top and bottom of the blanket for this purpose and so that she had a bit to snuggle up under her chin that wasn't weighted.

- I bound the edges of the vertical sides, I did this primarily because I am not a huge fan of a turned under seam, I don't think it looks as finished.  I did do only a turn over seam on the top and bottom, as I thought this would reduce bulk and discomfort when she pulls it up under her chin.

What I would do differently on the next blanket:

- I would sew the center grid completely, similar to a quilt and then bind the edges just like on a quilt.

- I may try and make one with a duvet, so that just the cover could be removed and washed, my washer was not a big fan of the weight!

Tools & Tips that really helped in creating this blanket:

- A walking foot!  This made it so much easier to get the layers of fabric through the machine.

- Adjustable sewing foot pressure was also super handy!

- When you go to wash the finished blanket add towel to the washer to help even out the weight, I put mine in a washing bag so that they would all stay on the side opposite the blanket (I have a top loading machine)

- Crayola Ultra Washable Markers - these are my preferred marking pens, they come right out in the wash and make a dark line that I can easily see when sewing.

- Soft-n-Comfy fabric has a direction, sewing in the way the fibers lay makes it much easier to get through the machine and keeps puckering to a minimum, I only remembered this halfway through the blanket!

- When you are filling the first few rows of pockets a long cardboard tube of PVC pipe helps in getting the weights down to the bottom!

- If you make a paper funnel for the beads make sure to keep it out of reach of your cat... otherwise they may get their head stuck in it and cause you to lose half an hour laughing at their antics!

Final result:  Naptime and Bedtime were both MUCH easier and she fell asleep in record time with her "special to me" blanket!

If you have any questions please feel free to let me know in the comments, I would love to help in any way that I can!

***If you want a weighted blanket but don't want to make your own I highly recommend my friend Melissa's site Sew Important, she creates beautiful weighted blankets tailored to her customer's tastes!***