Since we do not yet have children, Corey and I really enjoy visiting and playing with children of friends. Our typical "go-to" source for baby and toddler gifts is a company called Plan Toys. These toys are manufactured using environmentally friendly processes, they are simple and beautiful wooden toys, many are award winning and educational and they're just plain fun! My favourite trick is purchasing them from Amazon so that I can also read the reviews. One of our favourite toys is the Dancing Alligator. It's the funniest looking toy but it somehow always manages to be a hit!
The children of our closest friends are obviously extra special to us. Our "niece" just turned one and we wanted to give something a little more personal from their Aunty Taywor and Unca Coewey. We decided that a handmade baby/toddler quilt would be perfect for her!
I should preface this by noting that neither of us can sew very well (Corey's probably better than I am) but it's the thought that counts, right? We hope so!
We began by purchasing the fabric. Corey helped because he didn't want it to look "too pink" so we settled on a pretty eyelet floral fabric with batting pre-quilted between layers on one side and a vivid turquoise with white polka dot cotton fabric for the other side. We were careful to check washing instructions for both fabrics because we didn't want to give a high maintenance gift.
We washed the fabric before beginning in case there was some shrinkage. We then laid them out to determine the size of our blanket. We knew we would be sewing the blanket inside-out so we placed the pieces one on top of the other with the "good" sides (sides we wanted visible) facing the middle.
We then drew our outline and pinned the fabric in place.
We discovered early on that our sewing machine didn't work. It wasn't a huge surprise since neither of us had used it in the past three years. I ended up sewing the blanket by hand while we watched The Hobbit.
I wanted to embroider initials and a heart on the blanket. Before we had finished sewing the outside, I flipped it back so that the good side was visible and wrote the initials and heart outline in pen. We had printed templates but I thought the handwriting would make for a nice handmade touch. I then embroidered over my pen marks.
When I had sewn almost the entire perimeter (leaving just enough open to flip the blanket inside out... or actually right side out, but you get the picture.) I trimmed the excess fabric from outside the seam.
I cut a V-shape into each corner so that there would not be extra fabric once the quilt was turned inside out.
I then flipped the blanket and finished the last part of the seam as neatly as I could manage. It wasn't very neat but it's a handmade blanket and I doubt anyone will mind much.
The finished product looked very sweet.
And no personal gift would be complete without some lovely wrapping. We use plain white paper for most gifts and embellish it with some pretty stamps to suit the occasion!
What do you think?