Sunday, October 26, 2008

Penny Pinching Patchwork Post - Burp Cloths

I understand very well the current need for all of us to become more thrifty in our quilting endeavors in this financially difficult time. I have decided to start writing occasional posts with thriftiness in mind and do my part. I am going to call them Penny-Pinching Patchwork Posts. This past week as I was staring at my meager flannel stash (don't use much flannel down here in sunny Florida), and loving the softness of the fabric, I came up with a project that turned out a wonderful and functional gift, used up some flannel stash, and used a great deal of the cotton batting scraps that I save for projects such as this one. The project? Burp Cloths!
All of us, after having sandwiched and quilted our quilts, trim off the minimum of three extra inches of batting from all the way around the quilt. What do you do with those long strips of batting? I save mine! Those pieces can be made into a larger piece very easily and they then can work wonderfully for projects such as burp cloths, tote bags, pot holders, etc. You just straighten up and trim one long edge on each piece with a rotary cutter and then butt the two edges together (do not overlap them) and zig zag the pieces together. Keep (frugally) trimming and adding pieces until you have the desired size. Normally I use natural colored or white cotton thread, but for the purpose of illustration, I used purple cotton thread. I made eight burp cloths for my soon to be born granddaughter, Olivia, using nothing but scrap flannel and cotton batting. Next time you have a baby shower or a new loved one about to be born, whip up these ever so soft and necessary gifts!
After I pieced five "all one cloth" burp cloths (they measure about 10 x 2o inches finished) I found I still had some scraps of the fabric left over. None of the pieces were large enough to make one burp cloth, so I pieced four small pieces together four times (four pieces to a side) to get two more burp cloths!
Below you see the entire set, minus the Christmas one I made after I took the photos. Olivia is due December 9th, so when I found a piece of Christmas flannel, I knew immediately what I was going to do with it. Every Christmas baby should have a special burp cloth for that day.
Below you can see some of the fun edge stitching I did on each burp cloth. Prior to cutting the flannel, I washed and dried it to get the shrinking out of the way. Then I ironed each piece of flannel, cut out the shape I wanted from the flannel and batting, and layered with flannel right sides together and batting on top of that. I then sewed the seams leaving a small opening to turn it right side out. Once turned right side out, I ironed it nicely and then topped stitched it with a straight stitch. Inside of that top stitch row I sewed a fancy row of stitching. I found that this keeps the cloth nice after washing and drying it - it keeps the cloths from getting all wonky. Then as a final step I sew one straight row of stitches from side to side across the middle where the cloth would lay across your shoulder. It is a wonderful gift for a new parent!
To finish off my Penny Pinching Patchwork Post, I am including one of my favorite quotes regarding thriftiness:

Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character. ~Calvin Coolidge

1 comment:

Greenmare said...

oh those are too cool! I have to tell you Flori girl, they sorta look like huge panti liners.......... remember the website for the re-usable ones? pretty thrifty......... ;-) Seriously, great idea, and if you think she needs more, come on up here to snow country and dig through my flannel stash! I have LOADS!