When Scarlett was born I made Audrey a Waldorf doll to give her when she came to visit us at the hospital for the first time. I loved the idea of giving her something special to mark the occasion, and thought perhaps with a cuddly doll she could mimic mommy and the new baby. I love how the doll turned out and Audrey played with her at the hospital, changing her outfits a few times, but then didn't really take to the doll thing... She's really a stuffed animal girl, not a doll girl. I like to think at some point she'll appreciate the handmade doll from mom however.
So you would think I would be busy making Scarlett her own Waldorf doll to receive when she comes to meet this new baby sister, but I just didn't get started early enough. She would probably enjoy it more than her older sister did and I love the idea of a handmade doll for each of my girls, so maybe for Christmas.
But I still wanted to have some handmade gifts to give the girls at the hospital. One of those crazy nesting mom things I guess as balloons and bubblegum would probably do just fine. I bought fabric and thought I would make Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blankets for each of them, but time was so short and I have been juggling several nesting projects at once so I put off those more time consuming projects and last week came up with what I thought was the perfect solution: Minky and Satin Luxe blankets! Relatively quick and incredibly soft and cuddly. I imagine them cozying up to these gifts immediately and wearing them out with use, which will be just fine. I'll do the cut chenille blankets for another time...
So here they are, in paisley and zebra print. Not surprisingly for me, I went to the fabric store last week with thirty minutes to find the perfect fabrics for the two blankets. Though they had an impressive selection of minky it was more difficult than I thought. I wanted at least one side to be in a fun print rather than a solid but didn't see the perfect thing. I think this combo is fun, though it is trendier than what I would usually pick. Looks kind of out of place next to my other projects, but Audrey likes her animal prints (goes along with the stuffed animal thing I think). There was really no competition for the pink paisley and zebra duo so I went with the green version for the second blanket. I'm not sure which of the girls will get which blanket--maybe I'll have Audrey pick first as she's more likely to have a preference, or at least more likely to be able to clearly vocalize it!
The minky paisley print fabric in chocolate and mint, is from Shannon Fabrics. Shannon Fabrics also manufactures the coordinating Silky Satin zebra print satin. Is it just pregnant me or does this fabric induce hunger? It reminds me of my friend, Sue's, amazing chocolate mint brownies. If I stare at it too long I may have to call her and make a request!
Here are links to the pink paisley fabric in chocolate and pink, and coordinating zebra print satin.
I used this tutorial from Less Cake More Frosting to sew the blanket. I was so happy to find some instructions for this wrap around border that made sense to me. The satin was a bit of a nightmare to work with however (the tutorial uses cotton fabrics)--it took forever just to cut a square piece. Not sure I did. I decided rather than ironing all my seams I would leave them and go for a softer, shabby look, which would also hopefully camouflage my off-square imperfections in the construction! I also opted for a straight zig-zag stitch to finish, rather than something more decorative, since there is already so much pattern.
One other confession: I goofed and cut the pink minky square smaller than I intended. I wanted to make the blankets as large as possible with the 1.25 yards I purchased of each fabric, so I cut the first (green) blanket with a 45 inch square satin piece and a 37 in square minky piece, planning for a smaller satin border than the tutorial. I had the same thing in mind for the pink version but after cutting the satin I accidentally cut the minky at 33 inches. It was late at night and it felt a bit like a disaster. Thank goodness my husband said, "why does it matter?" He's usually that deadpan realistic. And I thought after a minute, "why does it matter?" I ended up with a blanket that is the same size but has a wider satin border. Turns out I like both versions just fine.
These gifts are surprises so I had Pooh act as surrogate for the photos and now the blankets are both wrapped and packed in the hospital bag. A friend said, "isn't a new baby sister gift enough?" and she is right, but I hope my girls think these are fun too.