The Appliquéd Towel
A favourite gift of mine for small children is personalised appliquéd bath towels. It may not be a common gift but I think that is part of the appeal to me. My mother use to give personalised towels as baptism gifts for her nieces and nephews and one of my most memorable items from my childhood was a pink bath towel that my Nan and Pop gave me. It had a pink hippopotamus appliqué on it with blue square framed glasses. It pretty much disintegrated many years ago as a lot of well loved and used items do. However I still remember it with fondness all these years later.
I recently started making these gifts for the young babies and children in my life. The first one that I ever made was for my friend’s daughter; Miss E’s baby bundle. It was the first time I had ever tried appliqué and I was so excited about how it came out. I used a little gender neutral owl motif to suit the nursery theme Mrs S had set up.
I have made four of them in the last few months. Three of these I appliquéd the child’s initial on them along with a small store bought appliqué patch in coordinating colours; I have yet to work out how to appliqué something that small with my simple little sewing machine and I suspect that I won’t be able to. These towels were for 6 month old twins Mr H and Mr S for their baptism and their older sister Miss T for her 4th birthday.
The forth towel was an appliquéd giraffe which I designed and made to be part of the baby bundle for Mrs S and Mr C’s new little baby. So that the towel looked like part of a bundle with the quilt, I took inspiration for the design of the appliqué from the shape of the giraffes in the quilt fabrics. I used two contrasting fabrics for the giraffe; a yellow with small orange spots for the entire giraffe and then a light brown with the same patterned small medium brown spots for the face and hooves. The yellow and orange fabric was also the same fabric that I used for the binding on the quilt which helped to tie it in.
The Quilted Burp Cloth
I had completed the giraffe appliqued towel and giraffe themed quilt for the Baby bundle and began thinking of another item I could add to the set. As I sat in my living/dining room admiring my efforts with the quilt and towel, I was surrounded, almost drowning in what my husband would call mess but what I call “inspiration”. There were scraps of fabric littered across the dining table come sewing table, left over from the quilt. The scraps of fabric were about that awkward size; where they aren’t large enough to make anything out of them but also too large to bare throwing out, but this could just be due to my hoarding tendencies.
I have inherited a rather quirky trait of hording from my father although my mum and husband don’t think that it is as charming as what the term “quirky trait” implies but rather a massive pain in the backside. Luckily for my husband I have also inherited my mother’s minimalist attitudes, which almost evens things out but not without a lot of internal conflict. I go through hording phases then periodically I get the urge to do a massive purge and throw out anything I don’t use or wear etc however my crafting/sewing supplies is one area of my life that I never purge. Most quilters/sewers/crafters will probably sympathise with me when I say that crafting and sewing supplies are just so expensive and what you have leftover from one project may be perfect for a project that you do further down the road.
So as I sat there looking at all the “inspiration” that I needed to clean up, I thought of things that I could use these awkward size pieces of fabric for. Then inspiration hit me; the real inspiration not the mess, I would really be in need of a deep purge if my mess got up and hit me, I would also have probably run out of the house screaming like a mad woman. The scrap quilting fabrics were all roughly the same size and if I pieced them together I would be able to make a patch worked piece the size of a burp cloth.
I make my burp cloths using the old fashioned terry towelling nappies which are approximately the size of a fat quarter and fat quarters of cute quilting fabric. They are usually just a single piece of patterned fabric on one side and the terry towelling on the other, I get two burp cloths out of 1 fat quarter of each fabric, making them the perfect size to throw over a shoulder.
I gathered all the scrap fabrics together and worked out the pattern that I wanted and then sewed them all together. Once I had all the scraps sewn together I then framed them with leftover binding fabric and then continued my burp cloth process as normal. The result was one of the fanciest burp cloths that I have ever seen and it completed the Baby Bundle perfectly.
The Final Baby Bundle
After 6 months of procrastinating, designing, shopping, cutting, pinning, sewing ironing and all round inspiration making I finally finished a baby bundle worthy of Mrs S and Mr C and their little baby. The final bundle had giraffe themed quilt, appliqued towel and quilted burp cloth. I am so incredibly happy with the final result and Mrs S and Mr C appeared to be too.
The new little owner of this cute little set is the very new and very cute Miss C. Mum and Bub are doing well and everyone couldn’t be more excited about her arrival even little Miss E. Isn’t she cute!