Saturday, August 11, 2012

Busy Week

I’ve had a pretty productive sewing week.  1st up I have a friend in SC who had a heart valve replacement.  She’s a quilter and I didn’t think she needed a quilt but she did need something more than a get well card. I did want to send something quilty.  I decided a mug rug would be perfect.  My favorite part of Mug Rugs is that mine are from my head and heart not a pattern. 


I thought this conveyed my feelings exactly.

Next up was this toddler play blanket.  My friend J told me about this play blanket she saw earlier this summer.  It’s like a picnic blanket for a little one to play on. It has a draw string around it so you can pull the string and end up with a tote for the stuff the child was playing with.   The idea has been bubbling in the back of my head since mid July and this is my version based on her description. 

This is a pretty good size, it's on a king size bed for the picture.

I headed to JoAnns with the intent to buy home dec fabric with a coupon.  Home dec is pretty wide and I didn’t want to have a seam on the playing surface.  This being an experiment I also didn’t want to spend much money.  I don’t have any toddlers in my life and I had no real home intended for this when it was done.

What I found when I got to JoAnns was that they had the NO SEW fleece kits at 50% off , soft , large kid friendly and cheap.  What more could a gal ask for. 

Off to sew I go.  I don’t know what shape the original blanket was.  My guess is round because you pulled the string and it made a tote.  Well the fleece  I got was a rectangle so I trimmed  it to an oval.  I didn’t want to give up any play space by trimming to a circle. 

 The kit comes with 2 pieces of coordinating fleece.  Lots of fun kid stuff.  I picked puppies since I still didn’t know If this was going to a girl or a boy.   I measured the circumference of the oval and then I cut pieces from the coordinating fleece fabric for the draw string channel.  I cut the piece 6 ½ inches wide because that was how wide the ruler I was using was.  Very scientific.  

I attached it basically the same way you attach binding so that all the raw edges were covered, except at the opening. 

I then took the dog for a walk.

 Good thing.  While I was out with her and thinking through the next steps I realized I needed two opening for the draw string, one across from the other.   Back home and ripped some to make an additional opening in  the channel.   

The only thing I saw wrong with J’s description of the blanket was the draw string.  I really hate the idea of draw string and children.  My idea for a kind of work around was to make a very thick draw from fleece.  Again I used a 6 ½ inch wide piece of fleece, a couple of inches shorter than the circumference.  Folded it in 4 and stitched it.  It looked like a puffy strap.

This resulted in a rather fat draw “string”.  It also had the advantage of turning the channel into a slightly raised  rim which would in effect keep smaller pieces such as little cars and crayons from rolling out.  

                          This was a 3 hour project start to finish (including the dog’s walk). 

I don't have kids or grand kids so I am using Dog toys to illustrate.

Here it is full of dog toys hanginf from the door frame.

Brought it to work yesterday morning to show it off and immediately had a taker.  Also had a suggestion for an additional use, a gift wrap for baby shower presents. 

 If any of you run with this project I’d love to hear about it and the modifications you make along the way.  This was off the top of my head and really needs a  little tweaking before making another as a gift.  Good luck and have fun with it.


  1. I hate the idea of drawstrings and toddlers too, so your 'fix' sounds great to me. Those instant fleece kits are wonderful - I did two up for the grandsons as quillows for sleep pads at nursery scool and then the car in the summer (night travel).

  2. I love this idea! It's not too heavy but strong enough to hold all the toys, and soft enough that you feel comfortable putting a baby on it...what a great thing for a young mom to have. blessings, marlene

  3. Love the hear!!!! Very cute!!!! The play bag is a wonderful Idea!!!!

  4. Like the idea of making a 'bag' for toys that also has multi use! Thanks also for the work you did during the Christmas blog hop. Tried to comment then, too, but I don't think that I had the right email to send it to. Thanks again!


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