Tips for Making Baby Headbands

It’s hard to believe our granddaughter is 6 months old. She is growing so fast…including her head, which means that she has outgrown all her cute baby headbands. Last week I decided to take a day, pull out my stash of ribbons and buttons and embellishments, and make her a wardrobe of headbands. I created a total of 14 different styles – two weeks of stylin’ baby accessories.

Here she is ready to watch basketball, wearing her College Game Day bow!

Ready for College Game Day - Go Nova!

Ready for College Game Day – Go Nova!

And here are the 13 other headbands:

The Many Faces of Claire - and her Headbands!

The Many Faces of Claire – and her Headbands!

There is so much info online on how to make elastic baby headbands that I do not think I need to write a tutorial. But, I do have a few tips to make them fit a growing head a little longer.

Th 5/8″ fold-over elastic by Dritz is great for these types of headbands. It’s soft, easy to work with, and comes in lots of different colors and patterns. Most tutorials suggest taking a length of elastic, placing the ends right sides together, and sewing them together to make a seam. I find that a little bulky so I simply overlap the cut ends.

I start with a length of elastic cut to the size of baby’s head plus 1/2″. There are “standard” head sizes but our girl is off the charts (So smart, she is…gonna be brilliant in school!). I want to make sure the headbands will be big enough now and adjustable to last for awhile.

I overlap the ends 1/4″. Using a doubled thread in the needle, I hand slip-stitch one cut end in place.

Overlap the cut ends and stitch them together.

Then I sew the finished edges together along one side, sew back down the other cut end and across the opposite finished edges.Step2I take small stitches and make sure the ends are securely knotted. The desired bow or embellishment is sewn or glued to the outside of the headband, over the overlapped seam.

To make the headband adjustable to a growing head, I form a 1/2″ pleat by folding the elastic back on itself and securing it with a few small stitches. These stitches can then be removed when the headband gets a little snug. (I like to use contrasting thread so it is easy to see what stitches need to be snipped.)

Step3

When using crochet lace elastic trim such as the type I used for Claire’s College Game Day bow, I do sew a regular seam on the machine. But, I can still fold and hand stitch a little tuck to the inside of the headband to make it adjustable for a growing head. A large bow or embellishment will cover up the stitching.

Hopefully this group of headbands can be worn for several months. I have a feeling I will be making lots more. They are so quick and easy to make, and it’s so much fun to see her wearing them. A girl just cannot have too many accessories!

Let’s Go! Baby Projects to Sew

Our first grandchild is almost six months old and another grandchild is on the way any day now. So needless to say, I’ve been inspired to design baby quilts and baby projects to sew.

CanopyOpen&QuiltHere’s a peak at a car seat tent and tagged quilt that I just designed for the winter issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine.

CanopyWindowOpenThe tent (or some folks call it a canopy) features a peak-a-boo window that can be closed for warmth and protection or can be opened to check on baby and provide ventilation. To keep it from getting too heavy, no batting is used. The tent is simply backed with flannel and lightly quilted.

Betsy&QuiltThe coordinating tagged quilt ties onto the car seat handles to keep it in place for the ride. Ribbon loops along all the edges are a fun and entertaining touch for a busy baby. And once you get to your destination the quilt can be used as a play mat. (MQU Editor Carol Zentgraf’s granddaughter, Betsy, gave both projects her approval!)

I fell in love with these fabrics from the “On Our Way” collection by Riley Blake. They are colorful, fun, gender-neutral and perfect for these projects. I was so excited to discover they had both flannels and quilting cottons in the group.

Winter15CoverCheck out the Winter 2015 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited, pages 38-45 for all the details and complete instructions.

My Ribbon Skirt is Featured in Stitch Magazine

Hot off the presses! Check out page 47 of the winter 2014 issue of Stitch Magazine. That’s my ribbon skirt – created with rows and rows of beautiful Renaissance Ribbons, including my favorites from Parson Gray, plus coordinating laces and other trims.

RibbonSkirtPageI sewed all the ribbons and trims onto a base of Parson Gray’s fabric from FreeSpirit. The skirt is fairly simple to make…just one pattern piece for the yoke and five rectangles for the slightly gathered tiers.

Winter 2014 issue of Stitch Magazine

Winter 2014 issue of Stitch Magazine

You can order a copy of the magazine here. Or, look for it on the newsstand or at your favorite sewing or quilting store.

Now you have an idea of what to do with all those precious ribbons and trims you’ve been collecting. Sew them together and make a skirt. Wouldn’t this be cute in a child’s size with lots of bright and colorful ribbons? Think I need to work on that idea!

How to Sew a Yoga Mat Bag from Precut Strips, Fat Quarters and Ribbons

Bargello Yoga Mat Bag

Bargello Yoga Mat Bag

This Bargello Yoga Mat Bag is one of my favorite designs from Precut Patchwork Party. It’s a fun way to use a roll of coordinating precut fabric strips. Two lengths of ribbon form the straps and two fat quarters make the lining. Sew a little gift for a friend…..or for yourself!

Materials Needed to Make Yoga Mat Bag

Materials Needed to Make Yoga Mat Bag

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Ribbon Petal Cockade Tutorial by the “Ribbon Whisperer”

While I was lolling at the beach last week, the folks at Sew4Home were hard at work and posted a tutorial I had written for them before I left for vacation. Click here to see the complete tutorial for how to make a ribbon petal cockade, similar to the one featured on the cover of my book How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments.

Ribbon Petal Cockade

Ribbon Petal Cockade

This cockade is built with three layers of ribbon sewn to a buckram circle. The first row is made with folded loops.

Row 1 - Folded Ribbon Loops Stitched to a Buckram Circle

Row 1 – Folded Ribbon Loops Stitched to a Buckram Circle

The next row is comprised of overlapped ribbon loops.

Row 2 - Overlapped Ribbon Loops Stitched Between the Folded Loops of Row 1

Row 2 – Overlapped Ribbon Loops Stitched Between the Folded Loops of Row 1

A gathered rosette fills in the center and covers all the raw ribbon ends of the loops..

The Third Layer is a Gathered Ribbon Rosette Stitched to the Center to Cover all the Ends of the Ribbon Loops

The Third Layer is a Gathered Ribbon Rosette Stitched to the Center to Cover all the Ends of the Ribbon Loops

And a coordinating decorate button is sewn to the center of the cockade to cover the center of the gathered rosette.

I get such a kick out of Liz Johnson of sew4home.com when she calls me the “ribbon whisperer”. That just makes me giggle. Actually, I don’t think I am the one doing any whispering to make the ribbons do what I want them to do. In every case, the ribbons are doing the talking (much louder than a whisper!).

These three beautiful Amy Butler ribbons by Renaissance Ribbons were actually shouting to be made into this large cockade. These beautiful coordinates are woven jacquard ribbons with a pronounced right and wrong side. So I knew that I had to select techniques that would only allow the front of the ribbons to be visible in the completed embellishment.

Other techniques incorporate folding and manipulation where both sides of the ribbon will show. Solid vintage Petersham ribbons, have a wonderful “hand” and pleat beautifully so they “whisper” to be made into folded ribbon cockades or manipulated trims. Woven stripes also appear the same on both sides and work for these types of techniques.

Folded and Manipulated Ribbon Cockades and Trims

Folded and Manipulated Ribbon Cockades and Trims

I invite you to take a look at the techniques featured in How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments. Then go and listen to the ribbons in your stash and see what they are “whispering” to become.

Fall Quilt Market – More Quilts

Here are more of the quilts that caught my eye in the exhibitions area of Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

There were several unique quilts that had openwork sections.  It was fascinating to study them to try and figure out how they were constructed.

One of the quilts in the World of Mother's Dream exhibit by Reiko Kato

One of the quilts in the World of Mother’s Dream exhibit by Reiko Kato

A detail of the Reiko Kato quilt

A detail of the Reiko Kato quilt.

Another Reiki Kato quilt

Another Reiko Kato quilt

Circle Quilt by Aki Sakai

Circle Quilt

Detail of Circle Quilt

Detail of Circle Quilt

Blue Tone Quilt by Aki Sakai

Blue Tone Quilt by Aki Sakai

Detail of Blue Tone Quilt

Detail of Blue Tone Quilt

And there were the quilts that tugged at your heart strings:

Boy & Best Friend by Jennifer Day Photo of her 10 year old son and his dog printed on fabric and enhanced with 58 different thread colors.

Boy & Best Friend by Jennifer Day
Photo of her 10 year old son and his dog printed on fabric and enhanced with 58 different thread colors.

My Best Friend by Nancy Hutchison Scrappy pineapple blocks, created ith fabrics from her late husband's favorite shirts.  Quilting served as therapy following his sudden death.  The backing is an expensive Dallas Cowboy fabric she'd been saving.

My Best Friend by Nancy Hutchison
Scrappy pineapple blocks, created with fabrics from her late husband’s favorite shirts. Quilting served as therapy following his sudden death. The backing is an expensive Dallas Cowboy fabric she’d been saving.

Mayapples by Judith Busby Part of the Healing Quilts in Medicine exhibit.  These quilts were based on pharmaceutical plans and animals being used in cancer treatments today or being researched in studies and trials.

Mayapples by Judith Busby
Part of the Healing Quilts in Medicine exhibit. These quilts are based on pharmaceutical plants or animals being used in cancer treatments today or being researched in studies and trials.

And there were many quilts that made you smile. The What’s for Dinner? exhibit proved that quilters also had a passion for food, along with their passion for fabric.  Each art quilt was an enlarged place setting, complete with place setting, silverware, plate and food.

What's 4 Dinner?

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