Thursday, March 21, 2013

A renewed love of color

Since we got home from our road trip, Sophia hasn't stopped talking about the sleeping bags that her little friends slept in for the week.

"Can you buy me a princess sleeping bag, Mama?  Please?  Please, please?"

Because everything is princess-y these days.  I don't know how she got so obsessed, having never seen any of the Disney princess movies, but she is ALL about those gals.

At the same time that Sophia has been going crazy for a sleeping bag, I have been thinking about the amazing quilts my friend Laura has made for her family.  Totally different from anything I have ever done.  She meshes together fabrics that I would never in a million years try to make work, and they don't just work . . . those quilts SHINE.  Simple in construction, with impact to spare.  LOVE her artistry.  Her love of color and patterns spills over into every room, turning a house into a warm and inviting home.  I only wish I had taken some pictures for you all!  Another time, another roadtrip . . .

The other thing I have noticed since we got home is that 50% of Sophia's sentences start with "Can you buy me . . . "

Not a fan.

We had some funsies for the roadtrip, new coloring books and the camera, yummy snacks, and *gasp* . . . a stop at McDonald's on the way home.  And apparently the funsies have turned Sophia into a grasping materialistic beast.

So I brainstormed.  Because sleeping bags really are fun.  But I don't want to pay $20+ for a crappy Disney one that will fall apart after three washing.  And don't want to get bedbugs from buying one second hand.  And want Sophia to know that not everything has to come from a store.  Add in my Laura inspiration, and I decided.

Time to make a sleeping bag.

And not just make a sleeping bag, but make it for free.  I decided that I had to pull all the supplies out of my current fabric stash, no trips to the store.  I dug thru my craft dresser, and came up with a whole slew of fabrics I wanted to use.


In order to make a standard size toddler sleeping bag (28" x 56"), I decided to cut 49 eight and a half inch squares.  Minus the seam allowance each square would be 8", laid out seven by seven and sewn together.  Eight inch squares, times seven equals a 56 inch square.  Fold it in half to be a sleeping bag, and you get 28" x 56".  (I love sewing math, but get that not everyone is a nerd.  Let me know if all that needs a little more clarification!)

Next I scavenged for filler.  I ended up grabbing two fleece blankets that we don't use much, as well as a flannel sheet we don't have the match to.  Yes, I would have loved to pick up a super cute coordinating flannel for the inside . . . but no buying for this project!

I tied together the layers with three of the six ply from black embroidery floss at each square's corner.  Black would not have ordinarily been my first choice, but it was what I had on hand and I decided to use it rather than trying to cheat and get some white or other color from my sister.  And black totally breaks me out of my crafting comfort zone!  Of course, it turns out that I LOVE the black.

Layers tied together, I moved on to the edges.  I cut four-inch strips of fabric, and made them into a LOOOOONG strip of one-inch bias.  I lined the edges of the sleeping bag with it, folding it in half and using the bias to finish it off.  Rather than trying to hide my stitches, I decided to emphasize them with a contrasting purple thread in a zig-zag.



A non-princess, no-cost sleeping bag that Sophia LOVES.  She squealed with delight when she saw it, composing an "I love my sleeping bag!" song on the spot.  She insisted on sleeping in it on the floor last night, and has already asked to tonight.  As I type this she is cuddled up in it on the floor, just hanging out.



Sophia isn't the only one who loves her sleeping bag.  Jude likes to dive bomb his sister when she is in it, though he is loath to climb in himself.  Just being nearby seems to be enough for him!  I am thrilled with how it turned out, and already have plans for some more fun summer sewing.  Maybe some small picnic blankets on my etsy site, who knows?!  Lots of blasts of color and pattern mixing to come!

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