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For the Birthday Bean

Today, my niece (and Joey’s biggest fan) Christine turns two. Happy Birthday, Bean! I was stumped as to what to make for her this year. Then I remembered how much my sister liked tea sets, and also how a friend of mine had recently been sewing a picnic quilt for her granddaughter. Ding ding ding! We have an idea!

Here is the picnic blanket that I made for her, along with the cutest basket of gear that I picked up at Target. [Oh, and thanks to my mom for giving me the hot tip on where to find the steel picnicware. Excellent!]

As you can see, I was practicing the wavy seam technique again, this time on a larger scale. Much larger. It’s one of those things: I thought a variety of thinner blue strips would look really cool, but decided to cut my losses and go with fewer wider ones instead. Baby steps are not such a bad thing sometimes. For the past two years, my sister has made the swimming bears cake that they’ve featured on the cover of Woman’s Day, which provided all the inspiration I needed for the theme. You can’t tell from the picture, but the border is actually glittered with gold. The embellishments are appliqued, finished off with a little bit of embroidery.

While we’re on the subject of appliques, by the way, I’ve got another tip for my fellow aspiring Sewing Super Geniuses. I’m a big fan of using prints for applique work, even for faces. When you do this, though, make sure that your print doesn’t have any strange patterning that will affect your piece. For example, the piece that I chose for the girl bear has a very faint black print, which looks fine at first glance. However, it wasn’t until I started stitching the eyes that I noticed that the tiny black hatch marks made her face take on a strange Clockwork Orange-y look. Or a dead cartoon fish, you know, with the crosses for eyes. Um…a little bit scary. I added a few more details, which obscured the print enough to make it work, but it would have been a lot easier had I simply used a different print (say, the same one I happened to use for the other bears).

I had so much fun with this project, and it was even finished on time. Woo hoo!


6 responses »

  1. Yeah, so is it wrong that I am very tempted to wake her from her nap to force her to have a tea party? Maybe I ‘ll let her sleep…but she better be ready to picnic when she gets up!

  2. This is so thoughtful and just perfect! Nicely done.

  3. I think that this is so cute, can’t wait to see what is in store for my birthday! =)

  4. Happy Birthday to the Bean!!!!!!!

  5. Cute! What a great birthday gift!!

  6. How cute – what a nice auntie you are!


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