Mud pies and appliques

Confession: I love to lose myself in projects. And my happiest ones make me feel like a child patting mud pies, not going anywhere in particular, dreaming of an idea that keeps morphing, savoring the delightful sense of having all the time in the world to do this, just for fun.

(…introducing holy escape #2…)

My latest mud pie was made of fabric, that baby blanket I talked about a week ago. I have never played with patchwork before, and found it exhilarating. I couldn’t believe it was so easy! Truly, the only tricky part was sewing the binding around the edge, and there are ways to get around that step. See below.

First, the finished project:

Now, the how-to:

  1. Cut twelve 10-inch squares from fabric scraps. Mine were left over from our church nursery project last month.

2. Decorate the squares any way you wish. Mine were a mixture of these techniques:

    1. Hand-stitching with yarn and a darning needle (squares 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, and 12)
    2. Homemade appliqués, cut from matching fabric and zigzagged on (squares 7 and 9)
    3. Something from nothing—special touches using miscellaneous scraps I had on hand: extra rickrack from a dress I made last summer, brown buttons I saved from a worn-out shirt of Ryan’s, bits of ribbon I had on hand (squares 2, 8, and 11)
    4. Counted cross stitch, for a visual center (square 5)

3. Sew the squares together.

 4. Cut a backing. Decorate or not, as you wish. I only decorated mine to hide a cosmetic flaw in the fabric that I found too late… covering it with coordinating circles zigzagged on.

  1. 5. Sew a binding around the edges, joining the front of the blanket to the back. I made my own binding, and “tricky” would be an understatement. “Unbelievably complicated” comes closer, trying to miter the corners and get all the seams in the right places. (I didn’t know what I was doing.) I would recommend either buying premade binding or, better yet, cutting the backing larger than the front, and overlapping it to the front to make its own binding. I found some helpful ehow videos for stitchers like me who are learning as they go.

If you would like to buy this blanket, come to the Faith Builders gym on May 5! The school hosts a lovely auction, with barbecued chicken, a bake sale, and every good thing.

Kelly wishes to bid.


Have you played with a similar project?

What’s your favorite kind of mud pie?

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11 years ago

IF I ever have another child, such a blanket would be a beautiful amd delightful addition to my nursery. {hint, hint}
My mudpies mostly include working with my camera. But you inspire me to dust off my beloved sewing machine.

Wendy Zook
11 years ago

Your blanket inspires me! I love all the cute details you added. I have some corduroy pants that I have been wanting to cut into patches. I need to start brainstorming. 😉

My current “playing” has been sewing doll dresses for my girls. It is especially fun to do it with scraps leftover from their dresses.

11 years ago

Very cute baby quilt and baby/girl! (I took note of the cute little jumper and shirt on her as well!) Mitering corners has always been a pain for me– you did a fabulous job on it, though! I think whoever buys it will be as thrilled as Kelly!

I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to lose myself in any “mud pies” lately, but it would be either in literal mud pies (making dams in the creek w/ my kids or planting flowers) or, like Wendy, sewing little doll dresses.

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