Sunday, 24 April 2016

Making a playmat

Play mats can be pretty expensive, and I could not find one that I liked. Then one day I was walking through the market and stopped by the fabric stall. There I spotted some beautiful woodland themed fabric. There were so many patterns coming in a variety of muted colours. I found a delightful fox pattern, foxes wearing blue bows. Perfect! I wanted it, then I thought about what I could use it for. The play mat!! I hurried home an got onto eBay, found some wadding, some blue bias binding to match the foxes bows and some 'latte' fabric which I imagined would match the background pretty well. It didn't, but I'm not much of a perfectionist, I wanted it done and to say 'I made that'.

I didn't have a pattern for this quilt, basically I made it up as I went along and sought advice from the oracle (my boyfriends mother who taught me how to sew). What seemed like a lovely and straight forward thing to make turned out to actually be quite difficult and cost me two sewing machine needles and a lot of patience. Seemingly the issues I had were that quite simply, I needed a walking foot but didn't have one, the tread on my sewing machine could not be adjusted, my sewing machine was probably never designed to make a quilt, and I had no idea what I was doing!

Weeks later and I finally finished it. As with anything difficult, the fact that it's not going to plan really puts me off picking it up. But I really wanted it! It wasn't going to do itself. Several failed attempts to not catch the under fabric on the sewing machine when it didn't quite make a straight enough line (thanks to poor tread, no special foot) meant I had to finish quite a bit of it by hand. It's not my best hand sewing work. To make it even more difficult my cats LOVED IT! Whenever it came out they'd be all over me trying to sit on it. What felt like hours trying to get them off it was slowing me down, so I gave in and just let them sit on it while I sewed around them.

But anyway, it's now complete and lint roller. It doesn't look to bad from a fair distance away. Besides baby won't mind, it's somewhere comfortable for him to be sick on. Most importantly, this play mat come with one important rule: Don't look at the back!!

Now to convince my boyfriend to make one of these baby gyms.

I love the idea of this simple wooden structure. Not only does it look fantastic, it seems as though storing it will be simple and i like the idea of being able to change what stimulus could be hanging, maybe some black and white pictures and shapes first, the perhaps bold colours, moving onto natural materials, noisy things, photos of family. The possibilities are endless and will hopefully mean he won't outgrow it too quickly.

Instructions for the baby gym can be found here

I can't read what i think is Swedish either but the photos look pretty self explanatory.

Instructions for the blanket (not that I have much faith in my own instructions)
2 pieces of fabric 1m x 76cm
1 piece of wadding 1m x 76cm
4 meters of bias binding (I overlapped a little)

Sandwich wadding between the wrong sides of the two fabric pieces, pin all around the edges to hold it all in place.

Pin and tack diagonal lines from the centre on the fabric (there was no way I could do this without tacking first as the fabric kept moving).

Sew beginning at the centre and working your way out.

Repeat to make a horizontal and vertical line.

Pin bias binding to the side you'd like as the front of your play mat and sew.

Fold and pin bias binding onto the back of the mat, then slip stitch to finish.