because burp rags deserve to be pretty too

by kacia on 26 Mar ’14 · 1 comment

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Burp rags. Spit up cloths. Whatever you want to call them, they are one baby necessity that surely no one will deny.

You need them.  Regardless of whether your baby has the ability to aim and hit items across the room or just drool and drool, the fact is, you need burp rags.

Another fact.  Burp rags start out kind of ugly and get uglier over time.  It’s just the way it is: they get stained and are used to clean up messes.

I’m going to show you how we can turn this little ugly dilemma around.  This is a great way to give a little bit of life to your already-been-loved-on burp rags.  It’s also a great way to purchase a bunch of new burp rags, turn them into pretty burp rags, and have them ready to go as baby gifts.  One of the things I learned from my mom is to always have a little stockpile of gifts to “shop from” at home, so you never find yourself scrambling last minute!  Even if these items are little add-ons to the main gift, it’s a fun and easy gift to share!

I’m also going to show you how I personalized them as well!  The Brother DZ3000 has 2 great fonts that stitch beautifully, and I’m having fun marking everything with initials and names for gifts, as of late.  #cantstopwontstop

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|| Supplies ||

  • burp rags {if new, wash and dry a few times, as they shrink quite a bit!  if old…um, make sure they’re washed.  Probably a given, but you never know! :) }
  • flannel — quilting cotton would work, but I love how soft flannel is for baby stuff!
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • pins
  • iron
  • walking foot — can do without, but walking foot is recommended
  • free-motion quilting foot you know I’m hooked!

Let’s get started, shall we?

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1|| The first thing we want to do is measure and cut the flannel.  Decide how thick of a stripe you’d like to add to your burp rag.  Most standard burp rags will be broken into thirds — a more layered middle section and two thinner outer sections.  I wanted to cover up the middle third of my burp rags, and then stay consistent, so the rags look more uniform when folded.  Measure the desired width, and add about 1 inch to finish your edges.  I cut about 8.5″ strips, and then cut them down to 14″ in length.

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2|| I then like to lay out my fabric to line up and visualize how I’ll press under my edges.  Simple and totally skip-able step, but I like to see where it’s going.  Just how I roll, y’all.

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3|| Using some steam and careful fingers, press the edges of your felt in about 1/2″ all the way around.  I like to fake a mitered corner by folding in a small triangle at the corner, followed by both adjacent sides.  If you want to get fancy with your corners, that’s fine!  But it’s kind of like buying fancy cloth diapers — don’t get too fancy….you know what they’re used for, right?  Right.  Moving on.

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4|| Pin the flannel to your burp rag.  If your rags are similar to mine, the sides shrink more than the middle third, so you might need to fold and tweak your felt to fit nicely around that curve.  Pin as you go so it looks nice and lays flat.  Now you’re ready to get to the fun parts!

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5|| Using your walking foot, sew a top stitch around the perimeter of the flannel.  I like to keep it at about 1/8″ or slightly less.  What I love about a computerized machine like this one, is that I can find a visual point on the foot — I use one of the metal edges on the right side of the walking foot — and move my needle over as far as needed for the edging desired from my top stitching.

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6|| Once you’ve top stitched the flannel, you could call it a day and be done, but there would be no fun in that.

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7|| Using your walking foot and seam guide, quilt the flannel section of your burp rag.  I love this project, because it kind of has the ability to get you with the quilting-bug!  You can keep the lines perpendicular to the stripe, like I did, or start one at an angle and use your seam guide to keep them lined up.  Or cross them in diamonds or squares — whatever you’d like!

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8|| If you’re really feeling adventurous, or perhaps the skirt intrigued you to try some free motion quilting, this is an even easier way to practice!  Such a small project allows you to really get a feel for how to use your free motion quilting foot — just be sure to lower your feed dogs, so you can move the fabric more freely!

At this point, if I were you, I would make a bunch of these.  Work in steps — cut your fabric, iron all the flannel, pin them, top stitch them — and then have fun quilting them!

You’d better believe I’ve already purchased additional burp rags, so I can make more as gifts!  Any idea why I purchased this cat flannel?  I saw it and knew a little baby needed it– I mean really, cats.  Harlow agreed, so into our cart it went. 

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But let’s talk about how to personalize these fun little gifts when the time comes to do so.  You’ll probably notice a trio of smaller rags piled on the top in the image below, and I’m excited to share how I made those in a few weeks–too much to pile into one post and tutorial!

Like you can see on those, I stitched the machine’s built in letters directly onto the fabric.  You can also do this with the flannel before adding it to your burp rags, if you’d like.  But if you’re like me, it’s nice to make them all and add the names when the time comes to pull them out as gifts!

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Making personalized labels:

While the DZ3000 is a computerized sewing machine, not an embroidery machine, it’s fun to play around with the fonts and symbols it has as well.  I personally love the bold, sans serif font the best, but the script font is beautiful too.

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1|| This is the perfect way to use up some of the scraps you refuse to throw away.  We all do it, I know.  Take some interfacing and iron it on to the fabric.  This will help the fabric stay put when you let the machine embroider the letters.

Oh? what’s that white stuff you ask?  Yes.  Snow.  Good ‘ole snow in the middle of March.  I’m so ready for Spring… I feel like I’ve said that before.  Oy. 

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2|| Program the letters to be stitched.

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3|| Go ahead and press down on the pedal and let your machine do the work.  You might have to play with your tension settings until you get it right.  I had to decrease my tension, as I was going from thick material to a pretty thin quilting cotton.  Give yourself extra fabric to practice on.

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4|| Trim down to size and press in your edges.  Pin in place.

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5|| Sew around the perimeter of the label with a nice top stitch.  In the future, I will use a heavier interfacing — I’ll keep y’all posted by updating this post as well.

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Go grab those rags before nap time, so you can give them a makeover during naptime!  I can’t wait to see what variations y’all come up with — be sure to link back, comment or tag me wherever you post a photo!

And as always, feel free to comment or email me with any questions you may have!

xo …and off to sew more burp rags.  (Annnnnd maybe google some warmer locations to entice Andy to move us to as well… ack.  C’mon, Pittsburgh!)
kaciasignature

 

Don’t forget the Lily Jade Giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight, EST.  Go enter!

I was sent the Brother DZ3000 to review and create this sponsored tutorial.  As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

And a few more photos, because I can never choose just a few…. sorry!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kate March 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

Love. Love. Love

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