Baby Shower Gift

Sometimes inspiration comes when you aren’t even looking for it. And what can be more inspiring than a new life coming into this world. I’m about to become a great-Aunt again and as I was perusing the baby shower gift registry there it was, in the shape of a whale.


Actually, the whole registry took me down an interesting path. When did everything start to cost $289? And WOW they have come up with a lot of cool stuff for new mom’s and babies. I have to admit, I was envious, not only for the HALO Bassinet Swivel Sleeper but for the whole experience of having a newborn. So much possibility.

I was also excited my nephew and his wife picked out a really cool theme of White/Grey/Black (with a little giraffe print thrown in for good measure). My sister had just been telling me that her gift to the new parents was going to be redoing their bathroom to get ready for baby so I thought it would be fun for me to stay on that theme and get bath accessories. They don’t get much cuter then this whale bath spout.

Another exciting aspect of the registry was that most of the burp clothes and baby clothes they registered for were made from organic cotton by Burt’s Bees. This really inspired me as all of my makes are using organic cotton, and Alabama Chanin recently  did a collaboration with Burt’s Bees. I had to go check it out on the AC website and what did I find but this adorable Alabama Chanin baby blanket.

Alabama Chanin Baby Blanket

Here’s where the universe was talking to me. I had actually just cut out this very stencil … or something very similar. If you read my last blog post, you saw that I wanted to create something using the same stencil from my Penelope Skirt, so I copied the skirts design onto tracing paper.


Then I taped the tracing paper down onto a piece of pennant felt and used an exacto knife to cut out a stencil.


It’s time consuming work, and my hand ached at the end, but it is so worth it to create your own stencils.

Anyway, as you can guess, I decided I had to make my grand niece her own blanket and a  matching burp cloth with that adorable whale on it.

So first I cut out a 36″ x 36″ piece of organic cotton in dove. Then I marked off all but an 8″ stripe on the bottom of the piece. Then I lined up my stencil and airbrushed on the design using grey Createx paint that I mixed up using black, white and a touch of silver.

Once I let the paint dry for a few days I was ready to stitch. First I basted a smaller piece of white organic cotton just backing the stenciled area. I decided to backstitch around the shapes using white embroidery floss. If you are an Alabama Chanin fan you know that one of the key components of stitching is first “loving” your thread. This is the act of running your fingers over the thread to help release some of the tension inherent in the thread. While you do this, you take the time to set your intentions for the eventual end user of the piece you are stitching. In this case, I said prayers for my grand niece and her parents. I hope that they will always be surrounded by love.

Can you see my basting stitches?

Next came the sometimes daunting act of cutting out the painted areas. I say daunting because it always looks good stitched but you are never quite sure what it’s going to look like when it’s been cut.


Thank goodness in this case, I really like it! The blanket worked up pretty quickly. Once again making me think that in the future I want to do more placement pieces rather than all-over designs.

Next came the burp cloth. I looked up the size of the Burt’s Bees clothes on the registry and they were 16″ x 11″, so, that’s what I did. I screen shot a picture of the whale spout and enlarged it 200% to print. Then I cut it out and used it as a template to cut a whale shape out of dove fabric.


I lined it up on my 16″ x 11″ piece of white fabric and I appliquéd it on with slate button craft thread using a whipstitch.

And voila! A baby shower gift made with lot’s of love.


I’m not sure you can pack up all of your hopes and dreams for the newest member of your family in a box, but I’m going to try.


And here’s hoping they get that bassinet sleeper off their registry, and lots of sleep. They are going to need it when baby gets here!

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