Friday, August 17, 2012

Sewing lesson: Kindergarten rest-time mat

Princess is starting kindergarten.  They are supposed to bring a beach towel to lay on for rest time.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't think just a towel on the hard floor would be all that comfy.  But, the commercially available mats are too big to fit in their cubbies.  So, I decided to make her a padded rest-time mat.  My first idea was to get two beach towels and sandwich a thin batting between them before sewing the edges.  Great idea, but she didn't want a beach towel.  She fell in love with a princess fleece because it had "Tangled" on it.  I figured fleece would stay nice and soft and could be padded just as easily.  This is really my first attempt at machine quilting, but I don't think it turned out too badly.

Here's what I did:
You will need 1 to 1 1/2 yards of 60" wide fleece and a crib-size package of low-loft batting. (Also, matching thread.)
(Note:  You may or may not need to include all steps, especially if you are more organized that I seem to be.)
* Pre-shrink fleece.
* Trim the edges of the fleece to remove any printing or funky edging.
* Fold the fleece in half, matching selvage edges.
* Cut a piece of batting to the same size as the fleece.
* Sandwich batting between fleece layers.
* Pin in place, taking care to match edges.
* Search for the bag containing matching thread that you know was right there yesterday.
* Look again since the thread must be hiding.  It was right there yesterday, you KNOW it was.
* Give up searching for the elusive thread and check thread stash for a close color.
* Find old spool of thread that will work.
* Wind new bobbin, stopping when bobbin is half-way full because you can start to see the spool beneath the layer of thread.
* Sew around, stitching one inch from all edges.
* Check amount of thread and mentally calculate how far it will last. (Wonder if you should have put less on the bobbin.)
* Decide three quilting lines across should probably work.
* Eyeball 1/4 of way down length and position for first quilting line.
* Sew all the way across the width.
* Repeat quilting at midpoint and other 1/4 point.
* Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for finishing before you run out of thread (barely).

Voila, here is the finished product.
How does it work, you ask?  Princess gave her approval, although it took some convincing that her semi-wet hair wouldn't ruin anything. (Maybe I really didn't need that extra 1/2 yard.  One yard probably would have done it.)
So, there you go, if you ever need to make a rest-time mat, you have an idea to start with.  The nice part was that this was a quick project (if you don't include the time spent trying to find that thread).

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