This project was a special commission, requested by my husband for one of his cycling buddies, who is expecting a baby. My husband asked me to make a ‘bunny rug’, meaning something like the humidicrib covers I have made and donated to the hospital. As the baby is already almost full term and unlikely to be premature and need a humidicrib cover for anything but a wall-hanging, I negotiated a different kind of wall-hanging: a growth chart.
This idea came from Sandi Henderson’s Sewing Bits & Pieces book, which I borrowed from my local library. Her book contains instructions for small and cute projects to use up your scraps. I often think that one of the best sewing tools I own is my library card.
I made the following modifications to Sandi’s pattern:
- I added binding to the trunk and top of the tree as I did not like the wadding showing between the layers around the raw edges.
- I did not add scraps of brown fabric to create a textured bark on the trunk. Instead, I just free-motion quilted a bark-like design (very easy, even for a poor free-motion quilter like me).
- Using Vliesofix, I laminated rectangles of two different green fabrics together and then sewed four or five leaf outlines on each before cutting out the leaves.
- I added a piece of ribbon with centimetre markings on it to make the growth chart’s purpose obvious.
- I added a small pocket to the back of the trunk, at the bottom, in which to store name and age labels.
- I made some apples!
The most difficult part was finding a fabric measuring tape. I did not really succeed. The ribbon I used is wildly inaccurate and repeats the numbers one to twenty. Sadly, this growth chart will never accurately measure height and will probably produce results like eleventy-two!
I still have two small jobs to finish it off:
- When the baby is born and named, I will make tags with the baby’s name and different ages on them. These can be stored in the pocket in the back until required and then tacked onto the front to mark the child’s growth. So far, I have just made a few experimental prototypes using the leaf offcuts until I know what name to use.
- I need to sew on a hanging sleeve so it can be hung from a wall, but I am waiting for my husband to buy or find a suitable dowel. That will be his contribution to the project.