Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP: Burp Cloths and Instructions

While here visiting, my daughter-in-law asked if I could make more burp cloths. It seems my two-month-old granddaughter is quite prolific in recycling the milk she has swallowed. Occasionally her mom needs to do laundry just because she runs out of clean burp cloths. I was thrilled to have a project; I went into factory assembly line mode. I'd made a slew of these for my now twenty-month-old daughter. Her mom, my daughter is also visiting. She is the quilter and asked for directions for the way I make these so I have included the assembly instructions at the end of this post.

Here are the ten I made for the two-month-old to take them home with her. It was so much fun pairing up the prints. All flannel fabric was from my stash. The first six were made in pairs from 1/2 yard each of two prints. I like making them complements of each other although I could make two identical. In the photos they are shown folded in half. The back of each is the same as its outer edges.

These next four were made from an assortment of seven fat quarters and one 1/4 yard cut (the butterflies). You can use a 1/4 yard cut instead of a fat quarter if you are willing to designate it for use as the central double thickness panel.

These make great quick baby shower gifts. These are so easily made from two fat quarters of flannel, call them U and F for Unfolded and Folded. The folded one will be the double thickness center panel, which gives more absorbency. In these pictures the unfolded one is the jungle print and the folded one is the argyle print. The burp cloths are sewn with 1/2 " seam allowances throughout.
  1. Trim each fat quarter into a piece 17-1/2" tall by 21" wide.
  2. Place fat quarter U right side up on work surface.
  3. Fold fat quarter F in half lengthwise right sides out. When folded it will measure 8-3/4" tall x 21" wide.
  4. Place folded fat quarter F on top of unfolded fat quarter U lining up raw edges along one long edge.
  5. Sew through three thickness along long edge 1/2" from raw edges.
  6. Align folded edge of fat quarter F with the other long raw edge of unfolded fat quarter U on its right side.
  7. Sew through three thicknesses 1/2" from edge. You now have a tube, most of which is single thickness but part of which is double thickness. Leave the tube inside out with wrong side of fat quarter U to the outside.
  8. Near each of the two open ends of the tube, press the long seams of the fat quarter U flannel away from the center. The tube being inside out is not a problem because at this stage you only need to press about an inch or so in from each open short edge.
  9. Find the center of each flannel section by aligning the long seams and making a snip at the center of the single thickness section and a snip at the center of the double thickness section at both open edges. You can also just eyeball estimate the center of each section.

  10. Flatten the tube so that double thickness fat quarter F is centered on fat quarter U by aligning the snips or by eyeballing.
  11. Sew down one short edge with 1/2" seam allowance.
  12. At other short edge, sew about one-third the way down from each corner with 1/2" seam allowance, leaving center one-third open for turning.
  13. Turn right side out, working out corners. Turn in opening edges 1/2" to match stitched sections. Press short edges.
  14. Press main body with long seams facing away from center panel.
  15. Top stitch about 1/8" from outer edge all around, closing opening.

  16. Top stitch along the two long inner seams on fat quarter U through all four thicknesses.
  17. The back showcases the same fabric as the front long edges.
  18. If you have a quarter yard instead of a fat quarter you can still use it for the center panel. Call this quarter yard cut of flannel Q. Trim Q to be 8-3/4" tall and have the fold be on the short edge instead of the long edge. Trim the folded piece to 21" wide. You will still need a fat quarter though, for the wrap-around unfolded piece U, but you can follow the same instructions.
Here is the condensed four step version, if 18 steps seems too much.
  1. TRIM: Trim two fat quarters to 17-1/2" x 21". Fold one lengthwise wrong sides in.
  2. SEW LONG: Sew together along long edges with 1/2" seams, making tube.
  3. CENTER & SEW SHORT: Center tube, sew short edges, leave opening to turn.
  4. TURN & TOPSTITCH: Turn. Press. Top stitch. Voila!
When I make these, the only thing I have to look up is the dimension to cut. In reality the 17-1/2" just allows you to square up the 1/2 yard length of the fat quarter. The 21" is just about right to accommodate half the width of most flannels. Occasionally you will get a flannel that runs a little narrower or a bit  wider. That 21" is not sacred. Just make the long dimension of both pieces of flannel the same.

My number of new and completed projects this week equaled ten - all burp cloths. My list of unfinished projects will just need to wait. The younger generation have returned to their homes and jobs and only my sister is here visiting now. My main work in progress is pouring over quilting and knitting books and magazines with her. I think we will check out this week's Freshly Pieced's Works in Progress Wednesday together. Should be fun! Here is my sister with my son and daughter and their respective daughters. Spouses are missing from photo. They were running around packing!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the burp cloth tutorial! I make mine with quilting cotton on one side and recycled t-shirt fabric on the other. Always nice to have another option in the tutorial collection!