Home Decor: June 2012 Archives
Don't be fooled by this attractive nursery picture: the crib quilt and bumpers are considered unsafe. Check out my safe recommendations below.
For first time moms it can often be overwhelming and excited to decorate a nursery for your first little one. However, many stores, magazines and merchants can lead you astray with adorable pictures and over-the-top nursery decorating ideas. Here are some new regulations and recommendations on what not to make (or use) for your nursery and some helpful tips on what to make instead.
Crib Bumpers: This cute, decorative, soft boundary
tie to your crib and run the perimeter of the inside of your crib and were
designed to keep your babe from bumping his/her head on the side. While crib
bumpers have not been declared against the law, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics,
who in my book makes baby law) have officially come out against crib bumpers.
The AAP takes the stand that bumpers do not really protect against injury and
can increase the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment and strangulation. While
these decorative beauties do add a wow factor to you crib, the effect is not
worth the risk. (Read more here)
Instead of creating a crib bumper, make a fitted sheet and crib skirt combo to really show off your nursery colors and beautiful prints. These items are must haves for baby and the crib skirt can hide all your clutter or abundant baby toys once your little one has gone to sleep.
Crib Quilt: these little gems are a beautiful
way to show off your or a loved one's quilting skills and a great way to bring
more life and color into your nursery but a baby should not be covered with a
blanket or quilt until they are old enough to remove it themselves should they
become overheated or trapped. Make instead a slightly bigger quilt for floor
play, car travel or outdoor play instead. You can change out the quilt backing
from lightweight cotton to a heavier weight cotton or home décor fabric for a floor
quilt or laminated cotton for outdoor play. A floor
quilt will get much more use then a crib quilt which might be too small by
the time your little one it old enough to use it as intended and will provide
comfort for tummy time and a great backdrop for all those pictures!
3) Crib Pillows: Pillows have been declared dangerous for the crib for the same reason as crib bumpers but have been so for many years. Infants can easily get their face stuck under the pillow, inhale the pillow or become stuck under them so they pose a suffocation danger and increase the risk of SIDS. It will be at least 1-2 years before it is safe to leave your child unattended with a pillow in the crib so create some floor pillows instead. The floor is where most of your infant's play will take place and consequently where you will spend most of your time so make it comfy for all parties. Floor pillows make great seats for you, dad and siblings as well as an opportunity to make your nursery bright and engaging. You can appliqué animals or quotations of love and laughter while making sure you are as comfy as baby. Plus they make ideal reading areas when your infant grows into a toddler and beyond. I love Amy Butler's Gumdrop pillows because they are so fast but you can mix and match each panel to create a look for you.
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The perfect summer project is a dishcloth afghan. It may sound a little odd but think of it as a big, soft, comfy blanket of swatches that look amazing all sewn up together. A dishcloth afghan is essentially like quilting, each square is a pieced quilt block and when each block is complete all the blocks are sewn together and the true beauty is revealed. I love dishcloth afghans because it feeds my need of color change, stitch change and quick gratification that only small projects can give me. Each dishcloth Afghan can be customized to your preference or for each gift recipient. Plus you only have to use the dishcloth pattern to inspire your blanket; you don't have to work it in cotton, try a selection of dishcloth patterns in Merino wool, a silk blend or Cashmere. Dishcloths are great for knitting in the car, in the park, on vacation or at the game. You can knit away on small projects all summer and have your blocks all worked up just before the leaves turn. You don't need to lug a huge afghan around to keep warm this winter. Or store more than 25 balls of one color either only to find out you only need 18 and now what are you going to do with 7 balls of biscotti brown wool!
For a wedding throw, you can select dishcloths in cables that represent entwining of love, working together and the beauty of two coming together and work each block in a soft wool blend for cozy nights watching movies. For the graduates, select patterns that remind the student of home or remind you of them (water patterns for swimming, cupcakes for a favorite dessert, etc) and work them up in a washable blend for ease. For a new baby, try ABC blocks, animals or different texture blocks in a cotton blend for breathability, washing and softness. For yourself, try the same or just 2-3 different dishcloth patterns worked in your favorite colors. I am running with this idea for my dishcloth afghan. I am using just one dishcloth pattern (from my Dishcloth Craze post) and am knitting it up in my favorite colors du jour: green, turquoise and gray. Then I will sew all my blocks up together (see illustration at the top) and then pick up stitches on each side, log cabin style, and work a 5-7 row garter stitch band to finish it off. You can try a simple band in a stitch pattern that compliments your dishcloths if garter doesn't work for you.
2009 Afghan by Lorena Haldeman and Sharon Emery
The dishcloth afghans not only make great cozy couch throws but also picnic blankets, car blankets, bed spreads and wall hangings because the size is so easy to manipulate. You can work just a few blocks or 30 depending on your needs. My favorite part is picking out the dishcloth patterns for each project, it is the same euphoria I find when selecting fabric for my next sewing project!
Linoleum Dishcloth by Kay Gardiner
Whether you are new to knitting or have been clicking the needles since you were "this small" you know that dishcloths are big business to a knitter. Some, like my Mother-in-law, knit them all the time for around the house and as gifts. Others, like me, knit them when they have some extra cotton to use up or as just a small project to knit during a movie. There are as many reasons to knit dishcloths as there are dishcloth patterns.
I love dishcloths but don't knit them that often. But when I used to teach classes, I would start my students off with a dishcloth as their first project for several reasons:
1) Unlike a scarf, a dishcloth is small and easily finished within a few days for a beginner. This means they get the sense of satisfaction of their first project sooner and can show it off and feel confident about starting a second project
2) Unlike a first scarf, you probably won't cringe when you look upon your first dishcloth and you can use it right away.
3) Dishcloths can be used 365 days a year
4) Frogging a dishcloth won't lead to depression
Dishcloths are infinity practical and everyone can use them. They are one of the few gifts that can be given to a guy or a girl (everyone cleans even if they don't dig the frog stitch pattern you selected for each of their dishcloths). Dishcloths make great samplers, so if you are dying to try a new stitch pattern, incorporate it into a dishcloth and try it out and then use it. Dishcloths are portable and great for summer knitting. They won't cover your lap; and people will easily recognize them so you won't have to explain the twisted shawl collar Vogue Knitting sweater that looks like your cat fought over (at least until you block and seam it- then won't they be admiring). Dishcloths are great for first time home buyers, hostess gifts, baby showers (make great burp cloths), college students, stocking stuffers, and everyday "I think you are special" gifts. These little gems help pass the time and can fit your exact mood. If you want something you can memorize and knit in your sleep while you watch baseball- done. If you want something a bit tricky to take your mind off things- you got it. You can even knit them with a mind-blowing challenge to take your knitting to the next level. Dishcloths are amazing.
Knit Striped Dishcloth by Lion Brand